CBOT Closing Comments


January soybean futures closed at USD10.43, down 4 cents; December soymeal at USD320.90, down USD0.60; December soyoil at 39.76 cents, down 0.01 points. Soybean prices closed lower on the day and slightly lower for the week. News that the US jobless rate unexpectedly fell from 10.2% to 10% last month sent the dollar higher. The news also sent gold crashing more than USD65/oz, after reaching a succession of daily highs all this week. Crude oil also fell, which all combined to drag the grains complex lower.


December corn futures finished at USD3.73 ¾, down 11 ½ cents; March corn futures at USD3.88 ½, down 12 ¼ cents. The combo of stronger dollar, weaker crude and gold also dragged corn lower Friday. With more than a fifth of US corn still to be harvested as of last Sunday, the USDA will report Monday night on how much progress has been made this past week. Field losses will mount the longer corn harvesting is strung out in December, as stalks weakened by mould are prone to leaning and toppling over. Research by Ohio State University agronomists indicates that December harvesting causes corn losses of 15-20%, say Martell Crop Projections.


December CBOT wheat futures closed at USD5.36 ¾, down 13 cents; December KCBT wheat futures at USD5.36, down 12 ½ cents; December MGEX wheat futures at USD5.48, down 13 ¾ cents. This was the day in succession of declines for wheat. The dollar and outside markets also pressed wheat lower, along with news that US wheat again lost out to Russian/German wheat in Egypt's latest tender. Reports that some US wheat was sold to Brazil in Thursday's USDA weekly export sales report was a promising sign, as they are one of the world's largest buyers. With Argentina in the midst of their second disastrously small crop in succession, Brazil will be forced to look elsewhere for much of it's requirements in 2010.