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NEAR-TERM MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: Overnight trade remained in a very narrow range in corn. Traders said that last week’s evening up ahead of the USDA’s September Crop Report left the market in relative balance from a technical standpoint, and one analyst noted that noted that weather is also somewhat balanced on the fundamental side. Normal to above normal temperatures are expected to last for the next week, which is considered very favorable to crop development. However, a number of forecasts call for below normal temperatures across much of the Midwest as we get near the end of the 6-10 day period, and this is causing concern over the rate of progress in maturation for the US corn crop. While the latest Crop Progress Report shows a rapid advance into the dent stage, full maturation is lagging even farther behind the normal pace with this week’s report showing only a 4% improvement in the ‘mature’ category. The weekly Crop Progress Report showed the corn crop still at 69% good-to-excellent, unchanged from last week. Sixty-six percent of the crop has reached the dent stage, up from 50% last week. This compares to a 5-year average of 86% in the dent stage at this point. However, only 12% of the crop was mature as of Sunday versus 8% last week and a 5-year average of 37%. Illinois and Indiana remain the biggest growing areas that remain seriously behind with only 6% and 7% mature vs. the 5-year averages of 50% and 39%. With the Northwest vulnerable to a frost, north Dakota is just 23% dented vs. 70% on average and South Dakota is 5% mature vs. 50% average. This week’s export inspections in corn were near the high end of trade expectations at 40.5 million bushels. Inspections need to average 41.9 million bushels each week in order to reach the USDA’s projection for the 2009/10 crop marketing year.

TODAY’S GUIDANCE: The corn market is wrestling with the same questions as soybeans. For example, will the first serious freeze hold off long enough to allow the entire crop to reach maturation? Another question is whether the extreme lateness of this year’s crop will cause the final stages of maturation to drag out more slowly, specifically, the period between ‘dent’ and full maturity? The possibility of a partial frost next week remains a factor that should prevent further lows for now. First support still runs from 308 3/4 on down to 302 in December corn with next support at 293 to 294. First resistance starts at 326 1/4 to 327 1/2.

TODAY’S MARKET IDEAS: The December corn contract could see a follow-through bounce to as high as 337 1/2. Of course, a hard freeze would take the market even higher, but that does not appear to be in the forecast for now. Shorts should be sure to take profits on any dips today.

This content originated from – The Hightower Report.