CBOT Closing Comments - Friday


Beans closed mixed with front-month March 5 1/4 cents higher, yet new-crop Nov was 10 1/2 cents lower. The nears got a boost from widespread reports that the Argy government is studying a plan to nationalize the country's grain trade. Who wouldn't like to be a fly on the wall at Tuesday's scheduled meeting between farm leaders and the government? That is if it goes ahead at all now in light of these latest reports. A widespread strike now seems highly likely I'd have thought, and quite possibly on a scale that makes last years dispute seem like a walk in the park. Agroconsult has estimated the Brazil soybean crop at 55.5 mmt, 1.5mmt lower than the USDA's Feb 10 estimate.


Corn closed sharply lower with March down 11 1/4 cents. The USDA stating that it expected US farmers to plant the same acreage as last year surprised the trade. A significant switch into soybeans had been what pretty much everyone had been expecting. The US Ag attaché estimated the Brazilian crop at 49.5 mmt, the same as the USDA's Feb 10 assessment. Around 15% of US ethanol capacity is idle according to reports, that is despite production in December reaching a record 20.342 million barrels. Obama is of course fiercely pro fuel from renewable sources and it wouldn't be out of the question to see some changes in legislation getting pushed through to increase ethanol usage.


March wheat closed 3 1/2 cents lower. The USDA came out with 5 million fewer acres for wheat plantings, and final production for 2009 down more than 10mmt. Whilst Thursday's export sales were pretty respectable for wheat, Russia continues to mop up the big orders. Drought remains a threat to US crops emerging from winter dormancy: