Chicago Closing Comments - Friday

03/08/12 -- Soycomplex: Aug 12 Soybeans closed at USD16.56 1/4, up 3 1/4 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD16.28 3/4, up 12 1/4 cents; Aug 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD531.60, up USD7.90; Aug 12 Soybean Oil closed at 52.04, up 50 points. For the week that puts Aug 12 beans 28 cents lower, with Nov 12 beans 27 cents higher. Meal is up USD3.90 and soybean oil unchanged. Farm Futures Magazine estimated the 2012 US soybean crop at 2.696 billion bushels using a yield figure of 35.8 bushels/acre, 11.6% lower than the USDA's current 40.5 bpa forecast. Informa says that it sees USDA estimating the US soybean yield at 37.2 bpa next Friday, with production pegged at 2.791 million bushels. Lanworth Inc estimated US soybean yields at 34.5 bpa from 35.7 bpa only a week ago. Funds were said to have been net buyers of around 6,000 soybean contracts on the day.

Corn: Sep 12 Corn closed at USD8.10, up 16 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD8.07 1/2, up 11 3/4 cents. For the week that puts Sep 12 corn 11 1/2 cents higher, with Dec 12 gaining 14 1/4 cents. Funds were estimated at being net buyers of around 10-12,000 contracts on the day. As with soybeans, private production estimates are lining up well below last month's USDA numbers ahead of next Friday's revised forecasts coming out. The normally conservative Informa estimated US corn production at just 10.338 billion bushels using a yield figure of only 120.7 bushels/acre, fully 17% below last month's USDA yield estimate of 146 bpa. Farm Futures estimate came in even lower, they are now estimating the 2012 US corn crop at only 9.57 billion bushels, using a yield of 114.0 bpa, that's almost 22% down on the USDA's July forecast. Mexico made its biggest one day purchase of US corn in over 20 years yesterday in what some are describing as the first "panic buy" of the season concerning the rapid decline in outlook for the US crop.

Wheat: Sep 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD8.91 1/4, up 26 1/4 cents; Sep 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD8.93, up 24 cents; Sep 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.47, up 20 1/2 cents. Fund buying was estimated at 5,000 contracts in Chicago wheat. On the week overall CBOT wheat fell 6 3/4 cents, Kansas fell 13 cents and Minneapolis dropped 25 cents. Wheat gained on spillover support from corn and a weaker US dollar. South Korea imported a record 5.2 MMT of wheat in 2011/12, according to the USDA attaché there, of that total 2.0 MMT came from the US. Rains in the past week have slowed Argentine farmers' wheat plantings in Buenos Aires province, the country's top wheat region, according to the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange. Plantings are expected to be down this year as other crops offer potentially more lucrtive returns, and due to growers continued displeasure with potential government intervention in the grain markets. Reduced wheat production prospects in the Black Sea should offer improved export hopes to US wheat, at least in the second half of 2012/13.