CBOT Closing Comments


March soybean futures settled at USD9.14, down 17 ¾ cents, March soy meal futures closed at USD273.80, down USD7.80, and March soy oil futures ended unchanged at 36.15 cents/pound. A broad-based dollar rally set a negative tone from the off, after US Q4 growth came in much better than anticipated at 5.7% compared to expectations of 4.5-4.7%. Month-end positioning may also have been a factor today, as too were reports of Chinese cancellations with record production from South America just around the corner.


March corn futures settled at USD3.56 ½, down 5 1/4 cents, May corn futures closed at USD3.67 ¾, down 5 cents. A firm dollar has prompted a recent wave of selling interest as he large specs continue to reduce their bullish exposure to corn. The net long position in futures declined by another 38,664 contracts in the week ending January 26. Weaker crude oil also contributed to corn's decline, as too did the remaining hangover from the USDA's surprise crop production increase earlier this month.


March CBOT wheat futures closed at USD4.74, down 13 cents, March KCBT wheat futures at USD4.87, down 7 3/4 cents, and March MGEX wheat futures at USD5.00 3/4, down 7 3/4 cents. Weakness from beans and crude oil, plus a sharply higher dollar pressured wheat lower. Large spec funds continue to go with the trend, shorting a further 13,272 contracts in the past week. The size of projected US ending stocks for the 2009/10 season means that, even with a significant reduction in winter wheat plantings, there will still be plenty of wheat to go around even in 2010/11.