Chicago Closing Comments

20/05/11 -- Soybeans: Jul 11 soybeans closed at USD13.80 1/4, up 3/4 cent; Nov 11 soybeans closed at USD13.50 1/2, up 1 cent; Jul 11 soybean meal closed at USD360.60, down USD0.80; Jul 11 soybean oil closed at 57.46, unchanged. Beans were up around 40-50c on the week. Crude oil ended around a dollar higher, having traded either side during the session. A firm US dollar was a bit negative for beans, especially in the wake of some pretty disappointing export numbers this past few weeks. More rain is in the forecast for the Midwest next week, which may see some acres get switched into beans, although corn growers will be doing their level best to get their crop in the ground on the "rain makes grain" ethos.

Corn: Jul 11 corn closed at USD7.59 1/2, up 11 1/4 cents; Dec 11 corn closed at USD6.66 1/2, up 4 1/2 cents. Old crop July was 77 1/2c higher on the week and Dec up 39 1/2c. Funds bought an estimated 10,000 contracts on the day as the US weather refuses to co-operate. "The 7-day forecast is incredibly wet in the Midwest, with up to 4 inches of rain possible Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio - a major disruption for corn and soybean planting," said Martell Crop Projections. Prices are now back close to contract highs - 7.82 1/4 for July and 6.83 for Dec, as funds regain their appetite for risk. The USDA will report on planting progress Monday night, last week we saw a 23 point increase to 63% complete.

Wheat: Jul 11 CBOT wheat closed at USD8.06 1/2, down 5 1/2 cents; Jul 11 KCBT wheat closed at USD9.33 1/4, down 11 1/2 cents; Jul 11 MGEX wheat closed at USD9.99 3/4, down 6 1/2 cents. Wheat was up around 60c to a dollar a bushel on the week as a whole, so a bit of consolidation ahead of the weekend was maybe due. The US market is faced with the double whammy of far too much rain in the spring wheat states, and far too little in the winter wheat states. Europe's crop seems to be losing potential by the day, and there are even a few little alarm bells ringing over Russia again. "Showers would be welcome now in the Volga and Black Earth region where topsoil is becoming dry with warm spring temperatures and no May rainfall," say Martell Crop Projections.