Chicago Falls

18/02/11 -- The market closed sharply lower after China raised it's bank reserve requirements by another half percent today. It's also a three day weekend in America, which probably encouraged some profit-taking this afternoon.

Soybeans -- Mar 11 soybeans closed at USD13.68, down 36 1/2 cents; Mar 11 soybean meal closed at USD362.00, down USD10.70; Mar 11 soybean oil closed at 56.49, down 176 points. Soybeans were down around 48 cents for the week. Fund liquidation of their excessive long position ahead of the weekend was maybe behind tonight's decline. Cancellations as China and others switch to South America perhaps also caught the market off guard.

Corn -- Mar 11 corn closed at USD7.09 3/4, down 3 cents; Dec 11 Corn closed at USD6.12 1/2, down 2 3/4 cents. Corn was easily the strongest leg of the three, with tight US stocks and strong demand from the ethanol sector underpinning prices. Mexico bought another 156,100 MT of corn today, the USDA said. On the week as a whole Mar corn did at least manage to close with modest gains, up 3 1/4c.

Wheat -- CBOT March wheat fell 28 1/2c to USD8.22 1/4 a bushel; KCBT March wheat lost 23 1/2c to USD9.29 3/4; MGEX March wheat declined 25 1/2c to USD9.55 1/2. Wheat ended between 45 and 62 cents lower on the week. Spotty showers occurred yesterday in the North China Plain, although wheat is still stressed for moisture in Shandong and Henan - the top two producing provinces, say Martell Crop Projections.