December corn was down 3 3/4 cents late in the overnight session. Outside market forces look negative this morning with a strong US dollar and weakness in metals. Old crop corn has stayed inside of a 35 cent range for more than a month, while new crop 2012 December corn is down as much as 49 1/4 cents off of the November 9th peak. Open interest remains very high, and some traders are nervous that the bearish tilt to outside markets and a weak export tone could spark a long liquidation selling trend from speculators. However, exports represent just 12.7% of total usage, and cash markets in the US remain very strong with basis levels at historic highs in many parts of the country. Ethanol producer margins are historically high as well, which is keeping demand high. Livestock production is profitable, with traders expecting Cattle-on-Feed supply on November 1st to be 4% above last year. Expectations for hog slaughter call for it to be 1% above this year for 2012. However, traditional importers of US corn continue to find alternatives, as the US product is priced well above the competition. December corn closed slightly lower on the session yesterday but managed to close well up from the mid-session lows and 12 1/4 cents above Friday's lows. Weakness coming from outside markets and ideas that the rally Tuesday may have been overdone helped to spark the early selling pressures. A recovery bounce in the stock market and a surge higher in crude oil helped to support a bounce to slightly higher on the day. News of Japan buying 800,000 tonnes of Ukrainian corn and talk of South Korea buying feedwheat helped to limit the advance. In addition, Thailand bought 150,000 tonnes of feedwheat from Australia. Malaysia is tendering for 60,000 tonnes of South American corn. Firm cash basis levels have helped to provide underlying support. Ethanol production for the week ending November 11th averaged 916,000 barrels per day. This is up 0.55% from last week and up 2.35% vs. last year. Corn used in last week's production is estimated at 97.57 million bushels as compared with an average of 96.2 million necessary each week to meet this crop year's USDA estimate. Stocks were 17.11 million barrels, up 4.14% from last week and this suggests implied demand is not as strong as the production would suggest.
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