CBOT Corn Review: Lower On Technical Selling, Weather

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CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--CBOT corn ended lower Thursday amid technical selling as bearish weather forecasts helped push the nearby May contract to a new 2010 low.

May corn ended down 10 cents to $3.55 per bushel, and July corn closed down 9 3/4 cents to $3.66 1/4.

After bouncing off the February low of $3.59 Wednesday and again earlier on Thursday, the market finally broke through that level in late trade, triggering more selling, traders said.

Despite the new low in the May contract, prices remain above the 2010 low for front-month corn, which was set Feb. 5 when March corn dipped to $3.47 3/4.

John Kleist, broker/analyst for Allendale, added that weekly export sales Thursday were poor. "The villain in the corn exports is the wheat market," he said, as wheat supplies are ample and some buyers are opting for wheat instead of corn.

Warmer weather set for the Midwest next week is easing concerns about delayed planting, traders said. It also lessens talk that farmers could switch their planting intentions from corn to soybeans rather than deal with corn-planting problems.

But Kleist noted that the market still faces a long growing season, which could limit losses as traders retain some risk premium. He said "$3.50 may be the extent of the damage" in the May contract.

Traders are looking ahead to key government reports to be released March 31. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release planting-intentions and quarterly grain stocks reports that day.

Funds sold an estimated 11,000 contracts Thursday.

CBOT oats futures fell Thursday. May oats closed down 8 1/4 cents to $2.06 3/4 per bushel, and July oats settled down 7 1/2 cents to $2.16.

Ethanol futures were weaker. April ethanol closed down $0.023 to $1.534 per gallon, and May ethanol settled down $0.022 to $1.555.


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




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