July corn was trading near 4 1/2 cents higher into 7:30 AM central time. Outside market forces look positive today with a recovery in gold and crude oil and some stability and higher trade in equity markets. China futures were up slightly overnight. A bounce back in cash basis levels and talk that producer selling is still very tight helped to turn corn higher yesterday which seems to be an impressive feet given the extremely negative macro economic sentiment and the outlook for badly needed rains next week. It still looks like the ridge will break down and offer some rain for much of the Midwest with lighter amounts for the southern areas a possibility. The market seems to have absorbed the rains next week but amounts and coverage will be important as crop conditions have likely deteriorated for much of the Midwest this week and follow-up rains will be important into early June. Better than expected ethanol production had some traders talking about higher usage for the old crop season than the USDA forecast and possibly an improvement in exports. Mixed views on the extended weather outlook and firm cash markets helped provide underlying support yesterday on a day when most commodity markets were under heavy selling pressure. There are some concerns for too much dryness in May; especially for areas which miss out on rains next week after a hot and dry trend over the weekend. Ethanol production for the week ending May 18th was up 1.7% from the previous week and up 1.9% from last year and the weekly total was the highest since February 17th. Corn used in last week's production is estimated at 97.9 million bushels as compared with 93.7 million bushels per week on average to meet the USDA production. For weekly export sales in the morning, traders see corn sales near 1.125 million tonnes as compared with 865,100 tonnes last week. Israel is tendering to buy 25,000 tonnes of corn.