October 21, 2008


CBOT Corn Outlook on Tuesday: Down 5-7 cents on profit-taking, outside markets


Chicago Board of Trade corn futures are expected to open lower Tuesday amid outside market weakness and profit-taking following two days of gains.


Corn is called 5 to 7 cents lower. In overnight trading, December corn ended down 7 1/2 cents at US$4.11 per bushel, and March corn ended down 7 1/2 cents at US$4.28 3/4.


The market climbed a total of more than 30 cents Friday and Monday, which should prompt profit-taking, a trader said. Prices initially gained in the overnight session before dropping on commercial selling related to harvest, an analyst said.


A stronger dollar and lower equities should send the market lower, although "overall panic in the pits appears to be subsiding," Farm Futures said in a morning commentary.


Volume has remained low in the market, although Farm Futures noted an increase in open interest of more than 5,000 contracts Monday. Some traders said the market's low last week of US$3.71 in the December contract should hold for a while, although harvest pressure and a lack of bullish news should limit any bounce in corn.


The crop, which has been behind schedule from the outset, continues to lag. The U.S. corn harvest was 29% complete as of Sunday, down from 58% last year and the average of 53%, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday. Analysts had expected the harvest to be about 25% to 35% complete.


Excessive moisture has delayed harvest of the crop, and producers have also put harvesting soybeans atop their priority list.


The DTN Meteorlogix forecast for the U.S. corn belt calls for rain and cool weather to likely delay or disrupt crop harvests through western areas during the next few days. Eastern areas could still do some work for a couple more days.


The next downside price objective is to push and close December prices below major psychological support at US$4.00, a technical analyst said. The next upside price objective is to push and close prices above solid technical resistance at US$4.50.


First resistance for December corn is seen at Monday's high of US$4.20 and then at US$4.25, the technical analyst said. First support is seen at US$4.10 and then at Monday's low of US$4.04.


Country Hedging said a gap in the corn chart remains intact at US$4.48, and if it remains intact, that will be a bearish technical factor for the corn market.