CBOT Closing Comments


March Soybeans closed at USD9.26, up ½ cent; March Soybean Meal at USD251.20, up USD1.60/tonne; March Soybean Oil at 39.05, down 77 points. The USDA announced the sale of 220,000 MT for 2010/11 delivery, correcting an earlier announcement stating the sale was for 2009/10. It seems increasingly likely that China have packed their buying boots and flow them to South America for the remainder of 2009/10. That shouldn't surprise too many, and the US have enjoyed a very good run of sales in that direction recently. It will be interesting now to see if South America can cope with the logistics of delivery. Some reports already suggest that it is taking up to three weeks to load a boat down there. The Large Spec increased their CBOT net short position from 14,119 contracts to 27,373 contracts compared to the previous week as of Tuesday, data shows.


March Corn futures closed at USD3.54, down 1 ½ cents; May Corn futures at USD3.64 ¼, down 1 cent. It might be tenuous, but corn is about the only one of the three main grains that you can make out any kind of bullish case for at the moment. The USDA decreased the corn yield for 2009/10 to 164.9 bushels to the acre, which reduced the crop to 13.131 billion bushels. Record US ethanol production in Dec highlights the continued increased corn demand. Excessive wetness across large areas of the Midwest may reduce planted area this spring, or at the very least mean another year of a late planted crop struggling to mature before a winter freeze sets in. "Dryness is less threatening for corn planting than the prospect of muddy fields that seriously delay seeding. Northern corn in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota would benefit most from early seeding," says Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections.


May CBOT Wheat finished at USD4.85 ¼, up 6 ½ cents; May KCBT Wheat at USD4.94 ¾, up ¼ cents; May MGEX Wheat at USD5.13 ½, up 9 cents. A weak dollar and decent weekly export sales reported Thursday helped wheat today. Perhaps most of the reason behind wheat being the strongest leg of the complex today has to do with the huge spec fund short position. Some of today's buying may well have been simply short-covering ahead of the weekend. Increased rainfall this week in the top US producing state of Kansas will have improved wheat conditions there. "Heavy March rainfall promotes higher yields in Kansas due to excellent tillering conditions. This is the stage when wheat gets bushy producing many grain bearing stems, in 80% of years having a wet March, the Kansas wheat yield has finished above trend," says Gail Martell of martell Crop Projections.