CBOT Closing Comments


March soybean futures closed at USD9.40 ½, up 5 ¾ cents; March soymeal futures at USD259.50, up USD1.60; March soy oil futures at 39.95, up 23 points. Traders continue to do a bit of tidying up ahead of Wednesday's USDA report. Analyst's estimates range from 3.219 to 3.365 billion bushels for soybean production and 161 to 217 million bushels for ending stocks. Dry conditions for 2 straight weeks in South Brazil causes excellent harvesting conditions in Parana, where soybeans are rapidly ripening, but causes moisture stress in Rio Grande do Sul, say Martell Crop Projections. Forty percent of the Rio Grande do Sul's beans were planted in December, later than normal due to November flooding. These soybeans would be setting and filling in March, requiring heavy rain for the best possible yield, they say.


Corn futures closed with only very minor changes with March at USD3.64 ½, down ¼ cent; May corn futures were at USD3.75, down ½ cent. Analysts estimates for Wednesday supply/demand report range from 12.838 to 13.158 billion bushels for corn production and 1.602 to 1.814 billion bushel for the 2009/10 carryout. The USDA may well raise production estimates for both Brazil and Argentina where crop conditions have been pretty much ideal. In the US Midwest warming temperatures in March are having a positive impact, shrinking the snow belt and thawing out fields, say Martell Crop Projections. Worries over spring planting delays are based on heavy cumulative precipitation since October 1. The leading US corn states and northern spring wheat states are extremely wet and prone to flooding if spring rains become heavy, they warn.


March CBOT wheat futures closed at USD4.84 ½, up 2 ¼ cents; March KCBT wheat futures at USD4.95, up 2 cents; March MGEX wheat futures at USD5.05 ½, up 1 ¾ cents. Analyst's guesses for wheat ending stocks on Wednesday range from 876 to 1,012 million bushels. the average guess is 971 million, 10 million down on last month. Kansas wheat will benefit from soaking rain this week that replenishes field moisture, sat Martell Crop Projections. The top US wheat state is expecting at least 0.50-0.75 inches of rain but locally 2 inches in locally strong thunderstorms. Kansas wheat had deteriorated sharply after a dry winter, falling to 53% good-excellent, 35% fair and 12% poor on the March 1 USDA report. Last November, the top US wheat state was 75% good-excellent and only 4% poor. Rainfall is arriving at an ideal time, as wheat begins breaking dormancy in the Central Great Plains, they add.