CBOT Closing Comments


Corn futures were down sharply at the close of trade on Thursday. Confusion in the financial sector has increased volatility in just about every commodity. Corn was limit down Tuesday, gained 20 cents back Wednesday and closed down near limit again at the end. Open interest continues to fall while investors are scrambling to get their hands on hard cash. Some major ethanol producers are feeling the pressure of the financial crisis, VeraSun (industry leader) stocks lost 72% yesterday and Aventine Renewable Energy stock plunged 22% lower. Weekly export sales were 325,400 MT, on the lower end of pre-report trade estimates. Dec -26 3/4 at 5.27 1/4c.


Soybeans futures tumbled Thursday as funds and speculators remain nervous and are attempting to develop a sense for the direction of commodities. Soybeans do have some supportive fundamentals but funds keep liquidating their positions taking out the speculative premium. The US dollar Index is softer along with crude oil at the moment. USDA put weekly export sales at 411,500 MT, with China buying 114,900 MT. Those sales were on the lower end of pre-report estimates. Nov -23 at 11.16; Oct Meal -10.30 at 312.40; Oct BO +47 at 44.44.


Wheat futures followed other CBOT grains lower. Wheat remains under pressure from financials and bearish fundamentals. USDA reported weekly export sales of 657,300 RB, led by Nigeria and Japan but Japan cancelled a tender for US. This was above the high end of trade estimates coming into the report. Crude oil has backed down from highs posted earlier this morning, the dollar is slightly weaker. CHI -33c at 6.92 3/4.