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Sharply higher grain close

01/31/2011 @ 9:43am

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--Just as they started, the CME Group grain markets used the Egypt protests to close sharply higher Monday.

The March corn futures settled 15 1/2 cents higher at $6.59 1/2. The March soybean contract closed 15 cents higher at $14.13.  The March wheat futures closed 15 cents higher at $8.40 3/4. March soybean meal futures closed $3.30 higher per short ton at $380.30. The March soyoil futures closed $0.61 higher at $57.88.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $2.58 per barrel higher, the dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 68 points.

Tim Hannagan, PFGBest.com senior grain analyst, says it's all about foreign food needs in the gains for grains today. "All the pre-opening talk is of Middle Eastern countries expanding their grain purchases that began two weeks prior, as governments try to stabilize tension over unemployment, food shortages and inflation. Wheat is the
leader, as it's turned into food for human consumption quickly."

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice president, agrees that wheat is the floor leader. "The markets are higher in part on the weaker dollar. But, I think mostly all this talk of food inflation and demand and what is going on in Africa is helping prices," Scoville says. "There has been a lot of demand created out of the Egyptian turmoil, especially for wheat. And ideas are that more is coming and since supplies are tight, away we go.  

Not as much rain in Argentina as expected, although some coming now-and-then, maybe late next weekend. But, overall a much dicier situation than expected late last week, Scoville says. 

"So, I can see the upside.  I don't think it is the world's biggest volume day, at least I am quiet.  Maybe the funds are pounding on this, but my guys are not," Scoville says.



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