November 27, 2008


CBOT Corn Review on Wednesday: Inches up; tight range ahead of holiday



Chicago Board of Trade corn futures ended less than a penny higher Wednesday in thin trade ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.


December corn ended up 1/2 cent to US$3.54, March corn ended up 1/2 cent to US$3.71 and May corn ended up 1/2 cent to US$3.82 1/4.


Traders took few risks as the market "flat-lined" heading into the holiday, a trader said. The market traded within a tight range of 6 3/4 cents in the January contract, and was lower most of the day before creeping higher before the close.


Risk Management Commodities senior analyst Mike Zuzolo said corn followed neighboring markets, which have a clearer fundamental picture.


"Clearly the corn continues to be the follower against the beans and the wheat," said Mike Zuzolo said.


Outside markets, including crude oil and U.S. stocks, were higher, adding underlying support for corn, traders added.


Traders said seasonally the market is usually strong the week of Thanksgiving, but that weak demand is limiting any upside potential.


There was conflicting export news for the market Wednesday, traders said. Egypt announced the purchase of 120,000 metric tonnes of U.S. corn, but traders noted that Japan, typically a U.S. customer, has purchased corn from the Black Sea market instead.


The trade is mostly expecting heavy deliveries against the December contract on Friday, which is first notice day. Estimates range from 500 to 3,000 contracts.


Weather is adding light pressure to the market, analysts said, with mostly favorable harvest weather in the U.S. corn belt and rainfall in Argentina, where the crop has faced a bout of hot, dry weather.


The market will close early at 1 p.m. EST on Friday, rather than the normal time of 2:15 p.m. EST.


CBOT oats ended lower. December oats dipped back below US$2, ending down 3 3/4 cents to US$1.99 1/2 per bushel, and March oats ended down 4 1/2 cents to US$2.15.


Ethanol futures were higher. December ethanol ended up US$0.036 to US$1.643 per gallon and January ethanol ended up US$0.024 to US$1.623.


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