Wheat And Corn Lead Chicago Higher

24/03/11 -- Soybeans: May 11 soybeans closed at USD13.54 1/2, up 3 1/4 cents; May 11 soybean meal closed at USD359.80, down USD0.20; May 11 soybean oil closed at 56.12, up 64 points. Beans traded lower for much of the session but were dragged higher towards the close by spillover support from wheat and corn. Weekly export sales were 264,516 MT for old crop and just a nominal amount for new crop, towards the low end of trade estimates of 250,000 to 450,000 MT. China only bought 20,800 MT, a worrying sign. Everything is now focused on the USDA's Mar 31st planting intentions and stocks report for further direction.

Corn: May 11 corn closed at USD7.02 1/2, up 21 1/2 cents; Dec 11 corn closed at USD6.18 3/4, up 9 cents. Corn weekly export sales were strong at 895,000 MT although there was no confirmation of any of that business being done with China. They did however figure as a surprise buyer of 116,000 MT of US wheat, which lent some support to corn today. Analyst estimates for the March 31st acreage report are around 91.2 to 93 million acres. The trade will also be looking at the quarterly stocks report next week with ethanol production rising last week to 913,000 barrels a day.

Wheat: May 11 CBOT wheat closed at USD7.39 1/2, up 25 1/4 cents; May 11 KCBT wheat closed at USD8.53 1/4, up 23 1/4 cents; May 11 MGEX wheat closed at $8.83 1/4, up 24 1/4 cents. Wheat led the complex higher following the unexpected news that China bought two cargoes of US wheat in the past week. Wheat sales were 659,700 MT old crop and 86,000 MT new crop, against expectations of 500 to 800 thousand MT. The weather forecast has turned drier and much colder for the US Plains, prompting more concern for a US wheat crop already in pretty poor shape.