Chicago Closing Comments - Thursday

19/04/12 -- Soybeans: May 12 Soybeans closed at USD14.15 3/4, up 8 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.42 1/2, up 4 3/4 cents; May 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD391.90, up USD1.30; May 12 Soybean Oil closed at 55.17, down 2 points. Although beans were higher they finished well off early highs which saw them over 20 cents up at one stage. Weekly export sales of a combined 1.219 MMT beat trade expectations. In addition the USDA also reported the sale of 110,000 MT of new crop beans to China. May options expire tomorrow, with a large open interest remaining at the USD14 strike level in the puts and calls.

Corn: May 12 Corn closed at USD6.21, up 19 1/4 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.41 3/4, up 13 cents. Funds were said to have bought 15,000 contracts on the day in a sudden change of heart, having been thought to have been net sellers of around 37,000 lots Monday through to Wednesday. Strong rumours once again of Chinese buying US corn washed over the fact that the weekly export sales were poor at 300,400 MT old crop and net sales reductions of 2,400 MT for new crop versus trade ideas for sales of 600-950 TMT. There was also some talk of Japanese concerns over the quality of European and Ukraine corn, maybe seeing a switch back in favour of US corn.

Wheat: May 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.24 3/4, up 14 cents; May 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.37 1/2, up 11 1/2 cents; May 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.09 1/4, up 9 1/4 cents. Spillover strength from corn supported wheat, although funds were only modest net buyers on the day, reducing their short position by around 3,000 contracts in Chicago it is thought. Weekly export sales of 365,900 MT for old crop wheat and 76,300 MT for new crop were a bit below expectations for sales of 450-650 TMT. Rains returning to Europe should have stabilised crop conditions, although there is widespread talk of some irreversible damage having already been done.