CBOT Closing Comments


March soybean futures closed at USD9.45, down 3 cents; March soymeal futures at USD276.40, up USD0.80, and March soy oil futures at 38.52, down 0.18 points. Soybean exports today were a marketing year low at 203,900 MT but the export pace has been substantial up to now and accumulated exports are at 27,847,338 MT compared to last year for this week at 20,723,872 MT. That said, China was conspicuous by it's absence from the report for the first time in many moons, cancellations of 279,000 MT of existing sales to "unknown" destinations also points to the world's largest buyer finally switching away from North America to South America.


March corn futures closed at USD3.60, and May corn futures at USD3.71 ¾, both up 2 ¾ cents. Corn futures rallied to close higher, only finishing 2 cents lower for the week. Weekly export sales were above trade estimates at 974,600 MT. A strong dollar capped gains however, on the back of yesterday's surprise announcement by the Fed that it was to raise the discount rate that US banks use to borrow money overnight from 0.5% to 0.75%. That appears to indicate the the US has begun it's "exit strategy" from the current economic crisis, and the only way from here is up as far as interest rates go.


March CBOT wheat futures ended the day at USD4.89 ¾, up 4 ¾ cents, March KCBT wheat futures at USD4.98 ¼, up 4 ¾ cents, and March MGEX wheat futures were at USD5.08 ½, up 5 ¾ cents. Wheat export sales were slightly higher than trade estimates for the weekly export report at 463,400 MT. Even so exports are consistently falling a little short of requirements to hit the USDA's current target of 22.5 MMT for the 2009/10 marketing year. US wheat missed out again in Egypt's latest tender yesterday, reportedly being priced some USD40/tonne over the winning French and Russian bids. Today's CFTC report showed commercial interests increased their net short position by 13,624 contracts at the CBOT.