Chicago Close

20/04/11 -- Soybeans: May 11 soybeans closed at USD13.57 3/4, up 15 3/4 cents; Nov 11 soybeans closed at USD13.66, up 12 cents; May 11 soybean meal closed at USD349.20, up USD2.80; May 11 soybean oil closed at 58.14, up 61 points. A weak dollar and firm cash market got beans off to an early doors flyer, although they slipped back later in the session to close around midway on the days trading range. Will China's efforts to curb inflation also quell demand for commodities like soybeans? Some seem to think so. Brazil's harvest is around 85% complete, with progress in Argentina now at 54%. Tomorrow's weekly export sales will be interesting, with estimates ranging 200 to 400 thousand MT.

Corn: May 11 corn closed at USD7.32 3/4, down 16 1/4 cents; Dec 11 corn closed at USD6.55 1/2, down 20 1/2 cents. Corn started higher, but reversed to finish with some fairly hefty declines after weekly ethanol data showed corn usage falling for the fourth week in a row. A drier outlook for the corn belt also had some negative impact even though tomorrow's weekly export sales are again expected to be robust at around 800,000 MT to 1.1 MMT. Funds sold an estimated 14,000 contracts, seemingly keen to reduce some length ahead of the coming long weekend.

Wheat: May 11 CBOT wheat closed at USD7.85, down 3/4 cent; May 11 KCBT wheat closed at USD9.20, down 6 cents; May 11 MGEX wheat closed at USD9.38 3/4, down 4 1/4 cents. Wheat opened higher but got dragged lower by falling corn later in the session. Profit-taking ahead of the long weekend may also have been a feature for wheat. Crop conditions remain amongst the poorest of recent years. in fact Monday night's crop ratings was the worst condition report since 2002 - a very poor production year. Export sales estimates for tomorrow range from 400 to 800 thousand MT.