Chicago Close - Friday

14/12/12 -- Soycomplex: Jan 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.96, up 19 1/2 cents; Mar 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.91 1/2, up 19 cents; Dec 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD460.10, down USD0.40; Dec 12 Soybean Oil closed at 49.63, up 101 points. Dec contracts went off the board today. For the week Jan 13 beans were 23 3/4 cents higher, with Dec 12 meal USD9.60 firmer and Dec 12 oil losing 119 points. The NOPA monthly crush for soybeans in November was 157.308 million bushels, which was in line with trade estimates, but still the largest monthly crush in almost two years. The number represents an increase of more than 16 million on Nov 2011. On top of the recent succession of strong weekly export sales and shipments, buoyant domestic demand for soybeans will continue to tighten availability until South American supplies come along in the spring. Argentine soybean plantings still lag. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange weekly report from yesterday said that 63.3% of the bean crop has been planted versus 72.9% a year ago. Meanwhile "widespread rains over the past week have favoured corn and soybeans across Brazil, with the heaviest amounts favouring central and western Mato Grosso and western Rio Grande do Sul," say MDA CropCast.

Corn: Dec 12 Corn closed at USD7.18 3/4, up 6 1/2 cents; Mar 13 Corn closed at USD7.30 3/4, up 10 1/2 cents; For the week that places Dec 12 corn, which went off the board today, losing a net 14 cents. Export demand for US corn continues to lag. Yesterday's weekly export sales of 258,900 MT were uninspiring. South Korea has bought around 630,000 MT of optional origin corn over the past few days, with very little, if any, of that likely to come from the US at this stage. Offers out of South America continue to undercut US corn, with logistics and maybe quality issues the most likely reason for Asian buyers to switch back into US corn. Japan and Taiwan are both said to have recently done so due to port congestion and delayed loading times in Brazil. China are now reported to have an issue with two containers of corn from Argentina containing traces of GMO varieties that are not approved for entry into the country. Some reports suggest that Chinese imports of all corn from Argentina will now be halted until the issue is resolved. It is unclear what kind of volume is in jeopardy, but it's unlikely to be huge. Coceral cut their forecast for EU-27 corn production in 2012 from 56.0 MMT to 54.7 MMT. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange weekly report said that 61% of the Argentine corn crop has been planted versus 71% a year ago.

Wheat: Dec 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD8.01, up 8 cents; Dec 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD8.52 1/4, up 1 1/2 cents; Dec 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.84 3/4, unchanged. Wheat corrected some of the week's sharp declines but CBOT still ended with losses of 43 1/4 cents versus last Friday. Technical buying, short covering and profit-taking was a feature on the day. US wheat badly needs signs of a prolonged pick-up in world demand for it. Yesterday's export sales were OK at 518,600 MT, but more will be needed to convince the market that world demand is switching to the US. Bangladesh bought 50 TMT of what will probably be Indian wheat in a tender, although South Korea did buy 47 TMT and 24 TMT of US wheat in two separate deals for April/May shipment. There's a chance of some long awaited and much-needed rain on the US Plains today, although hard wheat areas are only set to get "light-moderate showers" rather than the soaking they'd like. In a first look into the future, the IGC estimated next year's 2013/14 global wheat crop at 690 MMT, up 5.4% from this year's output. The Argentine wheat crop is just over 42% harvested, according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. Both quality and quantity are likely to be an issue this year due to heavy flooding and persistent rains.