March corn was trading up 1/2 of a cent late in the overnight session. Outside market forces look a bit negative today with a strong US dollar and weakness in gold. The dry outlook into a period when more of the South American crop will be pollinating plus increased concerns that the USDA will lower production in the January and final Crop Production report has helped to support the strong gains in corn. While the market has rallied sharply, basis levels have stayed steady and even improved by 1-2 cents yesterday which is also seen as a positive. Talk that Argentina losses could already be 5-6 million tonnes off of the December USDA estimate of 29 million tonnes has helped to provide underlying support. The smaller South American production has traders revising US exports higher and 2011/12 ending stocks even lower. If US production is also revised lower, many traders see extremely tight stocks and this has supported a continued rally in the July/Dec spread up to 72 1/2 cents July. March corn closed sharply higher on the session yesterday and has now closed higher for the 8th session in a row. March is now up by as much as 70 cents from the December 15th lows. The lack of rain in the Argentina forecast for the next ten days was enough to spark a lack of new selling interest yesterday and the market pushed higher late in the session despite weak signals from outside markets and a lower close for soybeans. The weather outlook for Argentina remains threatening to yield with increasing temperatures and a lack of rain in the forecast for the next 9-10 days. Traders see wet weather after 10 days but this appeared too uncertain to spark much in the way of selling. The turn down in gold, the stock market, energy and the euro currency were seen as negative forces. Weakness in soybeans was seen as a limiting factor for the upside. There are some concerns that the December 30th cyclone in southern India could damage some corn, groundnut and rice production.
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