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CORN FUTURES BREAKS $6 SOUND BARRIER
BrownfieldAgNews reports:

Corn was higher on spreading, weather concerns and fund buying. Forecasts show more rain and potential flooding in the Southern Cornbelt and Delta. That's been a feature for the past two weeks and now that we're in April with no appreciable progress, traders are starting to get concerned.

Even when the rain stops, temperatures will have to warm up enough to help dry the ground out quickly; Dow Jones Newswires quotes one private forecaster's date as April 10.

For the second consecutive session, July hit a new all time top $6.00 and 1/4, but was unable to finish at that psychologically important mark due to profit taking and nervousness surrounding the rarified trading air. Ethanol futures were lower.

Soybeans were higher on speculative buying, old crop/new crop spreading and a bounce in soybean oil. The overnight trend and the open were sharply lower, but after the post USDA report weakness, beans were oversold and due for a bounce of their own. Also, there was some talk on the floor that the USDA's acreage estimate may have been overstated.

However, that could get canceled out by planting delays for corn - there is a reason the USDA calls them "prospective" planting estimates.

In other words, expect the 2008 Battle Royale for Acreage to continue until there are some firm numbers. Meal and oil were weak early, but came back on oversold signals and fairly solid demand; meal recovered less quickly due to product spread trade.

The farm strike in Argentina continues, but Buenos Aires has announced they are willing to make some concessions, including tax refunds for small farmers who've lost money due to the sliding scale export tax system implemented March 11; the figure represents 80% of the nation's farmers, but only 20% of the total soybean crop. The striking groups and farmers however say that the strike will continue through at least Wednesday as Argentina has not suspended the tax the requested 90 days. Brazilian consultancy Celeres reports that nation's current soybean crop is 53% harvested and 63% has been sold, both well above of their respective five year averages.

Brazil's Foreign Trade Ministry reports that bean exports during March were 1.4 million tons, compared to February's 425,100 tons and the March 2008 total of 2 million tons. India's Federal Government says it will "constantly" review edible oil tariffs. That follows Monday's abolition of the import tax on crude edible oil and the reduction of the refined edible oil duty to 7.5%.

The wheat complex was sharply lower on fund and speculative selling, along with the unwinding of spreads with corn. The big bearish feature continues to be expectations for a big jump in production this year around the world; that, and the larger than expected quarterly stocks have removed a significant amount of what could be called "the worry premium" from wheat. Losses in Kansas City were limited by continued drier than normal conditions for most of the hard red winter crop, with further declines in condition ratings in Kansas. However, with a lack of commercial buying interest, it was hard for any of the three U.S. pits to get much, if any, positive momentum. European wheat was higher on an oversold bounce; Paris May was up 1.3% and London May was .9% higher. Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities announced that it will buy a minimum of 3 million tons of local wheat during the tail end of the 2007/08 marketing year. Additionally, the GASC now projects 2008/09 wheat imports at a minimum of 5 million tons.


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