Chicago Closing Comments - Thursday

16/02/12 -- Soybeans: Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.58 1/4, down 2 3/4 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.55 1/4, down 5 1/4 cents; Mar 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD330.80, down USD2.00; Mar 12 Soybean Oil closed at 53.05, down 30 points. The USDA reported weekly export sales of 436,700 MT for 2011/12 and 178,000 MT for delivery in 2012/13 - in line with the predicted 600-750 TMT. A Chinese trade delegation is said to have agreed to buy 8.62 MMT of US soybeans, with that amount maybe rising to around 12 MMT, but this is more of a publicity stunt than fresh business. Weather conditions in South America appear to have stabilised the crop there.

Corn: Mar 12 Corn closed at USD6.36 1/4, up 9 1/4 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at $5.68, up 8 1/4 cents. Weekly export sales of 1,005,900 MT for 2011/12 and a further 61,500 MT for delivery in 2012/13 were significantly higher than the 550-750 TMT expected. Funds were said to have bought 12,000 contracts on the day. Having taken a dip last week the weekly ethanol grind was back up again, which proved to be something of a surprise. Production was 928,000 barrels/day during the past week. China are said to have struck an accord with Argentina to import corn.

Wheat: Mar 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.28 3/4, up 2 3/4 cents; Mar 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.83, up 13 cents; Mar 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.17 3/4, up 6 3/4 cents. Weekly export sales of 420,400 MT for old crop and 7,500 MT for new crop were a bit lower than the 450-650 TMT expected. Weekly shipments were better at 479,100 MT but generally still lag the level required to hit the USDA's 2011/12 final target. Still, US wheat did pick up a second success in a week in today's Egyptian tender selling 180,000 MT. French wheat proved too expensive and Russian/Black Sea wheat wasn't even offered.