Chicago Close

28/03/11 -- Soybeans: May 11 soybeans closed at USD13.48 1/2, down 9 3/4 cents; May 11 soybean meal closed at USD353.60, down USD3.60; May 11 soybean oil closed at 56.53, down 31 points. Early gains gave way to profit-taking and book squaring ahead of Thursday's all important acreage report. Outside markets were also negative with the US dollar firmer and crude oil weaker. Despite all the rain the Brazilian harvest is ahead of the five year average pace at 56% done. Safras & Mercado pegged the crop there at 71.5 MMT on Friday, well above other private estimates.

Corn: May corn fell 18 1/2c to USD6.71, whilst Dec corn tumbled 12 1/2c to USD5.97. The so called "battle for acres" is expected to see a substantial rise in US corn plantings this spring. That will be reported by the USDA on Thursday. After widespread reports of significant Chinese buying of US corn of late nothing concrete has been actually confirmed. Friday's sale of 1.25 MMT of old crop corn to "unknown" was widely touted to have been followed up today by "further announcements" that never happened.

Wheat: CBOT May wheat fell 8c to USD7.25 1/4 a bushel, KCBT May lost 6 1/2c to USD8.48 1/2 and MGEX May dropped 6c to USD8.75. Whilst US winter wheat conditions are pretty poor they have improved somewhat of late. The Kansas Agricultural Statistics March 28 Crop Progress report shows 31% of the crop rated good/excellent and 35% rated poor/very poor, which is up from 26% and 40% respectively a week ago. Jointing is rated at 13%, ahead of last week's 5%, and bang on the five-year average.