Chicago Dives

17/11/11 -- Soybeans: Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.68 1/4, down 19 1/2 cents; Mar 12 Soybeans finished at USD11.78 1/2, down 19 1/2 cents; Dec 11 Soybean Meal ended at USD294.50, down USD1.90; Dec 11 Soybean Oil closed at 51.40, down 108 points. European jitters were back leading to a broad-based commodity sell-off. Crude slumped the best part of four dollars to end below USD99/barrel, a disappointing performance having waited since June to close above that psychologically important level for the first time on Wednesday. Spillover weakness for corn and wheat pressured soybeans despite better than expected weekly export sales of 746,100 MT for 2011/12 and the confirmation of private exporters selling an additional 420,000 MT to China.

Corn: Dec 11 Corn ended at USD6.14 1/2, down 28 1/4 cents; Mar 12 Corn closed at USD6.23 1/4, down 28 3/4 cents. Weekly export sales were very poor at 208,900 MT compared with expectations of between 350 and 600 thousand MT and the lowest in more than a year. There's plenty of evidence that world buyers are switching away from US corn to cheaper alternatives from Ukraine or even India, or buying Black Sea/Australian feed wheat. Argentina is alos expected to ship 15 MMT of corn i 2011/12. Stop loss selling was also a feature as corn crashed to its lowest close almost six weeks with funds selling an estimated 25,000 contracts.

Wheat: Dec 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD5.92 1/2, down 24 1/4 cents; Dec 11 KCBT Wheat ended at USD6.55 1/2, down 20 1/2 cents; Dec 11 MGEX Wheat finished at USD9.25, down 8 1/2 cents. This was the first time we've seen a front month Chicago contract close below USD6/bushel since July 1st. Weekly export sales were a bit below expectations at 317,000 MT for 2011/12 and 17,500 MT for 2012/13 delivery. More important than that though is weekly shipments missing the required volume to hit the USDA's 2011/12 export target for five weeks in the past six. The strong dollar and bumper harvests around the world are making other sellers far more aggressive than the US.