Huge Net Short in Corn – Minor Supportive News Should Spark Buying

January 22, 2018 10:01AM CST

The technical action is improving and a move above the January high for March corn will leave 3582 as next resistance.  With some signs of better demand, crop concerns for Argentina and acreage concerns for Brazil, the market looks poised for a further advance this week.  China animal feed output for 2017 reached 284.66 million tonnes, up 5.3% on the year as livestock herds grow.  China fertilizer output for December fell 7% from last year and was down 9.3% from the previous month as the war on smog is hurting production.  Pesticide output for December fell 5.1% from last year and for the whole year was down 8.7% from 2016. 

The Buenos Aires grains exchange estimated corn plantings at 91.3% complete vs. 95.3% last year.  The corn planted area was left unchanged at 5.4 million hectares although 450,000 hectares remain unplanted in the Northern provinces.  Corn export sales were all above estimates and were the second highest total in the marketing year.

With weather and some improving demand news, the market looks poised to see some short-covering over the near-term.  Managed money fund traders are now net short 226,876 contracts as compared with the record short position of 230,556 contracts.  3514 support with 3582 resistance.

Corn Mar '18 Daily Chart

corn_mar18_daily_chart

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