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Grain prices close higher

Updated: 08/27/2010 @ 1:49pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--The CME Group grain markets closed higher off of strong demand and lower U.S. corn yields Friday.

The Dec corn futures settled 4 cents higher at $4.36. The Nov. soybean contract ended 11 1/2 cents higher at $10.26. The Dec. wheat futures settled 6 1/2 cents higher at $6.95. The Dec. soymeal futures contract closed $1.20 per short ton higher at $299.50, and Dec. soyoil up 72 points at $40.80.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $1.76 per barrel higher, the dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 148 points.

Though China announced Friday it's not needing to import more corn, this isn't a China market, one trader says. "It's about stats. How much carryover, acreage, yields, etc. We won't know that until the USDA's Sept. 10 report."

Though it's early, some southern Corn Belt corn yields are being reported as below expectations. The corn was hurt by too much rain, cutting yield and test weight. 

Dale Plumer, a grain merchandiser for JBS United in Pittsfield, Illinois, says corn is coming in with damage. "We average 185 bu./acre each year, and this year will be about that, maybe below. We simply had too much rain and then the recent extreme heat caused damage."

Plumer adds, "I think this corn market is probably getting support from these early lower than expected yields." 

Tim Hannagan, PFGBest.com senior analyst, says low yield reports will be the focus of the markets, for awhile.

"We're hearing of central Illinois and Indiana corn yields being very disappointing."

Hannagan adds, "Just a note, the last four Friday's saw corn and beans close higher or at or near the high of the week, then trade higher on the Sunday night trade, followed by higher prices on the Monday opening day session, but sell off the Monday highs and trade lower into Tuesday. Today's market looks very familiar."

Looking forward, to turn price charts bullish and avoid another leg down in prices, December corn needs a close over 4.40, Hannagan says. November beans need to close over 10.20 and December wheat a close over 7.30.

"If the market fails to correct, next week's strength will come from southern Delta yield results coming in much lower than expected. After all, that area was the hottest and driest." 

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