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Soy, wheat close lower

Updated: 01/06/2012 @ 2:08pm

The CME Group corn market barely stayed above negative territory, as soybean and wheat prices closed lower Friday.

Rain chances increased slightly for South American crop regions, putting pressure on the soybean market's finish.

The March corn futures closed unchanged at $6.43 1/2. The March soybean contract finished 12 1/2 cents lower at $11.96 1/2. The March wheat futures finished 4 1/2 cents lower at $6.24 3/4. The March soymeal futures closed $0.80 per short ton lower at $312.40. The March soyoil futures endede $0.94 lower at $51.12.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $0.30 per barrel lower, the dollar is higher and the Dow Jones Industrials are down 42 points.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice president, says Friday's trade is slow. "It's mostly just specs trading back and forth. Export sales were poor and a reason to sell, and the Dollar Index made new contract highs and offered another reason to sell," he says.  

The weather in Argentina and southern Brazil is still too dry and is the big reason to buy he says.  

"Action for me has been very slow today, and it seems that way around the office. So, I think most traders are content to take what they got and see what happens over the weekend with weather and demand," he says.

Scoville adds, "We also got the annual USDA report next week with most looking for a small cut in corn production and mostly about unchanged beans production. That report is a big one and could keep things quiet until Tuesday. So, between demand and USDA and South America weather no one knows what to do."

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