Chicago Close

24/01/12 -- Soybeans: Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.20, up 2 1/2 cents; May 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.28 3/4, up 3 1/4 cents; Mar 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD323.50, up USD2.50; Mar 12 Soybean Oil closed at 51.35, down 7 points. Funds bought 4,000 soybean contracts on the day it is reckoned on spillover support from corn and wheat. Argentina got some rain overnight but reports on exactly how much and where it fell are divided. Opinion is also split on how much good rain will do at this stage and how much damage is irreversible.

Corn: Mar 12 Corn closed at USD6.30 1/4, up 10 1/4 cents; May 12 Corn closed at USD6.35 1/4, up 9 1/2 cents. Funds were said to have bought around 10,000 corn contracts on the day. Further production downgrades for Argentina got rumours circulating that the government there would impose some form of export restriction this year, a story swiftly denied by officials there. The FAO now estimate Argentina’s 2012 corn crop at 21.4 MMT. That's well below the 29-30 MMT hoped for at the start of the season, but still not too far off being a record crop.

Wheat: Mar 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.33 1/2, up 13 3/4 cents; Mar 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.86, up 12 1/2 cents; Mar 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.03 3/4, up 1/2 cent. Funds were said to have been panicked into covering in 11,000 lots of their short position on Chicago wheat today. Rumours that Russia was about to introduce an export ban and/or duty on foreign sales got the market going. Other wild speculation said that Russia was actively trying to buy US wheat, a highly unlikely scenario. Texas reports that 40% of it's wheat crop is in poor to very poor condition, a situation not entirely unusual for that arid state.