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USDA throws corn market a bone

DES MOINES, Iowa (Agriculture.com)--By lowering ending stocks estimates, the USDA released market-friendly corn data Friday. As a result, corn ends sharply higher.

The March corn futures contract closed 20 3/4 cents

high

er at $4.32. The March soybean futures contract settled

4 3/4

c

ents higher at $12.78

. March wheat futures fini

shed 15

cents lower at $5.69 per bushel. The March soymeal futures contract

ended

$0.70 per short ton

lowe

r at $4

13.60

. The

March 

soyoil futures settled $0.27

high

er at $38.23. 

In the outside markets, the NYME

X

c

rude oil is $0.

62 p

er barrel high

e

r, the dollar is lower and the Dow Jones Industrials are

36

points

low

er.

PRODUCTION

In its report, the government pegged the U.S. 2013 corn production at 13.925 billion bushels, compared to the average trade estimate of 14.053 billion and the USDA's December forecast of 13.989 billion bushels.

The USDA marked the U.S. 2013 corn yield average at 158.8 bushels per acre, compared to the average trade estimate of 161.10 bushels per acre and the USDA's December estimate of 160.4 bu./acre.

Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice-president, says the report is certainly helping the corn market.

"Bullish corn, the quarterly stocks and the ending stocks projections the opposite direction than all estimates and corn reacting accordingly.  It's very likely that we have seen a short term low there. The bigger soybean production went right to demand, as expected. Nothing much there but not bearish, or not yet.  Wheat was bearish, no doubt, with reduced feed demand although exports went up a bit, some good news there.  All in all, maybe the grains bottom in here and we trade a little higher.  Beans might have trouble with rallies given South America which are big crops coming right at us," Scoville says.

For soybeans, the USDA pegged the U.S. 2013 production at 3.28 billion bushels, compared to the average trade analysts estimate of 3.27 billion bushels and the USDA's December forecast of 3.258 billion bushels.

ENDING STOCKS

The USDA sees the 2013-14 U.S. corn ending stocks at 1.631 billion bushels vs. the average trade estimate of 1.844 billion bushels and the USDA's December forecast of 1.792 billion.

For soybeans, the 2013-14 U.S. ending stocks are estimated at 150 million bushels, compared to the average trade estimate of 150 million bushels and the USDA's December estimate of 150 million.

Alan Brugler, President Brugler Marketing & Management LLC, says demand will support the corn market.

"The USDA estimated corn yield as expected at 158.8, matching the Brugler500 index projection based on final crop conditions ratings.  Demand continues stout at these bargain basement prices. 

Brugler adds, "Wheat acreage smaller than expected for 2014, continues a pattern of trade over estimating winter wheat plantings." 

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