CBOT Closing Comments


May Soybeans closed at USD9.85 ¼, up 1 ¼ cents, with Nov Soybeans at USD9.65 ½, up 4 ½ cents; May Soybean Meal ended at USD280.90, down USD1.00; May Soybean Oil at USD39.80, down 27 points. May beans posted gains of 33 cents on the week. the market continues to derive encouragement from continued Chinese buying, despite record South American production. The trade dispute between China and Argentina is also a supportive factor, just as Chinese bean imports are forecast to hit a record 5-5.5 MMT/month in May/June. Paraguay say that soybean production there will hit 7.4 MMT, a 90% increase on last season!


May Corn futures closed at USD3.64, up ¾ cents, and December Corn futures ended unchanged at USD3.94 ¼. May corn gained more than 18 cents on the week. Current US weather conditions are said to be largely ideal for spring planting, although the NWS 8-14 day forecast shows below to much below normal temps for the southern Plains and Southwest. Reports suggest that US growers are planting corn at a rapid rate, and early planting of course offers maximum yield potential. The Chinese government say that they will continue to sell corn from domestic reserves to quell rising prices.


May CBOT Wheat closed at USD4.90 ½, up 10 ¼ cents; May KCBT Wheat at 5.06 ½, up 10 cents; May MGEX Wheat at USD5.20, up 8 cents. Futures closed 16 to 25 cents higher for the week, with short-covering a feature. As has been noted before, the large short open position held by spec sellers always leaves the market vulnerable to corrections for little apparent reason. The US soft red winter wheat crop saw a 29% reduction in planted area last autumn, partly due to low prices, but also the late soy & corn harvest. What did get planted was planted late, having little chance to get well established before winter dormancy set in. The USDA estimate that 15% of that crop is in poor/very poor condition, with a further 33% only rated as fair.