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Soybean prices close higher

Updated: 01/27/2011 @ 2:22pm

Agriculture.com--The CME Group grain markets closed mostly lower, with the exception of the soybean market Thursday. 

The March corn futures settled 7 cents lower at $6.50 3/4. The March soybean contract ended 14 cents higher at $13.99 1/2.  The March wheat futures closed 10 1/4 cents lower at $8.46 1/4. March soybean meal futures settled $3.00 higher per short ton at $377.40. The March soyoil futures settled $0.71 higher at $57.41.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $1.60 per barrel lower, the dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 3 points.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice-president, says the soybean market is higher due to the U.S. product being competitive on the world market.

"Soybeans are up with strong CIF values at the Gulf and pretty strong export sales.  On the other hand, the weather is getting better in Argentina and production ideas seem to be creeping higher. Brazil looks to have a great crop. So, supplies could become somewhat of a burden soon.  Not today, though, I guess.  Seems to be mostly speculative buying. The commercials were selling soybean option straddles," Scoville says.

Wheat was down, despite real good export sales and some not so special weather in the Great Plains, Scoville says. "I think maybe the market is behaving poorly due to Davos and the political pressure there, but I am not real sure.  I see no real reason for wheat to turn down otherwise, other than it has had a nice run already this week and some profit-taking is likely after such a run."

Tim Hannagan, PFGBest.com senior grain analyst, says the grain markets have been affected by demand numbers.

"It's all about the weekly export sales demand report today. Wheat exports were good but lower than expected at 894,000. So, wheat prices remain off a little," Hannagan says.

Corn sales were weak at 414,000 metric tons, down 54% from the week prior with corn prices falling 6 to 9 cents, he says. 

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