Chicago Close - Friday

23/12/11 -- Soybeans: beans were higher for the seventh session in a row, even if only marginally on this occasion. It was a predictably thin day with Jan 12 beans ending 3/4 cent higher at USD11.63/bushel for a gain of 33 cents, or almost 3%, on the week. Jan 12 meal closed USD1.40 lower at USD297.00 and Jan 12 oil closed at 50.96, up 51 points. South American dryness supports as does a weaker US dollar, although how long either will continue like that is unknown.

Corn: March corn ended up 2 cents at USD6.19 1/2 a bushel; May corn ended up 1 3/4 cents at USD6.28 a bushel. March corn was up 36 1/2 cents, or 6%, on the week. Hot and dry weather in southern Brazil and Argentina is seen as more damaging for corn than wheat at this stage. Some reports of abandoned corn are already filtering through. In Argentina an estimated 40% of the crop is at the maximum water usage tasseling stage.

Wheat: Mar 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.22, up 1/4 cent; Mar 12 KCBT Wheat finished at USD6.75, up 2 1/1 cents; Mar 12 MGEX Wheat was up 3/4 cent at USD8.44 1/2. On the week overall Chicago wheat gained 38 1/4 cents, or 6.6%, curiously more than corn despite South American weather posing only a minimal threat to the wheat crop in the region. The large fund short in wheat is probably the explanation for that. The USDA reported the sale of 120,000 MT of hard red winter wheat to Nigeria.

Best wishes to all.