CBOT Closing Comments


July soybeans closed at $11.17 ½, up 1 ½ cents. Old crop beans finished higher and new crop lower, that was no great surprise. The USDA dropped old crop ending stocks to 130m bushels from 165m last month. That is the tightest ending stocks since 2003, stocks to usage is 4.3%, that is the tightest since 1968. With China constantly lurking in the wings this season due to various Argentine problems, there is no margin for error in these numbers. If China maintains it's aggressive buying policy throughout May (which looks highly likely), and possibly into June, then there is a real danger that US soybean supplies could run out before new crop becomes available. This is especially of concern considering that plantings are running well behind schedule.


July corn closed at $4.27 ½, up 6 ¼ cents. Corn ending stocks are predicted to decline 29% from the 2008/2009 estimate, exports are expected to increase by 9% and ethanol usage is expected to increase by 8.6%. Stocks to use for new crop is the tightest since 1995. That's all pretty bullish. Late plantings due to wet weather are also a cause of concern. Last night's USDA crop progress shows that corn plantings are still lagging at 48% done compared to 71% normally.


July CBOT wheat closed at $5.92 ¾, up 2 cents. There wasn't a lot of fresh news for wheat in today's USDA report - as expected. US winter wheat production fell compared with last year maybe a tad more than expected. The survey-based forecast of winter wheat production is down 20 percent with sharply lower yields expected in the Southern Plains on extended dryness and early April freeze damage. They pegged EU-27 wheat production lower than previously at 138.24 MMT, and cut Argy wheat production in line with other trade estimates to 11 MMT.