CBOT weekly outlook: Corn, soybeans await fresh news

CNS Canada — Corn and soybean futures at the Chicago Board of Trade are waiting on fresh news for direction, according to one U.S. analyst, as both markets move on mostly technical trading short-term.

“There’s some bullish influence, there’s some bearish influence, but at the end of the day, there’s just not much push either way,” said Sean Lusk, co-director at the commercial hedging services division of Walsh Trading in Chicago.

However, Lusk expects news in February and into March as numbers from private forecasters and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) start to emerge.

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“You’re going to see some increasing bets made here one way or the other,” but until that happens, it’ll be hard to push prices higher, he said.

Corn — Since last week, corn futures have gained close to two cents per bushel in the March contract and about 1.5 cents per bushel in the May contract (all figures US$).

Corn has seen significant short-covering in the last few weeks, which has moved prices higher, Lusk said.

“It leaves me to wonder if we’re going to float back down here in front of next week’s USDA report.”

USDA is set to release world agricultural production estimates on Tuesday, and grain and oilseed projections on the same day.

Wheat has been able to hold support levels, Lusk said, and if that trend continues it will provide some support to corn.

Soybeans — Since last week soybeans have lost slightly more than six cents per bushel in the March contract and five and a half cents per bushel in the May contract.

Soybean prices have been pressured by mostly favourable weather in South America, especially as Brazil and Argentina are expected to get rain.

Prices had been driven up in previous sessions by dry conditions in those competing growing regions.

Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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