CBOT Closing Comments


May soybeans closed 6 cents lower at USD9.36 per bushel. November soybeans ended 3 1/2 cents lower at USD9.22 1/4 per bushel. Rapid progress with the soybean harvest in South America, and the resolution of the dock workers strike in Argentina weighed on futures today. "Virtually no rain is predicted in the upcoming week in South America soybean farms due to a large area of cool High Pressure. Dry conditions will hasten the soybean harvest in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay," said Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections. Informa now peg the 2009/10 Brazilian soybean crop at a huge 68.1 MMT, up 1.6 MMT from its March forecast, with 75% of the crop harvested as of March 31.


May corn was up 1 1/4 cents at USD3.45 3/4 a bushel, and July corn was up 1 1/2 cents to USD3.57 1/2. A weaker dollar and crude oil pushing above USD85/barrel was supportive for corn. The outlook for improved weather conditions across the Midwest, and the potential therefore for timely planting is likely to cap any gains. It's not all perfect though. "A band of very heavy rainfall is expected to develop along a warm front from central Iowa to southern Michigan. Showers will begin tonight. Some thunderstorms may be severe, causing 2-inch rains in east Iowa, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and Michigan," says Gail Martell.


CBOT May wheat ended down 1 1/4 cents at USD4.53 1/2 a bushel. KCBT May wheat was 1 3/4 cents higher at USD4.71 3/4. MGEX May wheat was up 1/2 cent to USD4.89 1/2. CBOT wheat set fresh contract lows yet again during the session. Despite reduced plantings US stocks are too high and prices are uncompetitive. What has gone into the ground looks to be in largely pretty good shape. In its first weekly crop ratings report of 2010 the USDA said that the winter crop was only 6% very poor/poor, 29% fair, and 65% good to excellent after the close. A year ago only 43% of the crop was rated good to excellent. "Wheat jointing is 75% under way in Oklahoma and accelerating to 35% in Kansas. The Texas wheat crop is thriving with ample field moisture and could make a surprisingly high yield," says Gail Martell.