CBOT Closing Comments


January soybean futures closed at USD10.49 ½, up 9 ¾ cents, January soymeal futures are at USD316.00, up USD2.10, January soyoil futures at 40.90 cents, up 55 points. A weaker dollar, stronger crude and sharply higher gold all helped push soy futures higher, although prices closed well off earlier highs. A harsh cold snap gripping the Midwest and US Plains also helped, as too did conjecture that fund money will soon be flowing back into the markets in 2010. We haven't seen it yet.


March corn futures closed at USD4.18 ½, up 4 cents, and May corn futures at USD4.28 ¾, up 4 ½ cents. Corn was also sharply higher in early trade but sold off mid-session, but still managed to hold onto some gains. Around 500 million bushels of corn remains still stuck in the fields, concentrated heavily in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin, according to Martell Crop Projections. Sub zero temperatures and up to a foot of snow are unlikely to have seen much progress made over the festive period.


March CBOT wheat futures finished at USD5.57 ¾, up 16 ¼ cents, March KCBT wheat futures at USD5.50 ¾, up 14 ½ cents, March MGEX wheat futures at USD5.61, up 16 cents. A weak dollar and firm crude and gold also helped wheat today. Unlike corn and beans, wheat closed much closer to session highs, perhaps because it is far more heavily oversold than the other two. The severe cold spell across the leading beef cattle states, where ranches and feed lots are most heavily concentrated, may lead to a pick-up in feed consumption, says Martell Crop Projections.