CBOT Closing Comments


Corn raced higher from the off, buoyed by stronger than anticipated weekly export sales in excess of 1mmt. Futures retreated from session highs later in the day however as soybeans failed to break through technical resistance and fell away. The market is nervous ahead of what may, or may not, happen weather-wise in Argentina over the weekend. Monday's session should be interesting as traders discover the extent of any rains that may have fallen in Argentina and southern Brazil Sunday night. March corn finished at $3.90 1/2 , up 3 cents


Soybeans also raced higher early in the session before falling away at midday. As with corn weekly export sales were above expectations at nearly 1.33mmt, unlike corn this was just the latest in a string of strong weekly sales for soybeans. As the session wore on however the uncertain nature of weekend weather in South America encouraged traders to close out some positions after session highs failed to take out technical resistance levels. China has been a big buyer of US beans this last few weeks, however Lunar New Year celebrations begin next week, and that could kill Chinese export interest for a couple of weeks. March soybean settled at $10.09, down 3 cents.


Wheat took off from the start supported by the first decent weekly export sales figures of 2009. Weekly exports came in at 413,300mt compared to trade estimates for 200-400,000mt. Fund shorts came under pressure as prices rose triggering buy stops which probably extended wheat's gains more that the fundamentals would have allowed. The Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange lowered it's estimate for final Argentine production for the recently harvested crop to 8.7mmt, that's a reduction of nearly 46% on last year. The Argentine Ag Secretariat peg the crop even lower at 8.3mmt, 48% down.