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Grains close mostly lower

Updated: 12/09/2010 @ 2:02pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--After trading both sides of zero, the CME Group grain markets closed mostly lower Thursday.

The March corn futures settled 1/2 of a cent lower at $5.74 1/2. The Jan. soybean contract closed 16 3/4 cents lower at $12.79 1/4. The March wheat futures settled 4 1/2 cents higher at $7.88 1/2. The January soybean meal futures closed $7.60 per short ton lower at $339.50. The January soyoil closed $0.30 lower at $54.15. 

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $0.09 per barrel higher, the dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are down 33 points.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice-president, says today's trade, though hitting both sides of zero, was a slow session.  "It seems, almost, as if the market has gone into a 'holiday' mode already. But, I think a lot of it has to do with the supply and demand estimates to be released in the morning. Just real quiet with no one doing too much.  

Friday's USDA December Supply/Demand Report, to be released at 7:30am CST, is expected to be friendly to the markets. 

"But, I wonder if the trade needs to wait until next month, for that bullish report.  All I know is that it is very hard to get people interested in doing something until tomorrow, right now. So, people are holding back," Scoville says. 

Scoville adds, "Regarding today's price action, I think pressure on the beans is coming from the CONAB and ABIOVE production estimates showing that Brazil will produce.  I expected high numbers from both as the rains in Brazil seem timely now, after a late start.  Corn is holding better on CONAB lower production estimates for corn.  Wheat should be better, period.  The export news overnight favored corn and wheat more than the beans, but were nothing much either way." 

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