December corn is trading 1 3/4 cents lower near 7:30 am CST. There were no September corn deliveries overnight. Profit taking was noted ahead of the holiday weekend and the Federal Reserve Chairman's speech in Jackson Hole, WY today. Dalian corn traded higher overnight. The US Dollar is trading sharply lower to start the day and US Stocks are set to open higher. Pressure in the corn market was also linked to a weaker corn market after Russian officials announced no plans to ban wheat exports.

December corn was trading steady to slightly lower overnight after falling near the close of yesterday's session. Corn was supported by a strong wheat and soybean market. The grain markets have come under a considerable amount of pressure this morning following negative comments by Russia's Agriculture Minister before positive outside forces supported a recovery. The minister suggested that ban on wheat exports was unlikely as long as he was in charge and the government pegged their grain harvest forecast between 70-75 million tonnes vs. previous estimates of 75 million tonnes. The news sent wheat lower and corn followed.

Volume was over 200,000 contracts yesterday which was somewhat better than this week, however still below "normal" levels. Open interest declined 13,373 contracts as traders evened up positions ahead of The Federal Reserve Chairman's speech in Jackson Hole, WY today and before the 3-day holiday weekend. Volume has been light across all of the commodity and equity markets this week.

Corn basis bids are steady to slightly lower across the Corn Belt. Pressure was seen in areas of the US where harvest is underway and physical corn movement picks up. Council Bluff, IA saw a decline of 11 cents. Basis was steady at ethanol processor locations as production levels remain firm. Most locations have moved bids over to the December corn contract following "First Notice Day". Decatur, IL is posting bids of 40 cents over the December corn contract. Gulf of Mexico basis was steady after the Port of New Orleans shut down due to Hurricane Isaac and barge freight values strengthened.

Hurricane Isaac is slowly advancing towards the northwest and is blanketing Arkansas and southern Missouri with rain at the moment. The storm has been moving at a pace of just 5-6 miles per hour while at the same time dumping impressive amounts of rainfall everywhere it goes. The 1-5 day forecast calls for 4-6 inches of rainfall for Arkansas, Illinois, and Indiana. The high wind is expected to die down as it moves north but weak corn could still be blown over. Harvest progress will unfortunately be delayed in these areas. Furthermore, temperatures this week in Nebraska and South Dakota have reached 100 degrees and now wildfire alerts have been issued for areas of Northwest Nebraska. This could have an impact on hay and pasture in the area. A lack of rain in South Dakota over the past few weeks has caused a steep decline in conditions. Extremely weak export sales data and soft domestic feed markets remain a drag on price gains but the outlook for a smaller production estimate for the September USDA report has helped provide underlying support. Volume is expected to be light today ahead of the Federal Reserve Chairman's speech this morning.

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