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GRAIN MARKETS: Soybeans higher for second day

Corn flat, spring wheat leads wheat markets higher.

Soybeans closed higher Friday for the second straight day, but this was not enough to overcome losses a few days earlier and the market was about a penny lower during the week ending December 16, 2016.

 

Corn closed almost unchanged for the day, with March down ¼ cent, but was also lower for the week. In the wheat, spring wheat increased its premium to winter wheat by rising about 6 cents on Friday. SRW wheat was unchanged and HRW was up 2 cents.

 

Outside markets lacked the enthusiasm evident earlier in the week last week. The dollar was lower as it pulled back from its recent 14-year high and that helped gold, which was up $10 an ounce. Crude oil was up about $1 a barrel when the crops closed.

 

In the weather, cold has blanketed much of the Midwest and snow was expected in the Northern Plains, Central Plains and Midwest.

 

Exports – USDA, Reuters:

- Unknown destinations bought 7.5 million bushels of 2016/2017 soybeans.

- South Korea’s corn processing industry bought 60,000 metric tons of U.S. corn overnight at $191.77 per ton, c&f, for March 5-25 shipment.

- A South Korean state group seeks to buy 90,000 metric tons of non-GMO soybeans from optional origins for 2018 arrival. The tender deadline is Dec. 26.

- Jordon seeks to buy 20,000 to 25,000 metric tons of optional origin milling wheat for second-half February shipment. The tender closes Dec. 19.

 

Corn closed a fraction lower Friday in light trading with March coming to rest just above support at the 20- and 50- day moving averages, which converged at about $3.56.

 

Ethanol futures were down 2 to 4 cents a gallon when the crops closed following a recent report showing increased production and larger stocks. January ethanol futures were down about 4 cents at $1.57 a gallon in early afternoon.  

 

Corn was higher at China’s Dalian market with January at the equivalent of $5.79 a bushel, while European corn for January eased to $4.37. The prices reflect conversions from local currencies and from metric tons.

 

The CBOT estimated Friday’s corn futures volume at 158,814 compared with Thursday’s actual of 197,136. Open interest in Thursday’s lower market decreased by 708 with March’s down 1,516 and May’s up 992.

 

March corn closed down ¼ cent at $3.56-1/4 per bushel and May dropped ¼ to $3.63.

 

What to Look For: Argentina crop areas are fairly dry into the next week but forecasts call for rain in two weeks. Corn planting is largely finished in the south, while pollination may be under way in central Argentina and grain filling in the north..

 

Soybeans finished about 7 cents higher Friday in light trading. The daily export sale to unknown destinations and recent strong weekly export numbers were supportive.

 

The January contract is now above key moving averages as it topped the 20-day average on Friday. The market is still a ways from the 70-overbought level on relative strength charts, closing Friday at 56.

 

In Asia, China’s soybeans for January were a little lower at the equivalent of $17.30 after recent contract highs, while other months were higher amid strong crush margins. Malaysian palm oil for January was higher at the equivalent of 32.32 cents a lb. Canadian canola was firm while European rapeseed markets eased.

 

The CBOT estimated soybean futures volume for Friday at 167,332 compared with Thursday’s actual volume of 275,975. Open interest in Thursday’s higher market decreased by 2,374 and included a decrease of 9,087 in January and an increase of 3,337 in March.

 

January soybeans settled up 7-3/4 at $10.36-3/4 per bushel and March up 7-1/2 at $10.46-3/4.

 

What to Look For: While export sales have supported the soybean market, foreign buyers will soon shift to South America where early Brazilian soybeans will be available by late January.

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