May corn was trading 3 1/4 cents lower 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 soybean rally and better export demand news recently has helped to support the recent strong gains. Ethanol production is also running at a pace to exceed the USDA estimate for the year but after several weeks of poor plant margins and record ethanol stocks, production looks to slide in the weeks just ahead. The US weather will be a more important factor in the weeks ahead and the Midwest and delta look to receive rain systems which might help alleviate some of the dryness fears in the western Corn Belt. May corn managed to close slightly higher yesterday after choppy and two-sided trade. December corn closed sharply higher on the session and up to the highest close since February 8th. The market saw some solid buying support early in the session to push futures up to the highest level since January 11th but a turn negative in outside market forces helped to spark a sell-off to lower on the day into the mid-session. The USDA announced a sale of 120,000 tonnes of US corn to Mexico for the 2012/13 season. South Korea seeks 420,000 tonnes of US or optional origin corn. Ethanol production for the week ending February 24th averaged 896,000 barrels per day. This is down 2.5% vs. last week and up 1.6% vs. last year. Total Ethanol production for the week was 6.272 million barrels. Corn used in last week's production is estimated at 95.44 million bushels. Corn use needs to average 94.3 million bushels per week to meet this crop year's USDA estimate. Stocks were 22 million barrels which is a record high and up 2.1% vs. last week and up 15% vs. last year. For the second day in a row, there were no deliveries against the March futures.
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