Chicago Closing Comments - Thursday

21/06/12 -- Soybeans: Jul 12 Soybeans closed at USD14.38 1/2, down 8 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.71 1/4, down 24 1/4 cents; Jul 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD429.00, up USD1.60; Jul 12 Soybean Oil closed at 49.81, down 100 points. Funds sold an estimated 7,000 soybean contracts on the day in a return to "risk off" trade firmer the dollar and saw WTI crude close below USD80/barrel for the first time since early October 2011. Weekly export sales for soybeans were less than expected at 608 TMT vs the 700-950 TMT anticipated. Cropcast became the latest analyst to lower its US yield estimates, cutting soybeans' potential from 44.1bpa to 42.4bpa, which is 1.5bpa lower than the current USDA forecast. Another analysis group, ProExporter, forecast 43.3bpa. The Argentine government estimate their soybean crop at 40.3 MMT versus a previous estimate of 41.5 MMT.

Corn: Jul 12 Corn closed at USD5.86 1/2, down 25 1/4 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.50, down 16 1/2 cents. Fickle funds were said to have dumped 17,000 contracts on the day, having been heavy buyers at the beginning of the week. That would still place them up around 25,000 on the week as a whole though. Corn weekly export sales of 382 TMT were below the 450-650 TMT anticipated. The firming dollar and tumbling crude were both bearish influences, as too was poor Chinese economic data. Cropcast cut its US corn yield estimate to 158.6bpa, from 163.7bpa previously and the USDA's 166bpa. ProExporter estimate 157.2bpa. Midday weather forecasts added a bit of rain for the Midwest next week, with temperatures seen moderating. "Maximum temperatures in the 90s F previously this week are being replaced by low 80s F. Night temperatures would chill down into the upper 50s – low 60s F compared to 70s F previously," said Martell Crop Projections.

Wheat: Jul 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.61 3/4, down 2 1/4 cents; Jul 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.83, down 3 1/2 cents; Jul 12 MGEX Wheat closed at 8.43 3/4, down 1/2 cent. Funds were said to have sold around 2,000 Chicago wheat contracts on the day. The USDA's weekly export sales report for wheat of a combined 842 TMT were well ahead of the 300-500 TMT expected - the only one of the big three to beat trade forecasts. The Argentine government estimate the 2012/13 wheat area to 3.8 million hectares versus a previous estimate of 4 million (which is also that of the USDA). Farmers there are seen planting less wheat in protest to government intervention in the grain markets. Libya and Iraq are tendering for 50,000 MT each of wheat on the international stage. Algeria is said to have bought 600,000 MT of probably French wheat and Japan bought 108,500 MT of US wheat in it's regular Thursday tender.