CBOT Closing Comments


Corn prices took the brunt of the bearish pounding on ag futures Friday afternoon, slumping to new lows as bearish fundamentals attracted speculative selling. Prices fell to fresh 13-month lows burdened by a glut of global feed grains including feed wheat and barley.

For once, fundamentals took centre stage ahead of outside markets. Improved US weather forecasts for the weekend should aid final harvest activity. Meanwhile, Argentina may get some much needed rain over the weekend.

Talk of continued problems for the ethanol industry also harmed corn. With VeraSun filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and crude falling below $50/barrel, on top of the problems of the US auto industry the whole viability of the ethanol industry is in question.

Meanwhile the news that VeraSun is seeking permission to void existing corn contracts tied to two Minnesota ethanol plants is further cause for concern,

CBOT Dec Corn closed at $3.38 per bushel, down 25.25


Wheat sank on spillover pressure from tanking corn with December breaking through the psychologically important $5/bushel level, closing at $4.99, down 55 1/4 cents on the week.

Although wheat has been trading sideways, Friday's decline doesn't confirm the market has broken out of its trading range, said one analyst.

CBOT Dec wheat closed at $4.99 per bushel, down 12.75; KCBT Dec wheat closed at $5.34, down 14.75; MGEX Dec wheat closed at $5.86, down 13.5.


Crude oil and the volatility of the stock market heavily influenced the soybean complex. Still, attempts at bargain buying accompanied by weather worries limited the slide in soy.

Dryness in Argentina is leading to concern about a poor start for that country's 2009 soybean crop. The Agriculture Secretariat said Friday that dry soils forced Argentine farmers to halt soy sowing this week in many parts of the farming belt.

Crude oil and the stock market limped toward the close Friday after the previous day's collapse to 5-1/2 year lows for the Dow and 3-1/2-year lows in crude oil.

CBOT Jan soybean closed $8.40 per bushel, down 16; Dec Soybean Meal closed $249.9/ short ton, down 7.30; Dec Soybean Oil closed 30.70, +7 points.