May corn was up 2 1/4 cents late in the overnight session. Outside markets look positive today with higher energy and metal markets. There were 4 deliveries against the March contract overnight. With solid export sales, a potential slowdown of grain movement from Argentina and a series of rain events across the lower Midwest, Delta and southwest which will leave the ground saturated into the late March, there are continued concerns for tightening supply and a lack of news which would suggests demand is slowing. In fact, the run higher in gasoline prices plus lower natural gas prices only boosts margins for ethanol producers. May and July corn saw sharply higher trade, new contract high closes and a close near the highs of the session yesterday with fund traders noted as active buyers. Solid weekly export sales, a disruption at export ports in Argentina and a recovery from the weak price action Wednesday helped support solid gains in the corn market. Weekly export sales for corn came in above 1 million tonnes for the 5th week in a row at 1.08 million tonnes for the current marketing year and 121,700 for the next marketing year for a total of 1.202 million. Old crop sales of just 576,000 metric tonnes are needed each week to reach the USDA forecast. Japan, Mexico and Cuba were the strongest buyers. The slow harvest in Brazil for soybeans could cause some problems for the second corn crop for some areas of Brazil where corn is planted after early harvested soybeans. December corn closed on the highs and had the second highest close for the life-of-contract. The close was still 7 1/4 cents below the contract highs. Traders will monitor the USDA supply/demand report for Thursday and all eyes will be on key reports at the end of the month for planted acreage and grain stocks.
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