CBOT Corn Review: Ends Lower On Wheat, Planting Pace

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CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--Chicago Board of Trade corn ended lower Monday, succumbing to sharply lower wheat and bearish supply fundamentals.

May corn was down 3/4 cent to $3.52 1/4 per bushel, and July corn was down 1 1/2 cents to $3.59 1/2.

The market had been higher for much of the day but relinquished gains as wheat fell more than 15 cents.

Corn has little fundamental support, traders said, as most expect the U.S. Department of Agriculture to show planting progress between 45% and 50% in its crop progress report Monday afternoon. The record pace for this week is 52%, analysts said.

Weekend rains were considered good for the crop, and more rains in the forecast are not seen as a major problem for U.S. planting as a whole, traders said.

Considering wheat's slide, corn "held its own," a floor trader said.

Funds sold an estimated 2,000 contracts Monday, but traders and analysts say that in general the funds have been supporting prices.

"I think there are a lot of investors who see the ag commodities, primarily corn and soybeans, as undervalued relative to their alternative investments," said Farm Futures analyst Arlan Suderman, who noted crude oil and the stock market have climbed to 19-month highs.

Also limiting the losses were more canceled receipts in the U.S., indicating tightening near-term supplies as first notice day approaches Friday, and rumors that China had purchased four to five cargoes of corn.

Suderman said "there's still a lot of skepticism" about potential Chinese imports, but that the rumors are enough to scare those short in the market. Economically, Chinese imports make sense, but politically they would be a challenge, he said.

CBOT oats ended mostly flat. May oats settled down 1/4 cent to $2.04 3/4 per bushel, while all other contracts settled unchanged. July oats closed at $2.13.

Ethanol futures were flat. May ethanol closed flat at $1.585 per gallon, and June ethanol settled flat at $1.604.


-By Ian Berry, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-341-5778; ian.berry@dowjones.com




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