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Grain prices close lower

Updated: 02/03/2011 @ 5:45pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--A strengthening U.S. Dollar prevailed as the pressure applier for the CME Group grain markets down Thursday.

The March corn futures settled 6 3/4 cents lower at $6.62 1/2. The March soybean contract closed 8 1/2 cents lower at $14.35 1/2.  The March wheat futures ended 4 cents lower at $8.59. March soybean meal futures settled $0.50 lower per short ton at $386.40. The March soyoil futures settled $0.47 lower at $58.78.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $0.06 per barrel higher, the dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 20 points.

The stronger dollar trumped the friendly Export Sales Report Thursday, analysts say.

Don Roose, U.S. Commodities president, says the stronger dollar started trading at a lower rate, the demand news tried to recover the markets, then the dollar battled back.

"End-user and fund buying did drive us back up from a lower start," Roose says. "But, the market is setback acting mature looking at the dollar strength."

The temperatures in the U.S. Plains states, Wednesday night, didn't get quite as cold as forecast, Roose says. "Therefore, the wheat winter-kill damage maybe wasn't as bad as the trade thought. But, it's still a crop that is suffering."

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