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Soybean prices close sharply lower

Updated: 01/11/2011 @ 2:21pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--Corn holds its own, barely, while CME Group soybean prices close sharply lower Tuesday.

The March corn futures settled unchanged at $6.07. The March soybean contract closed 23 1/2 cents lower at $13.57. The March wheat futures settled 7 3/4 cents lower at $7.59 1/2. The March soybean meal futures ended $7.70 lower per short ton at $362.90. The March soyoil futures closed $0.52 lower at $56.61.
In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $2.00 per barrel higher, the dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 32 points.

Tim Hannagan, PFGBest.com senior grain analyst, says corn is higher on two fronts. "One, we had two export sales this morning totaling 241,000 metric tons. Two, pre- crop report positioning, on thinking the report again will lower ending stocks, friendly for the corn market."

Soybean pricers started out higher, on news China was in buying 116,000 metric tons of soybeans. But, that market turned lower as pre-report estimates for Wednesday's USDA Crop Report were more neutral, he says. 

"It's all about positioning and posturing ahead of the reports release and risk," Hannagan says.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice-president, says selling in the soybean market is pressuring prices. "I am hearing some 'call' selling in soybeans. Someone sold 1,000 Feb $14.00 calls and 1,000 Mar $14.00 calls.  Other than that not hearing much."

Everyone is anticipating a bullish report tomorrow and they will probably get it.  But whether it will be bullish enough to hold futures here or if we get a short term correction is the question and I don't know," Scoville says.

Scoville adds, "I can see it either way. I think most people kind of feel the way I do and are taking some risk off the table on both sides today.  The normal day before a report-type trade. 

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