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Exports Weigh on Corn, but Boost Bean Prices

January 25, 2013

Agricultural commodity prices consolidated for much of the week with limited price change. Corn prices ended the week up just over $.06 per bushel, soybean prices were down just over $.10, while wheat prices firmed up nearly $.15.

Preventing prices from moving above the recent highs of $7.35 basis, the nearby March 2012 corn contract has had weak demand from the production of ethanol, along with poor exports. This morning’s weekly export report showed only 5.5 million bushels of old-crop corn was sold last week, well below the pace needed to reach the current USDA forecast. Also weighing on prices today are forecasts for favorable rains in Argentina and Southern Brazil for late next week.

Spot soybean prices did rebound to close the week, as forecasts for heavy rain across Northern Brazil next week threaten to pose harvest delays. Also providing a boost was this morning’s strong export sales report. Overall for the week soybean prices were lower as precipitation in South America is expected to improve overall crop prospects, providing added competition for the United States in the global marketplace. Since the January USDA report, spot soybeans have run into stiff resistance just above the $14.50 level.

Wheat prices were higher this week, supported by a strong export figure this morning which showed nearly 24 million bushels of wheat was sold last week. In addition, forecasts for a continued dry pattern for the U.S. southern plains further diminishing U.S. winter wheat crop prospects.

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