Chicago Close

01/06/11 -- Soybeans: Jul 11 soybeans closed at USD13.86 1/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Nov 11 Soybeans closed at USD13.74 3/4, up 11 1/4 cents; Jul 11 soybean meal closed at USD360.70, up USD5.40; Jul 11 soybean oil closed at 58.43, down 6 points. Beans wrestled with bearish outside influences like crude oil being sharply lower and the late planting scenario outlined by the USDA last night which put sowings 20 points behind normal at 51% done. Personally I don't think that this is such a HUGE issue at this stage as there is still plenty of time to get beans into the ground. But it's more important what the market thinks than what I think. Above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall forecast for much of the Midwest over the next fortnight should allow bean planting to catch up. Linn Group disagree, pegging this season's soybean acreage at 74.9 million.

Corn: Jul 11 corn closed at USD7.58 1/2, up 11 cents; Dec 11 corn closed at USD6.79 1/2, up 6 1/2 cents. As with beans corn was torn between bearish outside influences and the late planting storyline. Linn Group estimated this season's corn area at 87.2 million acres, miles below the USDA's 92.2 million. Funds bought an estimated 11,000 contracts on the day. Wheat was a negative influence as too was lower crude oil and soft employment and manufacturing data. An improved weather outlook for the US east of the Rockies for the next two weeks should enable much of the outstanding 14% of unplanted corn acreage to make it into the ground.

Wheat: Jul 11 CBOT wheat closed at USD7.59 1/4, down 23 cents; Jul 11 KCBT wheat closed at USD8.91 1/2, down 16 1/2 cents; Jul 11 MGEX wheat closed at USD10.05 1/2, down 19 1/2 cents. The Russian story dominated the wheat market dragging all three exchanges lower despite US winter and spring wheat having different bullish stories of their own. Funds sold an estimated 6,000 lots on CBOT. Forecast wetter weather for northern Europe starting this weekend and lasting into the middle on June was also a negative influence. Linn Group's spring wheat planting estimate was 13.8 million acres, some 600,000 lower than the USDA's May estimate.