CBOT Closing Comments


May Soybeans closed at USD9.30, up 4 ½ cents; May Soybean Meal at USD257.60, up USD6.30/tonne; May Soybean Oil at 38.75, down 80 points. The February NOPA crush figure was better than expected at 148.35 million bushels, and much higher than last year's 128.7 million. Harvesting in Brazil is about halfway done, logistics are already causing a problem. As the harvest progresses south, Rio Grande Sul got only spotty showers on the weekend, not nearly enough to relieve drought. A 3 inch rainfall deficit has built up over the past 3 weeks while soybeans were filling pods, says Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections. In Paraguay harvesting is around 75% complete, and a record 7.2 MMT crop is on the cards, more than double what the country managed to produce last year.


May Corn futures were at USD3.63 ¼, down 1 cent; December Corn futures at USD3.93, down ¾ cents. Export inspections for corn were below what is needed to meet the USDA export forecast for the 2009/10 marketing year, but above trade estimates at 36.5 million bushels. South Korea bought 275,000 MT of corn in a tender. Separately, the USDA also said that previous sales of 176,000 MT of corn to unknown destinations had been switched to South Korea. South Korea clearly have their buying boots on, saying that it's January and February corn imports were up 25% on year ago levels. Wet weather and saturated part frozen soils in the Upper Midwest is seen delaying corn planting for a second year running.


May CBOT Wheat closed at USD4.79 ¼, down 6 cents; May KCBT Wheat at USD4.88 ¼, down 6 ½ cents; May MGEX Wheat at USD5.07 ¼, down 6 ¼ cents. Algeria is tendering for milling wheat and Iraq issued tenders for at least 100,000 MT. Export inspections were dismal at 9,167,000 bushels compared to last weeks 21,091,000 bushels, and expectations of 14-19 million. Snowmelt on top of already saturated soils in the Upper Midwest is seen potentially cutting spring wheat acreage. "Hard red winter wheat in the Great Plains got a boost from generous showers last week. Northwest Kansas received over an inch of rain along with western Nebraska and northeast Colorado. Wheat growth will accelerate with highs in the 50s F this week and favourable field moisture," says Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections.