May corn was trading down 4 cents late in the overnight session. Outside market forces look slightly positive today with a weaker US dollar and a bounce in equity markets. Outside market forces are positive but this has been offset by weakness in wheat and fears of hefty production for the coming year. December corn pushed to the lowest level since January 24th overnight. From the USDA Outlook conference, USDA economists' left planted area unchanged for the new crop season and left yield at the trendline of 164 bushels per acre. Ending stocks were pegged at 1.616 billion bushels vs. 801 million this year and stocks/usage jumps to 12% from 6.3% this season which is the second lowest on record. May corn closed slightly higher on the session yesterday but December corn closed moderately lower on the day and saw the lowest close since January 23rd. A drop in the US dollar and some strength in soybeans plus news of export business helped to support the old crop contracts and offset a further sell-off in wheat and concerns for a large US corn crop for the coming season. Private exporters reported to the USDA that 120,000 tonnes of US corn was sold to China for the 2011/12 season. In addition, sales of 110,744 tonnes of US corn were sold to unknown destination for the 2011/12 season. Traders indicated that a jump in China corn prices in southern China makes imports cost effective. The Argentina exchange sees the corn crop at no more than 20 million tonnes as compared with 21.4 million tonnes as their previous estimate. Ethanol production for the week ending February 17th averaged 919,000 barrels per day. This is down 0.97% vs. last week and up 3.5% vs. last year. Corn used in last week's production is estimated at 97.89 million bushels. Corn use needs to average 94.3 million bushels per week to meet this crop year's USDA estimate of 5 billion bushels. Stocks were 21.54 million barrels. This is up 0.22% vs. last week and up 11.32% vs. last year and up to another new high. At the Outlook conference, the USDA indicated that slowing US fuel demand could pinch ethanol usage and that the blending wall could put a cap of near 13.5 billion gallons for domestic sales. South Korea seeks 55,000 tonnes of optional origin corn. Malaysia seeks 80,000 tonnes of optional origin corn. Spain bought 80,000 tonnes of US feed wheat. Traders see weekly export sales this morning near 1.0 million tonnes from 1.067 million last week.
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