Chicago Closing Comments - Friday

20/07/12 -- Soycomplex: Aug 12 Soybeans closed at USD17.57 1/2, up 23 3/4 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD16.86 1/4, up 34 cents; Aug 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD543.00, up USD11.00; Aug 12 Soybean Oil closed at 54.36, down 4 points. Funds were heavy buyers in beans once again, taking an estimated 13,000 contracts. There's a feeling that whilst for corn the damage has already been done, for beans it may be that the worst is still to come. Nov 12 beans were up USD1.34 1/4 on the week. Brazilian analysts Safras e Mercado estimate next year's 2012/13 soybean crop there at a record 82.3 MMT as farmers there ramp up plantings as new crop beans near USD17/bushel. Unfortunately for the market though that crop is still at least six months away from being harvested, and a rapidly diminishing US crop is all that China and the rest of the world has to keep it going.

Corn: Sep 12 Corn closed at USD8.24 1/2, up 16 3/4 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD7.95 3/4, up 17 1/4 cents. New crop Dec 12 corn was up 55 1/2 cents on the week with funds buying an estimated 17,000 on the day. The commitment of traders report has funds adding around 32,500 contracts on the week through to Tuesday. The Commodity Weather Group, a US weather consultancy, cut their forecast for US yields this year to 136bpa, ten bushels lower than last week's USDA forecast that shocked the market. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now say that the current drought is the worst since 1956. The US Agriculture Secretary though has refused to bow to pressure to reduce the US ethanol mandate to take some of the pressure off declining stock levels.

Wheat: Sep 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD9.43 1/4, up 8 1/4 cents; Sep 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD9.41, up 3 cents; Sep 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD10.31 1/2, up 9 1/2 cents. Chicago and Kansas wheat were up the best part of a dollar on the week, with Minneapolis rising by around 75 cents. Funds were said to have been net buyers of around 5,000 Chicago wheat contracts on the day. Wheat continues to gain on spillover support from corn and soybeans, and also on much lower production, and therefore reduced export potential, out of the Black Sea this year. Chicago wheat posted the highest close for a front month since 2008 today. Wheat harvesting is underway in France, with early yields and quality both said to be good.