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Grain Commentary By Jeff Thatcher

Friday February 15th
Corn: Mixed
The corn market spent the day trading both sides of unchanged before ending mostly steady.  Both the March and December contracts ended the day steady after being caught between a weaker wheat market and some strength in the soybeans.  The corn market traded in a 7-8 cent range on the week, but ended with the nearby contract ½ cent high and new crop values steady.  Corn basis levels were firm this week with weather wreaking havoc on logistics across much of the Northern corn belt.  The USDA did release several export sales announcement this week to unknown destinations, but the weekly report was disappointing.  Next week will bring the USDA ag forum where the trade will get the first look at the baseline numbers for this year. 
Soybeans: +4
Soybeans spent much of the session trading just slightly higher before ending with a modest gain.  Both the nearby and new crop contracts ended the day 4 cents higher while finishing near the high of the day.  Soybean products were also higher with both meal and oil finishing with small gains.  For the week, nearby values were off 7 cents with new crop prices down just a nickel. NOPA released their January crush report today, showing 171.6 million bushels of soybeans processed.  This was on the upper end of expectations and easily a new record for the month as crush margins remain very strong.  Soybean export news was dismal this week with net cancellations reported in the weekly update with China reported as the largest cancellation.  Traders continue to watch for any updates on trade with talks scheduled to resume next week.  The markets will be closed Monday for President’s Day and will reopen Monday evening.