Chicago Closing Comments

03/11/11 -- Soybeans: Nov 11 Soybeans closed at USD12.19 1/4, up 25 3/4 cents; Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.27 1/4, up 24 1/2 cents; Dec 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD314.50, up USD4.00; Dec 11 Soybean Oil closed at 52.03, up 118 points. Beans closed higher despite a very poor weekly export sales number of just 209,700 MT versus trade guesses of 450-750 TMT. The latter did little to support recent rumours of Chinese buying. After a real yo-yo day in terms if European developments the market is buoyed by latest news that Greece will not resort to a referendum on the latest bailout proposals after all. However, after a day like today anything is possible tomorrow.

Corn: Dec 11 Corn closed at USD6.53 1/2, up 8 1/2 cents; Mar 12 Corn closed at USD6.63 3/4, up 7 3/4 cents. Funds bought an estimated 9,000 contracts on the day on a slight easing of tension surrounding Greek debt concerns. Weekly export sales were a bit better than expected at 622,600 MT and also included one cargo switched from unknown to China. Even so US corn exports are running well behind the level needed to match USDA projections for 2011/12. Ukraine remain aggressive competition and the USDA's attaché in Brazil upped their 2011/12 crop estimate by 9 MMT to 64 MMT. Demand from the ethanol sector remains strong - for now - ahead of the removal of the blenders' tax credit at the end of the year.

Wheat: Dec 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.36, up 12 1/2 cents; Dec 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD7.20, up 7 cents; Dec 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.17, up 6 3/4 cents. Wheat export sales were below expectations at 320,100 MT as the Black Sea continues to dominate. There's a bit of rain in the forecast for the Southern Plains which should help winter wheat there. Spillover strength from corn added support as did a slight easing of European tensions. Funds remain significant short-holders of CBOT wheat even if they have trimmed their positions somewhat of late. That may support the futures market although it might do little to help the physicals as US wheat remains largely uncompetitive on the world export stage.