Corn and wheat rise on Chinese demand, soybeans fall

Updated: 2012-03-13 10:45


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CHICAGO - Talk of high Chinese demand for US corn prompted a surge in the corn market on Monday to close at its highest level since January 11, but soybeans fell prey to negative outside market forces even as wheat built upon the corn market's success.

The most active corn contract for May delivery rose 14.4 cents, or 2.23 percent, to close at $6.59 per bushel. May wheat gained 8.2 cents, or 1.28 percent, to $6.51 per bushel, while May soybeans edged down 3.2 cents, or 0.24 percent, to settle at $13.34 per bushel.

Agriculture commodities were most shaped on Monday by talks of strong Chinese demand for US corn. Although that talk remained unconfirmed, expectation of high Chinese demand helped push the corn market higher to see May corn settle its highest level since January 11.

Corn export inspections for the week registered at a higher than expected 36.2 million bushels. South Korea bought 65,000 tons of corn.

Meanwhile, wheat export expectations were also significantly higher than expectations, this week's positing of 31.6 million bushels notably above the 19.2 million bushels necessary to keep on track of the US Department of Agriculture estimate.

However, soybeans did not profit from gains in the corn and wheat markets, May soybeans falling slightly Monday.

Concerns about China's trade deficit and reduced growth lent a negative air to outside market conditions, as did some traders' questioning that the soybean market might be overbought.

Monday was the first day of trading following this weekend's report from China that the country had recorded a $31.5 billion trade deficit in February, a number that took many analysts by surprise and seemed to overweigh recent optimism regarding the Greek situation in Europe.

Weekly trade exports for soybeans came in at 26.2 million bushels, below trade expectations. The stoppage of dock workers in Argentina that began last week continues to affect Argentina's exports.