March corn was trading 7 1/4 cents lower late in the overnight session. Outside market forces look slightly negative today with a strong US dollar and weakness in energy markets. March corn is already as much as 15 3/4 cents off of yesterday's highs. Ideas that the South America crop losses have stabilized and some profit-taking selling has helped to pull the market off of the highs. March corn closed slightly higher on the session yesterday but well down from the early highs. Funds were noted as active buyers but the steady buying slowed early and profit-taking emerged to pressure. The market surged to the highest level since the January USDA reports early. Sharply higher trade in equity markets plus a sharp drop in the US dollar helped to support. Ideas that a snowstorm might improve soil conditions in Iowa and Nebraska may have helped to spark some of the profit-taking selling. Ethanol production for the week ending January 27th averaged 939,000 barrels per day, up 0.54% vs. last week and up 3.4% vs. last year. Production was higher than expected given the negative profit margins. Total Ethanol production for the week was 6.573 million barrels. Corn used in last week's production is estimated at 100.02 million bushels as compared with 94.7 million bushels necessary each week to meet this crop year's USDA estimate of 5 billion bushels. Stocks were 20.945 million barrels which was up 5.7% vs. last week and up 10.8% vs. last year to a new record high. For the weekly export sales report for release this morning, traders see sales near 825,000 tonnes from 1.04 million tonnes last year. Brazil exported 852,500 tonnes of corn in January from 814,300 tonnes in December. As a longer-term factor, the USDA may be looking at ways to entice more US producers to idle land with 6.5 million acres set to expire from the Conservation Reserve Program on September 30th. A China grain official tried to play down possible China feedgrain imports in the years ahead sensing a global concern over the possibility of ramped up imports in order to expand their own meat and dairy operations.
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