CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Friday

US – March Corn finished up 4 at 698 3/4, 4 1/2 off the high and 4 3/4 up from the low. May Corn closed up 4 1/4 at 697. This was 4 3/4 up from the low and 4 off the high.

March corn traded higher into the closing bell but the December contract closed modestly lower on the day. Most of the support throughout the day came from a sharply higher wheat market.

The grain markets were able to shake off mostly negative commodity action today with gold down 30 and crude oil dropping over a dollar lower.

A big rain event is scheduled for the key growing regions of Argentina over the weekend which the trade will monitor closely.

Early forecasts are calling for 75-85 per cent coverage which should provide significant relief for row crops in the region.

Another major winter storm system is set to move across the US Midwest next week which should help depleted soil moisture levels in Iowa and Nebraska.

Basis levels remains firm in the interior of the US but the Gulf of Mexico was steady on the day with sluggish export demand noted.

March Rice finished up 0.115 at 15.835, equal to the high and 0.005 up from the low.

Soy Futures Closed Higher

March Soybeans finished up 8 1/2 at 1426 1/2, 1 1/2 off the high and 11 1/2 up from the low. November Soybeans closed down 3 at 1261 3/4. This was 4 up from the low and 7 3/4 off the high.

March Soymeal closed up 2.8 at 410.0. This was 3.8 up from the low and 1.1 off the high.

March Soybean Oil finished unchanged at 51.7, 0.28 off the high and 0.26 up from the low.

March soybeans traded higher on the day after the slide lower earlier this week. Light profit taking and short covering was noted but demand data has been less than stellar vs. market expectations on the day.

It was reported this morning that China has canceled 250,000 tonnes of US soybeans for 2012/13 marketing year.

Some traders believe more cancelations could be on the way once the Brazilian harvest picks up while other feel additional US purchases may be made next week after China comes back from their holiday.

NOPA pegged January crush at 158.2 million bushels which fell below market estimates of about 160 million bushels and against December crush of 159.9 million bushels.

While the data missed market estimates, many in the trade point to the fact that crush is now up close to 9-10 per cent over the last year while the USDA has crush demand down 5.2 per cent vs. last year.

The data suggests demand may be far stronger than the USDA is projecting which could be a positive for the market in the long term.

Wheat Futures Closed Higher

March Wheat finished up 10 1/4 at 742 1/4, 2 1/4 off the high and 9 1/2 up from the low. May Wheat closed up 8 1/4 at 748 1/2. This was 8 up from the low and 3 1/4 off the high.

KC and Chicago wheat traded higher on the day after yesterday’s impressive export data and thoughts that demand is beginning to pick up for the US.

It was reported late yesterday that a Brazilian flour miller bought 100,000 tonnes of US hard wheat for 30 day shipment which was a positive for the KC market but a storm system is expected to drop a significant amount of snowfall into the western plains next week which tempered some of the bullish trade action.

It was also rumored that China may have been in the market for spring and soft wheat overnight which is seen as a short term positive.

The broader commodity complex was mostly negative throughout the day with metals down sharply and crude oil lost over a dollar in early trade which helped to limit the gains in the grain markets.

March Oats closed down 1 at 379. This was 2 up from the low and 3 1/2 off the high.