Chicago Close - Monday

04/06/12 -- Soybeans: Jul 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.40, down 4 1/4 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD12.68 1/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Jul 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD396.10, up USD1.60; Jul 12 Soybean Oil closed at 48.31, down 28 points. Jul 12 soybean oil closed within 9 cents of setting a new 19-month closing low for a front month. Cruse oil was lower again for much of the day, but managed to claw its way into positive territory by the end of the session on light consolidation following a near 22% drop in a month. The USDA announced the sale of 165,000 MT of new crop soybeans to China, which was supportive. So too were ideas that despite the early planting, this season's crop hasn't got off to a great start with large parts of the Midwest too warm and dry in May. The USDA released their first soybean crop ratings of the new season. The trade was expecting around 70% good/excellent, but got only 65% in the top two categories. Planting is 94% complete versus 75% normally and emergence is 79% compared with 50% normally. The weather outlook is cooler, but lacking in precipitation. "The temperature forecast this week is favourable, not calling for extreme heat. On the other hand, dry air and low humidity is expected to dominate the grain belt with high pressure in control. This would enhance evaporation, without enough rainfall to compensate. The 5-day rainfall outlook shows a big hole over the Midwest Corn Belt where less than .25 inch of rainfall is anticipated," say Martell Crop Projections.

Corn: Jul 12 Corn closed at USD5.68, up 16 1/2 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.23 3/4, up 13 3/4 cents. Funds were said to have bought around 12,000 corn contracts on the day after weekend rains turned out to be lighter than anticipated. The 30-day rainfall totals for May show much of the Corn Belt having less than 50% of normal precipitation last month. Following sub-par field moisture in May the weather forecast going forward doesn't contain much in the way of precipitation either. Talk persists that China has bought up to 6 cargoes of US corn as prices dipped to 17-month lows last week, but there is no confirmation of this from the USDA as yet. Ukraine announced it's intention to sell 3 MMT of it's new crop corn to China in 2012/13 if it can get over a few quarantine hurdles, although that will be easier said than done. After the close the USDA said that 72% of the US 2012 corn crop is rated good/excellent, unchanged from last week. Emergence is 97% versus 83% normally.

Wheat: Jul 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.27 3/4, up 15 1/2 cents; Jul 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.55, up 18 cents; Jul 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD7.42 1/2, up 3 cents. Short-covering was a feature. Wheat regained around half of Friday's losses, although talk circulates of Asian buyers potentially switching out of wheat and back into corn at current price differentials. Funds were said to have been net buyers of around 4,000 Chicago wheat contracts on the day after weekend rains in Russia and China were below expectations. Weekly export inspections of 21.6 million bushels were bang in line with trade expectations. The USDA peg the winter wheat harvest at 20% complete, more than double last week's pace and well ahead of just 3% normally. Harvesting is 73% done in Oklahoma compared to just 13% on average for this time. Winter wheat crop ratings fell from 54% good/excellent to 52%. Spring wheat good/excellent fell one point to 78%.