CBOT Closing Comments


March soybean futures finished at USD9.50, down 13 ½ cents, March soymeal futures at USD286.20, down USD4.70, and March soy oil futures at 36.57, down 58 points. A stronger dollar and weaker crude oil set the tone, with weakness from equities and other outside markets adding to a bearish feel. The market still continues to look weak following last weeks USDA report and improved production numbers out of South America.


March corn futures ended at USD3.68, down 1 ¼ cents, May corn futures at USD3.78 ¾, down 1 ½ cents. Futures did at least manage to close off early session lows as farmers hold off selling at current levels. Weekly export sales normally released on a Thursday will be put back a day due to Monday's Martin Luther King holiday. Last week's USDA numbers still hang over the market, although traders are becoming a bit more vocal in their belief that whilst this season's crop is larger than early expectations, Washington may have overstated things somewhat. However, the jury is out until March on that one.


March CBOT wheat futures closed at USD4.97 ½, down 3 cents, March KCBT wheat futures at USD5.04 ½, down ½ cent, and March MGEX wheat futures at USD5.10 ¾, down 2 ¾ cents. As with corn, wheat managed to close well off earlier session double digit losses, as traders consolidated their positions and booked some profits after recent heavy declines. Although the downtrend remains well intact, the market rallied about 8 cents in the last 15 minutes of the day.