March wheat was up 1/4 of a cent late in the overnight session. Outside market forces look bearish this morning as a bounce in the US dollar and further losses in energy and metal markets leaves a bearish tone toward commodity markets. There were no new deliveries against the December contract this morning for the fifth day in a row with month-to-date at 1,444. While outside market forces are bearish for commodity markets, the combined small and large trader net short position in wheat basis the recent Commitments of Traders reports showed a near record net short position. As a result, any news which has traders moving away from commodity markets could actually support increased buying in wheat. March wheat managed to close higher yesterday despite a jump in the US dollar and weakness in gold. After the strong opening, ajump higher in the US dollar shortly after the grain opening sparked a setback in wheat off of the highs, but a strong energy market helped to provide some support. The rally pushed the market to a 4-session high, and the market managed to close firm. Egypt bought 180,000 tonnes of wheat at their spot tender with 60,000 each to Russia, Argentina and France. Prices were steady to higher than recent tenders. Some commercial traders believe that US wheat is getting closer to being competitive on the world market. The US plains look to receive more rain over the near term, which is seen as a slight negative. Ukraine officials have indicated that 22% of the winter grain crop did not emerge and that 34% of the crop which did emerge was rated poor. Even with this setup, the Ukrainian Agriculture Minister raised the grain export forecast for the 2011/12 season to 25-27 million tonnes from a previous estimat of 23-25 million. A general move by fund traders to the sidelines has helped to support the market, but short-covering or risk avoidance is normally not considered a good foundation for a rally.
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