Chicago Closing Comments - Monday

22/10/12 -- Soycomplex: Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD15.46 1/2, up 12 1/4 cents; Jan 13 Soybeans closed at USD15.49 1/4, up 12 3/4 cents; Dec 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD471.00, up USD7.20; Dec 12 Soybean Oil closed at 51.66, up 8 points. Fund buying in beans was said to be around 3,000 contracts on the day. Most of Argentina remains too wet, and parts of Brazil are too dry. Talk of Chinese buying under the counter at these levels persist. Current US prices are very attractive compared to domestic Chinese levels. Meanwhile the South American crop is at least four months away, with soybean planting in Brazil only around 16% complete, according to Safras e Mercado. US soybean harvesting is 80% complete, versus 71% last week and 69% on average, the USDA said after the close. Weekly export inspections remain robust at 61.42 million bushels, suggesting another bold week of shipments. Last week's exports were almost 1.5 MMT - the highest weekly total in twenty months and the third week in a row of shipments in excess of 1 MMT.

Corn: Dec 12 Corn closed at USD7.61 1/4, down 1/4 cent; Mar 13 Corn closed at USD7.59 1/4, down 1/4 cent. Unlike soybeans, corn exports continue to lag, with today's inspections only a fraction of those for beans at just 9.6 million bushels. That is only around a third of last year's total for this week and falls well short of the required 24 million needed to hit the USDA's projections for the full season. "Parana, Brazil's leading corn state, is very dry as the spring planting season begins. An 8-inch (200 millimetre) moisture deficit has accrued from a 3-month drought. Rainfall was very disappointing again last week with traces- .20 inch (0-5 mm). Average weekly rainfall is 1.6 inches in October," say Martell Crop Projections. Persistent hot temperatures in October have added to moisture stress frequently topping 90 F. After the close the USDA reported corn harvesting at a record 87% complete. The five year average is only 49% done at this time.

Wheat: Dec 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD8.78 1/4, up 5 3/4 cents; Dec 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD9.15 1/2, up 7 1/2 cents; Dec 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.47 1/2, up 5 cents. Iraq is tendering for wheat, with the results due later in the week. Few expect US wheat to get a look in as it still looks too expensive compared to other origins. In the US "wheat conditions have grown dry in the main US bread wheat states in October. Some areas in Oklahoma and southern Kansas have received less than 15% of normal rainfall. Gusty winds last week whipped up dry fields producing a dust veil from southwest Nebraska through Kansas into Oklahoma. Kansas topsoil moisture was reported at 72% short-very short and 28% adequate in the mid- October USDA weekly crop letter from USDA," say Martell Crop Projections. After the close the USDA pegged US winter wheat plantings in line with normal at 81% complete. These areas now desperately need rain. Weekly export inspections of 16.4 million bushels were an improvement from last week's paltry 7.0 million, but still below year ago levels.