Chicago Closing Comments - Friday

11/11/11 -- Soybeans: Nov 11 Soybeans closed at USD11.66, up 8 cents; Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.75 1/2, up 8 cents; Dec 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD299.50, up USD1.60; Dec 11 Soybean Oil closed at 50.98, up 46 points. Beans were the strongest of the grains on the day, but have been the weakest overall this week finishing 46 1/2 cents lower than last Friday's close. Meal is down USD15.90 and oil down 89 points on the week. This was meal's first close below USD300 on the weekly chart in more than a year. As ever, unconfirmed rumours of Chinese buying on this latest dip emerged. Informa Economics switched 900,000 acres out of soybeans and into corn for 2012 US plantings coming up with a figure of 76.1 million acres for beans.

Corn: Dec 11 Corn closed at USD6.38 1/2, down 7 cents; Mar 12 Corn closed at USD6.47 3/4, down 7 cents. On the week overall Dec was down 17 1/4 cents. Informa upped their projected 2012 US corn planting estimate to 94 million acres, suggesting a crop of 359 MMT, a 15% increase on this season. Reports of foreign feed wheat being shipped to the US to replace corn in feed rations is bearish as are suggestions that similar things are happening in Asia. Ukraine's corn harvest is winding down and now that they have their export duty removed they are emerging as aggressive sellers. European debt worries took a backseat today, but the problem certainly hasn't gone away even with a couple of new captains likely to be at the helm of the sinking Greek and Italian ships next week.

Wheat: Dec 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.16 3/4, down 3 1/4 cents; Dec 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD7.04, up 7 cents; Dec 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.34 1/4, down 11 1/4 cents. Chicago wheat was down 20 cents on the week, with Kansas falling 14 cents and Minneapolis up 10 1/2 cents. Informa left their US all wheat area for the 2012 harvest unchanged at 57 million acres (up 2.7 million on 2011). A return to trendline yields would potentially give us a US wheat crop of 61.9 MMT next year, 14% up on the USDA's latest estimate for production in 2011. News of UK wheat being shipped into the US highlights the uncompetitive nature of domestic wheat and corn prices across the pond. Yesterday's weekly export data shows US shipments falling behind the level required to reach the USDA's 26 MMT target for the current season.