CBOT Closing Comments


May beans finished at USD9.74, 6 ½ cents higher. It was a book squaring sort of a day ahead of tomorrow's USDA report. Analyst's average estimates for soybean plantings are 78.5 million acres, around a million up on last year. March 1st stocks are seen at around 1.2 billion bushels. The dock workers strike in Argentina remains unresolved, although some reports suggest that a deal could be imminent, others imply that things are further away from a solution than they were last week. Celeres say that the Brazilian harvest is now 66% complete.


May corn futures closed at USD3.54 ½, down 2 ½ cents. Analysts project corn plantings at 88.941 million acres in tomorrow's USDA report. We have a fairly wide range of guesses from 87.00-90.15 million, so somebody is likely to be miles out. March 1st stocks are seen at just over 7.5 billion bushels. Latest US weather forecasts suggest warmer and drier conditions throughout much of the Midwest. This might provide a short-term window of opportunity for planting corn, although the longer term forecasts are wetter and colder than normal.


May CBOT wheat closed at USD4.72, 7 ¼ cents higher. US spring wheat acres are expected to increase slightly from a year ago in tomorrow's USDA report to 13.56 million acres. Weather conditions across the heart of the main winter wheat producing states on the Great Plains have been largely ideal of late. Monday's USDA crop condition report showed that Kansas wheat was rated 70% good-excellent, 25% fair and 5% poor. "That was the 4th consecutive week of improvement, and highest rating since last fall," says Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections. "Oklahoma wheat was also very impressive, at 69% good-excellent, 27% fair and 4% poor-very poor. Meanwhile the Texas crop at 60% good-excellent, 32% fair and 8% poor was a season best," she adds.