Chicago Closing Comments

01/11/11 -- Soybeans: Nov 11 Soybeans closed at USD11.92 1/4, down 15 1/4 cents; Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.02 1/2, down 14 3/4 cents; Dec 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD310.70, down USD5.40, Dec 11 Soybean Oil closed at 50.80, down 37 points. For Nov 11 beans this was the first close below USD12.00 in three weeks with it proving once again to be noticeably the weakest leg of the trio of beans, corn and wheat. The Greek PM surprised the market by announcing a public referendum on complying with the conditions of last week's supposedly agreed bailout. After the close FC Stone estimated this season's US soybean crop at 3.109 billion bushels, down from it's previous estimate but slightly above the 3.06 billion that the USDA said last month.

Corn: Dec 11 Corn closed at USD6.54 1/4, up 7 1/4 cents; Mar 12 Corn closed at USD6.65 1/4, up 6 1/4 cents. Corn rebounded from a lower opening to close in positive territory with funds buying an estimated 6,000 contracts late in the day. As with beans FC Stone reduced their US corn crop estimate from last month but at 12.457 billion bushels it is still above the USDA's October number. The bulls will point to the tight US balance sheet and strong demand from the ethanol sector. The bears will say that world ending stocks aren't as tight as they were, US corn is losing out to cheaper foreign feed wheat in Asia and that demand from ethanol manufacturers is being artificially exaggerated ahead of the removal of the blenders' tax credit on Dec 31st.

Wheat: Dec 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.30, up 1 3/4 cents; Dec 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD7.18 1/2, down 6 1/2 cents; Dec 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.05 3/4, down 3 cents. Wheat garnered support from a late rally in corn and the continued oversold nature of CBOT futures. That doesn't necessarily mean that the physical market is any firmer though with Egypt once again seeking solace in Russian and Ukraine wheat. Argentina actually undercut them both but missed out due to freight differentials. Australia will soon have more wheat to market in a single year than it's ever had. That doesn't make US export prospects look overly great heading towards the second half of the marketing year, especially given recent dollar strength.