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Tim Hanngan: Funds buy and sell

Agriculture.com Staff 01/21/2011 @ 8:05pm

Friday brought us our weekly export sales report, showing 1.054 million metric tons of wheat was sold last week. This was the highest weekly sales since last August, when the Russian wheat crop failure prompted panic-buying on the world market. 

The trade wonders if the recent crop failure in the world's number five wheat exporter, Australia, will lead to an accelerated buying pattern, especially since the world crops in the US, Canada and Europe don't come to harvest until May. 

Support on March wheat lies at 7.75 with resistance Friday at 8.10. A close over 8.10 sets up 8.65 is next stop. 

Corn weekly export sales were 904 t.m.t., up 50% from our four-week average, with key Asian sales flat at 197 t.m.t versus weekly averages of 400 t.m.t. or more. Interesting month for corn with funds taking profits twice. They took $.35 between January 3 and 10 and $.40 out of the market from this past Tuesday's high to Thursday's low. But, of course profits are put back in long again as the common theme prevails that corn needs to find a price high enough to convince farmers to plant more acres and slow demand as ending stocks projected at 745 m.b. is about a 40 day supply. One dry summer season and talk of running out of corn into 2012 will surface. 

Support for March corn lies at 6.40 with resistance at 6.84. There are not a lot of supply/demand fundamentals, now. So, funds look to continue to make profits on buying surges, then taking profits. 

Soybean export sales were 732 t.m.t., up 48% from the week-prior and 22% over the four-week average. Ignore the week prior as that was crop report week by the USDA and sales are always slow on report week. China was in for 493 t.m.t. versus 217 the week prior. Good numbers for demand. 

Soybeans are in their key yield time in Argentina. So, weather is critical to them, while corn pretty much ignores their weather as it is past pollination. WX RISK.com, the weather site, sees Argentina grain fields hot and dry through Tuesday. Then, rain enters with wide variances on total rainfall. So far, every rain event has been less than expected. This could set up for a lower opening Monday. March soybeans support lies at 14.00 then 13.75 and resistance is 15.00.

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Tim Hannagan is a senior grain analyst with PFGBest.com, a Chicago-based brokerage firm. Hannagan is a weekly contributor for Agriculture.com.


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