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South America Puts Soybean, Corn Prices Under Pressure

Weekly poll of traders by major wire service offers sell signals during traditionally slow market week. Compiled by staff

Great weather in South America is giving U.S. grain traders a sell signal this week. That's the conclusion from the latest Bloomberg news service poll of grain traders. Eleven of 18 farm advisers polled by Bloomberg last week recommended selling soybeans.

Meteorologist Charlie Notis - co-founder of Freese Notis Weather Inc. - says recent rains and weather will promote a record South American crop. Notis told Bloomberg that the next two weeks will bring normal temperatures to the South American region.

March soybean futures rose to $5.4825 last week on the Chicago Board of Trade, the third straight weekly gain. U.S. farmers, the world's biggest soybean producers, have been hanging onto supplies until prices rise.

But the Bloomberg survey didn't cover just soybeans. Nine of 17 traders in another poll recommend selling corn.

Bloomberg reports that its weekly surveys on the direction of corn prices have been correct 54% of the time since they started 35 weeks ago. Soybean surveys have been accurate 48% of the time since they began 23 weeks ago.

The week between Christmas and the New Year is traditionally a slow-trading week where a small number of traders can have a big impact over the short period of time. The latest survey points to price volatility this week, if correct, but producers may find a different result in the first weeks of January as traders return from their holiday break.

TAGS: Market News
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