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Farm markets close higher

Updated: 07/07/2011 @ 2:15pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--With a weaker dollar, increased demand, and supportive outside factors, the CME Group grain and soybean prices settled higher Thursday.

The Dec. corn futures settled 7 cents higher at $6.15 1/2. The Nov. soybean contract closed 19 1/4 cents higher at $13.37 3/4. The Sep. wheat futures settled 7 1/2 cents higher at $6.34 1/2. The Dec. soybean meal futures contract closed $1.90 per short ton higher at $345.10 and Dec. soyoil futures closed $1.24 higher at $57.63.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $1.86 per barrel higher, the dollar is lower and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 118 points.

Tim Hannagan, PFGBest.com senior grain analyst, says there are a lot of bullish factors today. "Several bullish-to-friendly issues. Crude oil is up sharply, pulling ethanol and corn along for the ride. Plus,  China was in Thursday for big U.S. corn purchases. China has now purchased 1.940 million metric tons since last Friday. This has prices higher today but not over bought, as sales are for Sept.1 on out," Hannagan says.
USDA announces Thursday export sales of 540,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to China during the 2011/2012 marketing year. Also announced were export sales of 300,000 metric tons of U.S. corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2011/2012 marketing year.

One CME Group floor trader, requesting anonymity, says the fresh export sales are underpinning today's market. "Today we are higher on Chinese import sales announcement. If you include unknown sales believed to be China than they have taken 3.2 million tons since last winter. USDA only has new crop balance sheet taking ½ million tons," the floor trader says.

The European weather model brings in a blocking ridge into next week, producing a hot and dry crop weather pattern, the floor trader says. Fuel markets are higher with gasoline up 8-10 cents today. "Bearish news includes the Russians offering wheat at $40 dollars a ton discount to US wheat and corn.

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