March corn was up 2 1/2 cents late in the overnight session. Outside markets are quiet. The market found support overnight from talk of continued strong world demand for corn plus ideas that feed usage in the US will be high this week and next week as another cold blast enters the central part of the country. In addition, the US Grains Council indicates that China may import as many as 9 million tonnes this year due to tight stocks. They indicate that China, which normally keeps about 30% of its needs on hand, currently has a little more than 5%, which could lead to imports of 3-9 million tonnes. The market tested the contract highs, set on Wednesday of this week, early in the session yesterday, but weakness in energy markets, a strong US dollar and ideas that the south American crops are doing well helped spark long liquidation selling and a moderately lower close on the day. Uncertainties in Egypt helped spark the early weakness, but better than expected exports and continued concerns for tightening ending stocks estimates helped support the market and pulled it higher early. The rally fell short of Wednesday's contract highs, however. Weekly export sales for corn came in at 1.166 million tonnes for the current marketing year and 69,300 tonnes for the next marketing year for a total of 1.236 million tonnes, which was about twice the expectated level. Cumulative corn sales stand at 59.1% of the USDA forecast for 2010/11 marketing year versus a 5 year average of 59.5%. Sales of 654,000 metric tonnes are needed each week to reach the USDA forecast. Open interest for corn has reached a new all-time high at 1,688,492 contracts, up 19,376 contracts for the day.
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