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Early calls for commodities

02/24/2011 @ 7:49am

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--The pre-opening prices for the CME Group grain commodities for Thursday, February 24, 2011 are lower. Corn is seen opening 3-5 cents lower, soybeans 10-12 cents lower and wheat down 3-5 cents. 

In overnight electronic trading, the March corn futures contract traded 5 3/4 cents lower at $6.85 3/4 per bushel. The March soybean futures contract traded 13 1/4 cents lower at $13.06 3/4 per bushel. The March wheat futures contract traded 5 1/2 cents lower at $7.57 1/2. For March soymeal futures, the contract traded $4.30 per short ton lower at $347.50, and March soyoil $0.41 lower at $54.61.

The outside markets are mildly supportive for Thursday's grain trade. The real factors driving the lower early calls are the lower overnight markets. With the crude oil market trading over $100 per barrel, this is pushing down the stock market. 

Meanwhile, a USDA economist, addressing the Ag Outlook Conference in Washington, DC., Thursday, estimates a record 2011-12 U.S. corn crop at 13.73 billion bushels with an average yield of 164.7 bushels per acre. For soybeans, the government sees a 2011-12 crop size of 3.345 billion bushels. And wheat output is pegged at 2.08 billion bushels, for 2011-12. The USDA economist sees 2011-12 U.S. total planted acres, for eight major crops, at 255 million acres. 

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