CBOT Closing Comments


January soybean futures finished 11 cents lower at USD10.01, January soymeal ended USD4.60 lower at USD300.80, and January soyoil finished 5 points lower at 38.28 cents. As you can see both beans and meal closed very close to psychological levels of USD10/bushel and USD300/tonne. With the long break looming, it seems most likely that prices will fall below these levels on book-squaring ahead of 2010. Trade estimates ahead of tomorrow's weekly USDA export inspections range from 45 to 50 million bushels.


March corn futures settled 2 ¼ cents higher at exactly USD4.00. What about that for another psychologically important level? The USDA's should have reported tonight on harvest progress last week but because of a severe snowstorm that report is delayed until tomorrow. Harvest progress last week was at 92% done. Trade estimates ahead of tomorrow's weekly USDA export inspections range from 28 to 32 million bushels. It seems like corn may be the easiest of the three to make out a bullish case for in 2010 based on ethanol-led demand and reduced South American production.


March wheat futures at the CBOT closed at USD5.19 ½, down 8 ½ cents; KCBT ended at USD5.16 ¼, down 8 cents, and MGEX closed at USD5.26 ½, down 8 ¾. Wheat stocks figures just keep getting higher, and combined with year-end pressure that seems likely to drive prices still lower yet as we get through the festive period. News that Egypt appear to be attempting to forge closer ties with Russia on wheat supplies looks like more bad news for US grain. Trade estimates ahead of tomorrow's USDA weekly export inspections report range from 13 to 17 million bushels.