Chicago Close - Monday

14/05/12 -- Soybeans: May 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.90, down 14 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.94 3/4, down 26 1/2 cents; May 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD406.80, down USD4.20; May 12 Soybean Oil closed at 50.80, down 110 points. Risk off mode continues, with funds selling an estimated 9,000 soybean contracts on the day on broad-based commodity selling. World stock markets were also lower after Greece failed to form a coalition government over the weekend, meanwhile crude oil hit its lowest levels of 2012. After the close the USDA reported US soybean plantings at 46% complete, up from 24% last week and well ahead of normal. Emergence is 16%, up from 7% last week and 5% average.

Corn: May 12 Corn closed at USD6.08, unchanged; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.05 1/2, up 1/4 cent. Corn managed to fare better than soybeans in today's rout on unwinding of spreads that were short corn and long soybeans. The USDA said that corn planting is now 87% complete, versus 66% normally. Emergence is also well ahead of the normal pace at 56% compared with 28% on average. With planting nearing completion the market will soon start to focus on US weather conditions, thus far they have been pretty benign. If we are heading into an El Nino weather pattern then it is possible that we may end up with the record 166bu/acre yields that the USDA are currently factoring in.

Wheat: May 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD5.97 3/4, up 5 cents; May 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.05 1/2, up 4 1/2 cents; May 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD7.41 1/4, unchanged. Given the large fund short that already exists in wheat it too managed to fare better than soybeans on the day. The USDA cut their wheat ratings, dropping the percentage of the crop said to be good/excellent from 63% last week to 60% this week. Top wheat producing state Kansas had a dry week which saw its good/excellent rating cut from 60% last week to 52% this time round. The winter wheat crop remains very forward at 72% headed compared with 46% in a normal year. Spring wheat plantings are 94% complete versus 64% normally.