May corn was trading 1 1/4 cents higher late in the overnight session. Outside market forces look slightly positive today with firm equity markets and higher trade for metal and energy markets. The positive technical action for old crop corn and a turn up from the recent downtrend for new crop corn helped to provide some underlying support for the market this week. Better than expected old crop demand from China has clashed with fears of slowing ethanol production and record corn production for the coming season to help stabilize. Traders see the lack of South America exportable surplus corn as a factor which could help boost US exports and tighten old crop ending stocks by 50-75 million bushels as a bullish force for old crop contracts. There were no deliveries against the March corn contract this morning and most traders were looking for zero deliveries but there are a few who expected up to 50. Profit margins for a typical Iowa ethanol plant remain deep in the red this past week and this has helped keep a lid on rallies. The Ukrainian Agriculture Minister sees a sharp rise in corn plantings this season to near 4.5 to 5.0 million hectares from 3.6 million last year. May corn closed sharply higher on the session yesterday and experienced the highest close since January 11th which was the day before the bearish January USDA reports. Tightness in the cash market and a positive tone from outside market forces supported an early rally. Strong gains in the wheat market were also seen as a positive force for corn prices. In addition, a sharp break in the US dollar and higher trade in metal markets helped to reinforce early gains. Snow in the northwestern areas of the Corn Belt was seen as helpful to soil conditions into the spring.