March corn was trading 4 1/4 cents lower late in the overnight session. Outside market forces look slightly supportive this morning with higher equity and energy markets and a weak US dollar. With a good rain event still in the forecast for the coming weekend in Argentina, traders see the crop losses stabilizing and there is some hope that the late planted crops in Brazil and in parts of Argentina will see improving crop conditions. For many fields, the rain may be too late but traders feel that the sharp run-up to the January highs priced-in significant damage. South Korea is in the market for 110,000 tonnes of corn. The United Arab Emirates bought 20,000 tonnes of Ukrainian corn. The very poor condition of the Ukrainian winter wheat crop has officials suggesting that producers increase planted area to corn by 700,000 hectares for 2012 to 4.3 million hectares. Ukraine produced a record corn crop of 22.8 million tonnes on 3.5 million hectares last year. March corn closed higher on the session yesterday but weather uncertainties seem to have kept the aggressive buyers and sellers quiet. Mid-day weather models showed some areas with less rain for the coming weekend and others with more rain and this did not help the bulls or the bears. If coverage is wide for the Friday through Sunday system, however, traders see any rain as easing crop stress. The surge higher in gold, energy markets and equity markets led by a 4% jump in China stock market helped to support many commodity markets early yesterday. While the forecast is still drier, many weather traders are looking for 1/2 to 1 inch of rain into the weekend in Argentina and if the coverage is good, traders see only isolated areas in stressful condition. Weekly export inspections totaled 30.05 million bushels which was near the low end of trade expectations and lower than the 31.2 million necessary each week to reach the USDA projection for the year. Talk of a large trade house buying soybeans and selling corn may have been a factor to pressure the market late.
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