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Grains rally, close higher

Updated: 01/20/2011 @ 2:17pm

Agriculture.com--The CME Group grain markets rallied to close higher Thursday.

The March corn futures settled 12 3/4 cents higher at $6.54. The March soybean contract settled 2 3/4 cents higher at $14.14 1/4.  The March wheat futures closed 6 3/4 cents higher at $8.03 1/2. Soybean meal futures ended $2.00 higher per short ton at $385.30. The March soyoil futures closed $0.43 lower at $57.26.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $2.01 per barrel lower, the dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 13 points.

The markets finished higher, due to a lower dollar, talk of China buying U.S. soybeans, and buying in the corn and wheat markets.

As expected, one CME Group floor trader, requesting anonymity, is hearing talk that China will announce a token 2.0 mln soybean purchase this afternoon. 

That China-buying talk, a falling U.S. Dollar, and more buying in corn and wheat, pushed up all markets.

Otherwise, "I think today's earlier lower market is just a healthy correction. Ethanol margins are flat, I hear. Also, trade coming to the conclusion that soybeans need to rally vs corn," the floor trader says.

Pressure is came from everywhere today, analysts say. Brazil raises rates, there's talk of China raising rates, and selling is seen across the commodity sector.

Tim Hannagan, PFGBest.com senior grain analyst, says the funds are taking profits as well. "Funds are taking profits across the board from crude oil, grains, softs, metals and stocks. No surprise as they are holding near record-long grain positions with huge profits."

These types of profit-taking can be expected, when funds cut fat from their portfolio of investments, Hannagan says. "With grain locked up for a long winters nap and wheat dormant, outside markets, for the first three months of the year, generally set the tone to daily trade."

Hannagan adds, "Each day, we come into work and the first thing we do is look at in order of importance, where's the dollar, crude oil, stocks then metals.Today we entered with a higher dollar and everything else lower setting up a negative day for grains."

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