December 16, 2008


CBOT Corn Review on Monday: Ends slightly higher; technical support



Technical momentum and a weaker dollar pushed Chicago Board of Trade corn futures higher Monday, although the market struggled to hold initial gains because of falling crude oil prices.


March corn ended up 1 3/4 cents to US$3.75 1/4 per bushel, May corn ended up 1 3/4 cents to US$3.86 1/2, and July corn ended up 2 cents to US$3.97 1/4.


The market opened sharply higher but quickly relinquished much of its gains, and slumped near the end of the session. Crude oil, which has helped propel the market early, fell later in the day, cooling off corn's rally.


Corn maintained technical momentum from last week's sharp rally, which bolstered the notion that a short-term low had been set.


"We started on an uptrend, but we're going to pull back from time to time," a trader said, adding that some profit-taking is to be expected given corn's sharp climb the past week.


Concerns about next year's planted acreage, stoked by Friday's Informa Economics report projecting less corn and more soybeans, supported the market, traders said.


Concerns about next year's planted acreage was supportive, and dry weather in South America was seen offering modest support.


Strong export sales last week helped add to last week's bullish sentiment, although traders and analysts said the overall demand picture is not strong.


"Demand's going to have to be real impressive for an extended period of time before you really change the negative sentiment," said Shawn McCambridge, senior grains analyst for Prudential-Bache.


Still, "as long as March stays above US$3.60, the trend is up," David Fiala, an analyst for DTN, said in a market commentary.


Export inspections for the week ended Dec. 11 were 29.307 million bushels, above trade estimates and above 24.800 million the previous week.


CBOT oats futures ended higher. March oats were up 2 1/2 cents to US$2.16 per bushel and December '09 oats, the second-most-active contract, was up 3 cents to US$2.60.


Ethanol futures were mixed. January ethanol ended up US$0.001 to US$1.547 per gallon and March ethanol was down US$0.012 to US$1.548.


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