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Grain prices close lower

Updated: 10/13/2010 @ 2:08pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--Even as the Environmental Protection Agency announced a waiver to increase the ethanol blend into U.S. gasoline, the CME Group grain markets pulled back to close lower Wednesday.

The Dec corn futures settled 9 3/4 cents lower at $5.69 1/4. The Nov. soybean contract settled 2 cents lower at $11.76 1/2. The Dec. wheat futures ended 7 1/4 cents lower at $7.02 3/4.  The Dec. soymeal futures contract settled $4.10 lower at $329.00 per short ton. The Dec. soyoil futures contract closed 63 points higher at $47.58.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil is $1.54 per barrel higher, the dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are up 112 points.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday a waiver for U.S. gasoline to be blended with 15% ethanol vs. the current 10% in motor vehicles 2007 and newer.

Meanwhile, a decision to increase the ethanol blend rate for vehicles 2001-2006 has been deferred, Gina McCarthy, EPA Assistant Administrator told reporters during a press conference.

“More testing is needed. A research of those years will be completed this month. The waiver for smaller vehicles such as motorcycles has been denied,” McCarthy says.

EPA officials say this is not a mandate, it's a permission for blending companies to use ethanol at the 15% level.

During the press conference, McCarthy noted that in 2011 65 million cars will be eligible to burn E15 gasoline. “That equates to one-third of gasoline consumption in the U.S,” McCarthy says.

 Tim Hannagan, PFGBest.com senior analyst, says if the EPA announces the jump to a 15% ethanol blend, corn rallies.

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