Chicago Closing Comments - Friday

06/01/12 -- Soybeans: Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.89 1/2, down 11 3/4 cents; Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.96 1/2, down 12 1/2 cents; Jan 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD309.60, down USD0.70; Jan 12 Soybean Oil closed at 50.80, down 97 points. On the week overall beans were down 9 cents, meal up 20 cents and oil down 129 points. Weekly export sales of 281,300 MT for the 2011/12 were well below trade ideas of 400-600,000 MT. Informa Economics pegged 2011 US soybean production at 3.08 billion bushels with yields as 41.8 bu/acre. That's higher than the USDA's last estimate of 3.046 billion bushels and 41.3 bpa. Informa also cut their estimate for Brazilian production this year by 2 MMT to 72 MMT. For Argentina they now say 51 MMT. Both are in the ballpark of other trade predictions, if anything the Argentine number is a little higher than most. The USDA's December estimates were 75 MMT and 52 MMT respectively, they will issue revised number on Thursday. Prior to that the weather in South America will dominate proceedings.

Corn: Mar 12 Corn closed at USD6.43 1/2, unchanged; May 12 Corn closed at USD6.50 3/4, down 3/4 cent. On the week corn was down 3 cents. Weekly export sales were at the low end of trade hopes at a combined 306,000 MT, although China popped up as a featured buyer. Informa pegged the 2011 US corn yield at 147.0 bpa versus the USDA's 146.7 bpa. Corn production was estimated at 12.340 billion bushels compared to the USDA's 12.310 billion. In South America they cut their Brazilian corn production estimate to 61 MMT, and lowered output in Argentina to 24 MMT. The Brazilian estimate is the same as the USDA issued last month, the Argentine number is in line with other trade estimates. The latest Commitment of Traders report shows funds adding around 45,000 contracts of new length in the week to Jan 3rd, maybe they are getting their risk appetite back?

Wheat: Mar 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.24 3/4, down 4 1/2 cents; Mar 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.80, down 6 cents; Mar 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.01, down 17 1/2 cents. On the week as a whole Chicago wheat shed 28 cents, Kansas 37 cents and Minneapolis 48 1/2 cents. Weekly export sales were poor at 138,600 MT for 2011/12 and 29,500 MT for delivery in 2012/13. That fell well short of the 300-500,000 MT that the trade was expecting. Shipments of 425,800 MT also once again failed to meet the level required to hit the USDA's overall marketing year target. Egypt bought a combination of French, Ukraine and Russian/Kazakh wheat today. US wheat hasn't featured into them so far this marketing year, and seems set to miss out for the rest of 2011/12 too. Argentina is talking of easing the existing export quota system for wheat once domestic requirements have been secured.