Chicago Close - Friday

03/02/12 -- Soybeans: Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.32 1/2, up 15 1/2 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.37 1/4, up 13 1/2 cents; Mar 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD328.60, up USD5.20; Mar 12 Soybean Oil closed at 51.65, up 46 points. For the week overall nearby beans gained 13 1/2 cents, with meal adding USD6.40 and oil 6 points. Funds were said to have come in for 6,000 soybean contracts on the day, which would have them buying 23,000 since Monday's collapse. Informa cut very slightly their forecast for US soybean plantings this year to 74.568 million acres. They also dropped their forecast for Argentine production to 46.5 MMT from 51 MMT and lowered Brazil to 70 MMT from 72 MMT. The USDA attaché in Argentina pegs the soybean crop there at the same 46.5 MMT as Informa, 4 MMT below the USDA's January number.

Corn: Mar 12 Corn closed at USD6.44 1/2, up 1 1/2 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.81 1/2, up 2 1/2 cents. Front month March was only marginally higher on the week, up 2 3/4 cents, but it's 51 cents up in a fortnight and a day. Informa cut their Argentine corn production estimate by 1.5 MMT to 22.5 MMT and left their Brazilian estimate unchanged at 61.0 MMT. The USDA attaché in Argentina pegs corn production there a little lower at 21.8 MMT, compared with the USDA's own estimate of 26.0 MMT last month. They will issue a revised forecast next Thursday. The Commitment of Traders report shows large funds adding 32,300 corn contracts to their overall length in the week through to last Tuesday.

Wheat: Mar 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.60 3/4, down 2 cents; Mar 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD7.12 3/4, down 5 cents; Mar 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.38 1/2, up 2 1/2 cents. On the week as a whole Chicago wheat added 13 1/2 cents, Kansas gained 12 3/4 cents and Minneapolis put on 13 1/4 cents. The Commitment of Traders report shows trend-following funds reducing their overall Chicago short position by around 19,000 contracts in the week ending Tuesday. Informa increased their estimate for US all wheat plantings for the 2012 harvest to 57.9 million acres, 3.5 million up on last year. Russia indicated a more relaxed response to it's grain exports than many had anticipated.