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Grain Commentary By Jeff Thatcher

Friday December 14th
Corn: +1/2 to Steady
Corn again spent much of the session trading just slightly higher before ending mixed.  The March contract ended just fractionally higher after testing Wednesday’s high during the session.  December futures were steady on the day after trading in just a 3 cent range.  Corn was supported by the continued rumors of Chinese corn purchases today with the lower wheat and soybean markets keeping gains in check.  Today’s most popular rumor was that China is expected to buy somewhere near 100 million bushels.  For the week corn was just fractionally lower, but did make a new high for the move mid-week.  Funds were said to be buyers of 3,000 contracts on the day with today’s CFTC report showing the fund corn net long position bigger than expected.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Soybeans: -6 ½ to -5
Soybeans spent much of session trading weaker and again finished near the lows of the session.   January soybeans lost over 6 cents on the day, finishing just over the $9 level.  New crop soybeans were off just a nickel and soybean spread were again weaker.  Soybean products were also weaker with both meal and soybean oil finishing modestly lower.  After a somewhat volatile week, nearby soybeans lost 16 cents for the week with the new crop values off a dime.  Nearby soybeans ended the week nearly 30 cents below the mid-week high.  China remains the story with the soybean market with announcements of purchases this week of around 50 million bushels.  Export inspections will be released Monday, with last week’s numbers showing the US over 350 million bushels behind last year’s shipping pace.