December corn was trading near unchanged late in the overnight session. Outside markets look positive today with a weaker US dollar and a surge higher in gold and silver. The surge higher and limit-up close in corn yesterday leaves the trade with expanded trading limits today. Traders remain nervous that actual corn yield could come in well below trade expectations. Photos of corn crops which look plush from the road but are showing only partially pollinated ears have caused traders who were looking for only a minor drop in yield to revise their estimates lower. Traders are looking for cooler and wetter weather into the weekend, but that is likely to just stabilize the crop at a lower yield level, not offer any chance of improvment. The damage done from the heat is likely permanent. Early in the week there was talk of yield coming in near the 155-156 level, but now there are concerns that the average could be down near 150. If we assume a yield the same as last year at 152.8 and leave the demand numbers unchanged from the July USDA report, ending stocks could slip to just 373 million bushels, with a stocks/usage ratio of 2.8%, both record lows. December corn pushed higher for much of the session yesterday to close up the 30 cent limit and above $7.00 for only the 4th time in the life of the contract. The market saw across the board buying throughout the session despite the sharp break in the US stock market, a stronger US dollar, sharply lower interest rates and weak global economic news. The negative tone to outside market forces plus news that the weekly crop conditions held steady over the past week helped to spark the lower opening, but buying emerged and corn led the rest of the grain markets higher on the day. Talk that the state of Iowa had the hottest July in 56 years added support, as traders traded stories of lush-looking crops from the highway having pollination issues that were apparant once producers got into the fields and examined the ears more closely. Des Moines reached 99 degrees yesterday afternoon, as the heat hung around for a few more days than expected.
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