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Grain prices end sharply higher

Updated: 04/25/2011 @ 2:27pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--The wetter, cooler weather, delaying U.S. corn planting, keeps the CME Group grain markets higher on the close Monday.

The July corn futures settled 24 cents higher at $7.68 1/2. The July soybean contract closed 6 3/4 cents higher at $13.96 1/2. The July wheat futures settled 26 1/2 cents higher at $8.61 1/4. The July soybean meal futures closed $2.00 per short ton lower at $365.90. The July soyoil futures are $0.09 at $58.82.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $0.13 per barrel lower, the dollar is lower and the Dow Jones Industrials are down 35 points.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice-president, says today's trade is purely about weather.

"Corn is finding support from the Midwest rains and wheat prices are finding support from the dry southern Great Plains, Europe, Russia, China, and western Australia," Scoville says. 

Soybeans had trouble, early, due to ideas of increased plantings potential, he says. "Although it seems a little early yet for that.  But that is what is going on. Mostly a spec-buying the grains and selling the soybean market, with funds doing the same thing," Scoville says. 

Scoville adds, "I have seen some pricing in soybeans from Brazil today too, which is nice for me.  This week will feature a trade dominated by weather, with no real improvement in sight. It is likely that plantings will get farther behind and keep grains prices strong, especially against soy."

The USDA will release its weekly Crop Progress Report at 3pm Monday. The trade expects the report to show a planting rate between 9-14%. 

Meanwhile, due to wet weather possibilities, U.S. corn plantings could be 18 percent or less for next Monday's report, which if realized would make this the third slowest corn planting season ever as of May 1, since 1985, Freese-Notis weather experts say.

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