Chicago Gains Ahead Of Long Weekend

15/02/13 -- Soycomplex: Soybeans staged a modest comeback on what was probably a bit of book-squaring ahead of a three day weekend with the market closed for President's Day on Monday. Funds were said to have been buyers of around 2-3,000 soybean contracts on the day. Investors are still nervous however ahead of the next looming Washington battle over the budget. Weekend weather in South America may also help decide next week's price direction, with rains of 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches with 85% coverage forecast for Argentina on Sunday. There's some talk of early harvested beans in Mato Grosso being rejected by buyers because they are too wet. Port congestion and shipping delays in Brazil are building. Nevertheless, the USDA announced that "unknown" had cancelled 250 TMT of old crop US beans. The January NOPA crush came in towards the low end of expectations at 158.2 million bushels, but still well ahead of last year's crush of 142.8 million. China return for their week long holiday on Monday. Will they see this week's price declines as a buying opportunity? On the week Mar 13 beans were 28 cents lower, with Mar 13 meal down USD13.00 and Mar 13 oil up 19 points.

On the day Mar 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.24 1/2, up 6 1/2 cents; May 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.14 3/4, up 6 1/4 cents; Mar 13 Soybean Meal closed at USD409.40, up USD2.20; Mar 13 Soybean Oil closed at 51.62, down 8 points.

Corn: Corn managed to avoid setting a record 11 straight declines in a row, but only just. As with soybeans it may have been nothing more than profit-taking and position squaring ahead of a long weekend that saved it. Fund buying was estimated at around 3-5,000 contracts on the day. South American weather has improved with rains seen moving through Argentina and Southern Brazil over the weekend, and a turn to drier conditions in Northern Brazil. Both would be of benefit to corn. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that Brazilian farmers had harvested 3.7% of first crop corn versus 2.5% last year. Drier conditions in Mato Grosso will hopefully help the soybean harvest progress and allow second crop corn to get into the ground and get well established before the dry season comes along. Israel are reported to have bought 100 TMT of optional origin corn (possibly from the Black Sea region or South America) for March/June shipment. For the week Mar 13 corn was 10 1/4 cents lower.

On the day Mar 13 Corn closed at USD6.98 3/4, up 4 cents; May 13 Corn closed at USD6.97, up 4 1/4 cents.

Wheat: Fund buying was estimated at 2-3,000 contracts on the day. Yesterday's better than expected weekly export sales helped wheat. Old crop sales of 576,451 MT were in fact the second best weekly total in the past 19 weeks, providing a little hope that maybe world demand will boost US sales enough in the remainder of the season to hit USDA targets. Confirmation that a Brazilian flour miller had bought 100 TMT of US HRW wheat for Feb/March shipment helped support this notion. So did did talk of a similar volume being done into China. The US and Canada hold most of the aces if it's quality wheat you're after. For the less discerning, or feed wheat, there are other options. It was reported that Glencore and Concordia both bought 100 TMT of Indian wheat for March shipment, said to most likely be shipped to Africa and Middle East. Ethiopia also bought 100 TMT of Indian wheat in it's tender. On the week Mar 13 Chicago wheat was down 14 cents, Kansas wheat down 22 1/4 cents and Minneapolis wheat down 12 3/4 cents.

On the day Mar 13 CBOT Wheat closed at USD7.42 1/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Mar 13 KCBT Wheat closed at USD7.77 1/2, up 2 1/2 cents; Mar 13 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.23 1/2, up 4 1/4 cents.