Chicago Ends Higher

13/02/12 -- Soybeans: Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.52, up 23 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.59, up 19 1/2 cents; Mar 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD330.50, up USD10.50; Mar 12 Soybean Oil closed at 53.05, up 52 points. The USDA issued a preliminary forecast of US plantings for the 2012 harvest pegging beans at 74 million acres, lower than other private estimates which have been roughly unchanged from 2011 at around 75 million. Funds came in for an estimated 8,000 soybean contracts on the day encouraged by news that Greece was a step closer to pushing through it's austerity measures.

Corn: Mar 12 Corn closed at USD6.39 1/2, up 7 3/4 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.67, up 7 1/4 cents. The USDA suggested that US corn plantings would reach 94 million acres this spring, a bit lower than Informa's 94.75 million but still a significant increase on 2011's 91.9 million. If that baseline projection is correct then we'd see 2012/13 ending stocks double to 1.623 billion bushels. The USDA weekly export inspections report was a pretty poor 29.016 million bushels. Nevertheless funds came in for an estimated 10,000 contracts on the day.

Wheat: Mar 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.41 1/4, up 11 1/4 cents; Mar 12 KCBT Wheat closed atUSD$6.83 1/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Mar 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.15 1/2, up 1 1/4 cents. Funds bought an estimated 4,000 CBOT contracts on the day. A first success of the 2011/12 season for US wheat in Egypt's weekend tender encouraged belief that US wheat is now competitively priced with European and Black Sea origin. The USDA predicteded that the US wheat area for the 2012 harvest would come in at 56.7 million acres, a little below some other suggestions. Even so that's a significant increase on last year and would place stocks to use at almost 41% in 2012/13.