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Grain prices close lower

Updated: 12/30/2010 @ 3:30pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--The CME Group grain markets settled much like they traded most of the trading session Thursday, lower. End-of-year profit-taking and weaker outside market support is pushing the commodities lower, analysts say.

The March corn futures settled 8 cents lower at $6.16. The March soybean contract settled 1 cent lower at $13.76. The March wheat futures closed 14 1/2 cents lower at $7.84 3/4. The March soybean meal futures ended $0.30 lower per short ton at $369.20. The March soyoil futures settled $0.33 higher at $57.31.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $1.99 per barrel lower, the dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are down 35 points.

Tim Hannagan, PFBest.com senior grain analyst, says now the Argentine weather forecasts call for rain, putting pressure on the soybean market.

"There is talk of rain next week in Argentina by mid-week. That will keep traders from buying into the weekend," Hannagan says. Plus, today's Weekly Export Sales Report showed a drop in exports last week for all grains. With the month and year-ending Friday, that leaves only sellers today, after Tuesday saw new highs for the year on the grains."

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