Market Update

27/12/12 -- A quick update on what's happened over the Christmas period based on front month closes for each commodity:

CBOT Soybeans: Closed 9 cents higher Christmas Eve, but lost those gains and more to end Boxing Day 15 1/4 cents lower. Weekly export inspections of 44.486 million bushels released Boxing Day were pretty respectable and up 3.396 on the previous week. In addition the USDA reported fresh soybean sales of 115 TMT to China and 108 TMT to unknown destinations, both for 2012/13 shipment on Wednesday.

CBOT Corn: Finished Christmas Eve 2 1/2 cents higher, but fell sharply on Boxing Day closing 11 1/4 cents lower. Weekly export inspections for corn were modest once again at 13.475 million bushels. CBOT corn now at it's lowest levels in almost 6 months.

CBOT Wheat: Was 1 3/4 cents firmer on Christmas Eve, but shed 11 1/4 cents on Boxing Day. Export inspections were fairly modest at 15.128 million bushels. CBOT wheat now at it's lowest levels in almost 6 months.

CBOT Soymeal: Gained USD1.00 on Christmas Eve, lost USD3.50 on Boxing Day.

CBOT Soyoil: Added 23 points on Christmas Eve and fell 65 points on Boxing Day.

London Wheat: Unchanged Christmas Eve, market closed Boxing Day.

Paris Wheat: Unchanged on Christmas Eve and EUR1.00/tonne higher on Boxing Day.

Paris Corn: Unchanged on both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day

Paris Rapeseed: Down EUR0.25/tonne on Christmas Eve and unchanged on Boxing Day.

Further fund liquidation as we approach year-end remains the over-riding theme. China appear to be coming back to buy the beans they cancelled pre-Christmas at these lower levels, with further purchases this week. The Ministry of Commerce estimate that they will now import 6.31 MMT of soybeans in December versus previous estimate of 5.0 MMT - I can't find official clarification of this right now, but I think that this would be a record monthly volume.

Oil World estimate China's 2012/13 soybean imports at a record 61.7 MMT versus 59.2 MMT in 2011/12.

There's now talk of a strike by the longshoreman’s union at most of the US Pacific Northwest ports.

Michael Cordonnier has cut his Argentine soybean crop estimate by 1 MMT to 54.0 MMT on continued wetness. He also says however that the very first early-maturing soybeans have been harvested in Brazil's Mato Grosso state this week.

Safras e Mercado are said to have raised their Brazilian soybean production estimate to a record 84.3 MMT versus the USDA's 81.0 MMT and up almost 27% on the 66.5 MMT harvested in 2011/12.

Reuters are reporting temperatures in northwest Kansas hard red winter wheat areas as low as single digits Fahrenheit (minus 12 to minus 17 Celsius) on Wednesday morning. Let's hope that they have a protective snow covering in those areas.

India are offering a further 150 TMT of their surplus wheat stocks for export. Bangladesh have bought 50 TMT of optional origin wheat in a tender