CBOT Closing Comments


July soybeans finished at $11.30 ½, down 17 cents, the steady rise throughout the week led to the almost inevitable sell-off Friday. Still prices are up around 20 cents on the week. The widespread rains we have seen over the last few months are seen abating somewhat next week, which may finally aid rapid progress with US plantings. China keep coming back to the US trough to feed which is supportive for US beans. Old-crop ending stocks were projected at 130 million bushels by the USDA earlier in the week, as recently as January it was 225 million. There could be plenty more upside in this rally yet, although longer-term I'd have to say I'm bearish at these levels.


July corn closed at $4.17 ¼, down 11 cents. A drier outlook for next week, a firmer dollar and weak crude put corn under pressure from the off. Plantings are behind schedule and are expected to be something like 60-70% complete as of Sunday night (reported by the USDA Monday) compared with 85% normally. The CFTC Commitment of Traders report released after the close showed an increase in Large Spec net long positions of 56,331 contracts from last week. It seems that planting delays and the continued robust pace of US exports may be encouraging some fund buyers back into the corn market.


July CBOT wheat closed at $5.77 ½, down 15 ¾ cents. Wheat remains the weak leg of the three in the US. Spring planting is well behind schedule, but export pace is lagging badly behind. Another week of disappointing export data from the USDA confirmed this. There are potential problems down the line for wheat like lower US, EU, FSU production, and reduced plantings in Argentina for example, but these will not impact the wheat market just yet.