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Wheat closes higher

Updated: 04/19/2011 @ 2:13pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--The upcoming Easter Holiday, profit-taking sends the CME Group corn and soybean markets to a lower close Tuesday.

The July corn futures settled 2 3/4 cents lower at $7.57. The July soybean contract closed 1 3/4 cents lower at $13.54. The July wheat futures ended 10 1/4 cents higher at $8.21. The May soybean meal futures closed $1.40 per short ton lower at $346.40. The May soyoil futures settled $0.15 higher at $58.16.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $0.56 per barrel higher, the dollar is lower and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 51 points. Gold hit $1,500 an ounce for the first time, ever.

The market continues to eye weather closely, one CME Group floor trader, requesting anonymity, says. "A little rain on the extended 10-day weather forecast for the Panhandle makes me leery of pushing higher in the wheat market. But, we need rain in EU to calm markets as well."

Dec corn price may stall on Thursday, with option expiration inhibiting rallies in the May contract, he says. "Also, there is fear that planting weather could change. Three days is a long time to wait for next forecast," the trader says.

He adds, "Putting a high on it technically, I can't get Dec above $6.90 per bushel, but weather is key. The next three weeks are the most important and if the current wet pattern persists what do you use for yield?"

Keep in mind that last year the USDA acknowledged a fast start to planting with an above trend yield on their first report. "I wonder what they will do this year," the trader asks.

Tim Hannagan, PFGBest.com senior grain analyst, says the wheat market is leading the way.

"Monday's USDA crop condition report confirmed that the winter wheat crop is in trouble. This pushed wheat higher pulling corn and beans along. But corn also had a crop progress report show planting under expectations. And with heavy rains this week, corn looks to fall well behind the 5 and 10 year average. That lends market thoughts that if that continues we could see lower yields on late planted corn or acres eventually switched to beans," Hannagan says.

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