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Sell-off plunges grain markets

Updated: 05/05/2011 @ 1:37pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--With a broad commodity sell-off, the CME Group grain and soybean markets closed sharply lower Thursday. 

The July corn futures settled 20 3/4 cents lower at $7.08 3/4. The July soybean contract settled 30 1/4 cents lower at $13.21 3/4. The July wheat futures closed 18 cents lower at $7.54. The July soybean meal futures closed $5.00 per short ton lower at $347.50. The July soyoil futures settled $1.44 lower at $55.73.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $8.29 per barrel lower, the dollar is higher and the Dow Jones Industrials are down 72 points.

Joe Bedore, FC Stone's CME Group floor manager, says the market is seeing a technical sell-off. "We filled the gap in corn at $7.01 1/4, something we have been preaching all week. So, now we'll see if this sell-off has any legs to it," Bedore says.

Informa, a private analyst firm, will release new acreage numbers tomorrow. 

"We'll see if they are believable. Otherwise, the outside markets are going against us. The wheat market, with plenty supplied worldwide, is in the worst shape. We may be $2.00 overpriced on wheat. And soybeans don't have a bullish story either, with any acreage shifts meaning more bean acres," Bedore says.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice-president, says poor export sales numbers didn't help, but this sell-off has much more to do with macros than anything else.  "Specs of all kinds, including funds, are liquidating longs, in part based on macroeconomic news of a potential slow down in the recovery, and in part for margin call reasons," Scoville says.

The export sales were not any good, but that is just throwing gas on the fire, he says.  "The selling is across the broad range of commodities and not just confined to grains or even just the nearby grains, so you have to look farther afield for reasons to tank.  Futures have now either exceeded or at least come very close to some initial projections for me for the down move, so it is possible that we will bounce out of here," Scoville says.

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Prices drop 05/05/2011 @ 9:50am So I guess it does not matter that farmers can't get the crop in the field then?

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Mike McGinnis Re: Re: Prices drop 05/05/2011 @ 11:29am Not yet anyway. We'll see. Maybe next week's Crop Progress planting number will shake up the market. Mike

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