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Corn Closes with Gains

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Corn futures finished below the midday highs, but were still 1 1/2 to 2 cents in positive territory at the close. USDA announced an old crop export sale of 138,000 MT of corn to unknown destinations this morning. Traders are expecting tomorrow’s Export Sales report to show 900,000 to 1.8 MMT of corn bookings, with an additional 0 – 100k MT of new crop sales. From the week ending 03/20, ethanol production averaged 1.05 million bpd, which was 30,000 barrels per day below the week prior. In the last 3 weeks production has dropped off 74,000 barrels per day. Over the same time ethanol stocks have declined 840,000 barrels, including 458,000 barrels from the week ending 03/20. That wk/wk reduction left stocks at 24.14 million barrels and was somewhat of a surprise to traders looking at low ethanol prices and assuming supply was the problem. Most of the reduction came via the Gulf region which was 327k barrels lighter wk/wk, whereas East Coast stocks were 136k barrels larger. Several ethanol firms have announced early maintenance shutdowns, and others have stopped buying corn. Traders (Bloomberg survey) estimate the USDA’s March 31st planting intentions report will show 94.1 million acres of corn. If realized that would be 5% higher yr/yr, with fewer assumed Prevented Planting acres.

May 20 Corn closed at $3.48 1/2, up 1 1/4 cents,

Jul 20 Corn closed at $3.53 1/2, up 1 1/2 cents,

Sep 20 Corn closed at $3.58 1/4, up 1 3/4 cents,

Dec 20 Corn closed at $3.67 1/4, up 2 cents,

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

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