Chicago Close

18/04/11 -- Soybeans: May soybeans were up 12 1/2c to USD13.44 1/4; Nov 11 Soybeans closed at USD13.49 1/4, up 9 1/2 cents. Beans rose on spillover support from wheat despite a sharply lower stock market after Standard & Poor's cut their ratings outlook on the US from stable to negative. Brazil's harvest is heading into the home stretch, and Argentina's is now more than a third complete. Beans look overvalued as Rabobank say that China will only import 53 MMT of soybeans this year, 4 MMT less than the USDA's latest estimate. Wheat planting delays in the northern Plains may also lead to increased soybean acres getting planted.

Corn: May corn ended up 9 3/4c at USD7.51 3/4; Dec corn was up 12 1/4c at USD6.68 1/4. Rain, snow and freezing temperatures are hardly getting US corn plantings off to a flyer. After the close the USDA reported only 7% of the US corn crop was in the ground as of Sunday. Progress is very slow in the north. "The Midwest weather has deteriorated badly, turning cold and wet, pointing to corn planting delays. Normally seeding begins around April 20, picking up momentum late in April and early May. Wet field conditions have worsened on the weekend with bouts of rain and snow showers. Temperatures are sharply colder in the northern areas, dropping soil temperatures below the 50 F threshold for germination," say Martell Crop Projections.

Wheat: CBOT May wheat rose 30 3/4c to USD7.75 a bushel; KCBT May gained 30 1/2c to USD8.96; MGEX May jumped 25c to USD9.14. Wheat gained on drought in Kansas and the southern Plains, too much moisture and freezing temperatures further north and concerns over dryness in Europe. The USDA pegged 36% of the US winter wheat crop in good/excellent condition after the close, unchanged from a week ago but well below the 69% reported a year ago. Strong weekly export inspections of 35.7 million bushels added support, as too did Russia dismissing talk of an early return to the grain export market.