Chicago closing comments

Corn closed around 6-7c lower, although it was down considerably more at one stage. An improved weather outlook for the week ahead means that US farmers will be able to crack on a pace with plantings.

One analyst said that given completed plantings rose last week from 27% to 51% by Sunday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, drier weather would allow growers to make more significant headway.

"If they did 24% more last week, they'll do 30% this week," he said. "They're going to catch up."

Soggy weather has been a bullish influence on corn for weeks, analysts said. Traders and analysts said that after trading mostly higher on weather for weeks, the market was in a wait-and-see mode, and some traders holding long positions were getting anxious.

By contrast beans closed around 35-40c up supported by the same old news. Argentina & crude oil. Crude hit record highs late & beans went with it for the ride. The improved weather outlook this week for the midwest is also seen as a little bearish for beans.

The trade has conveniently forgotton the massive switch back into beans this year and the fact that at some stage the Argy dispute will get resolved. Export prospects for the US won't look quite so rosy then, but hey, we can always invent a weather market!

Wheat was down around 8-9c in tandem with corn continuing its downwards slide as the northern hemisphere harvest approaches with few signs of any significant problems.

"There's very little new news for the wheat traders to look at," said Brian Hoops, president of Midwest Market Solutions. "They see corn falling, and they sell wheat along with it."