Chicago Close - Thursday

17/05/12 -- Soybeans: Jul 12 Soybeans closed at USD14.38, up 16 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.06 1/2, up 4 1/4 cents; Jul 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD428.00, up USD3.00; Jul 12 Soybean Oil closed at 50.72, up 29 points. Weekly export sales were well below trade ideas at 673,400 MT vs the 1.1-1.6 MMT expected. However almost all of that was old crop (616,256 MT) and in addition the USDA reported the sale of 480,000 MT of old crop beans to China, making an already tight supply line even tighter. US weather forecasts are turning warm and dry, non threatening at the moment in the Midwest. Similar conditions in winter wheat ares though may discourage double cropping ideas. Macquarie Group meanwhile say that they believe that soybean prices will peak "in the June-August period when global supplies will be tightest" - July is the seasonal favourite peak month for CBOT beans.

Corn: Jul 12 Corn closed at USD6.25, up 5 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.28 1/4, up 2 cents. Funds were estimated to have bought around 7,000 corn contracts on the day even though weekly export sales of a combined 865,100 MT for corn were towards the low end of expectations of 800 TMT-1.4 MMT. China bought 72,700 MT of the old crop corn and 111,700 MT of the new crop with an additional 316,200 MT sold of unknown. Support for corn was also helped by spillover strength from resurgent wheat. Dryness in Eastern Europe, SE Ukraine, Southern Russia and Northern China is a concern. European woes are seen capping gains however, the Greek stock market fell to its lowest level since 1990 today. A strong dollar, the ultimate safe haven, is also likely to limit upside potential.

Wheat: Jul 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.57 3/4, up 19 cents; Jul 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.72, up 16 cents; Jul 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD7.67 1/4, up 7 1/4 cents. Weekly export sales of 711,400 MT were towards the upper end of the 400-850 TMT expected. The near record fund short in Chicago wheat limits downside potential, especially when there is talk of heat and dryness in Southern Russia. Funds were said to have covered in around 6,000 of that short today. Strategie Grains said that winter kill losses in Europe were worse than originally thought and cut 4.2 MMT off their soft wheat production estimate there. The USDA confirmed the sale of 100,000 MT of new crop HRW wheat to Iraq. Heat and dryness on the Southern Plains may take the shine off what had been expected to be near record yields for US winter wheat there.