December 4, 2008


CBOT Corn Review on Wednesday: Holds steady; lacks fundamental directives



Corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade ended Wednesday's session with a steady to lower undertonnee, chopping around amid a lack of fresh fundamental news.


December corn ended down 1/2 cent at US$3.32 per bushel March corn ended unchanged at US$3.48 1/4.


The market struggled to find its way Wednesday, with more of a neutral tonnee in outside markets and not much fresh news coming in to direct prices, said Shawn McCambridge, senior grains analyst with Prudential Bache in Chicago.


A lot of traders are staying on the sidelines in the absence of new directives, willing to defend positions, but not initiate new ones, McCambridge added.


Overall activity was light, with futures testing both sides of unchanged during the day. The market continues to receive pressure from sluggish demand, but oversold conditions provided a boost to attract buying, analysts said.


Looking ahead, a choppy atmosphere looks to be the near- term theme, until fresh fundamental news surfaces or outside markets make an aggressive move, McCambridge said.


The DTN Meteorlogix weather forecast said very little rainfall is forecast for southern Brazil and Argentina during the last half of this week. In southern Brazil, drier and somewhat warmer temperatures will reduce available soil moisture and Argentina will be dry as well. However, recent rains have provided a notable improvement in soil moisture.


In pit trades, speculative fund buying was estimated at 4,000 lots.


On tap for Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled at 8:30 a.m. EST to issue its weekly export sales report. Corn sales are estimated at 350,000 to 550,000 tonnes.


Ethanol futures closed lower. January ethanol dropped US$0.004 to US$1.553 per gallon, and March ethanol lost US$0.002 to close at US$1.57.


CBOT oat futures settled in negative territory. December oats slipped 1 cent to US$2.05 1/2 per bushel, and March oats stumbled 1 cent to US$2.21.


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