Chicago Close - Thursday

26/04/12 -- Soybeans: May 12 Soybeans closed at USD14.81 1/4, up 7 3/4 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.58 3/4, down 11 3/4 cents; May 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD419.60, up USD5.70; May 12 Soybean Oil closed at 55.37, down 28 points. A widening of the gap between old cro and new crop was a feature for both beans and meal on the day. Weekly export sales were strong and above expectations at a combined 1.4 MMT, slanted 926,200 MT in favour of a tight old crop supply. China accounted for 603,800 MT of that along with a further 365,000 MT of new crop. Funds were said to have been net buyers of around 4,000 soybean contracts on the day. With the Argentine soybean harvest now past halfway (56%) the Buenos Aries Grain Exchange cut their production estimate by 1 MMT to 43 MMT, pegging yields at 35 bu/acre.

Corn: May 12 Corn closed at USD6.24, up 13 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.35, down 3 cents. Corn also saw the old crop/new crop spread widen, reflecting tight old crop supplies. Weekly export sales of a combined 826,200 MT were also tilted in favour of old crop at 645,600 MT. China popped up as a buyer of 37,300 MT old crop and 66,800 MT of new crop. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange cut their Argentine corn crop estimate by 1 MMT to 19.8 MMT. There are widespread reports of elevators and ethanol producers struggling to find corn left for sale in the country, resulting in basis levels rising. It could be a heck of a long time to new crop.

Wheat: May 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.26, up 9 1/2 cents; May 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.39 1/4, up 7 1/4 cents; May 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD7.67 3/4, down 15 cents. Weekly export sales of a combined 744 TMT beat expectations for sales of 350-700 TMT. China took a 58,000 MT cargo of the new crop sales. That seems to confirm that US wheat is competitively priced on the world stage. Algeria recently passed on Argentine wheat due to quality concerns. Early talk is that Argentine farmers will plant less wheat this year due to their dissatisfaction with government price control measures. Lingering drought in Eastern Europe is also attracting some attention.