Chicago Closing Comments - Tuesday

15/01/13 -- Soycomplex: Mar 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.13 1/2, down 4 1/2 cents; May 13 Soybeans closed at USD13.99 3/4, down 5 1/2 cents; Mar 13 Soybean Meal closed at USD411.90, down USD5.60; Mar 13 Soybean Oil closed at 50.87, up 42 points. Fund selling in beans was estimated at around 2,000 lots on the day. Michael Cordonnier upped his Brazilian soybean crop estimate to 81.0 MMT from his previous estimate of 80.0 MMT. That was offset by him reducing his Argentine soybean crop estimate to 53.0 MMT from a previous estimate of 54.0 MMT. He said 91-92% of the Argentine soybean crop has been planted. He gave a total South American soybean crop estimated of 147.2 MMT, up 28% versus the 2011/12 crop of 115.3 MMT. Rumours suggested overnight US soybean sales to China, but there was no official confirmation from the USDA.

Corn: Mar 13 Corn closed at USD7.30 1/2, up 6 1/2 cents; May 13 Corn closed at USD7.30 3/4, up 7 3/4 cents. Funds were said to have been net buyers of around 10,000 corn contracts on the day. Michael Cordonnier estimated the Brazilian corn crop at 70.0 MMT, unchanged from previous estimate. He placed Argentine output at 22.5 MMT, which was also unchanged from previous estimate. The Argentine Ag Ministry are more bullish, projecting a crop of a record 28-30 MMT versus the previous record crop set in 2010/11 of 23.8 MMT. Some suggest that the Ministry are deliberately inflating their forecast in a feeble effort to contain inflation. Michael Cordonnier pegs the total South American corn crop at 95.6 MMT versus 96.5 MMT in 2011/12.

Wheat: Mar 13 CBOT Wheat closed at USD7.82 3/4, up 15 3/4 cents; Mar 13 KCBT Wheat closed at USD8.38 1/4, up 14 3/4 cents; Mar 13 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.66 1/4, up 13 1/2 cents. Funds were said to have been net buyers of around 5,000 Chicago wheat contracts on the day. Talk of potential crop damage to US winter wheat as weather conditions turn much colder on the Plains was supportive, especially with the funds still holding a large net short in CBOT wheat. Japan is tendering for 118 TMT of mostly US wheat for Feb/Mar shipment. Morocco is tendering for 160 TMT of durum wheat for April shipment. The CME Group are to lower the initial margins on wheat to USD3,240 from USD3,713 after the close tonight.