Chicago Closing Comments

13/02/13 -- Soycomplex: Mar 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.23, up 2 1/4 cents; May 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.13 1/2, up 4 cents; Mar 13 Soybean Meal closed at USD408.10, down USD2.20; Mar 13 Soybean Oil closed at 51.66, up 56 points. Funds were said to have been modest net buyers of around 1,000 soybean contracts on the day. Reports from the floor suggest that European longs were featured sellers as various banks pull out, or scale back, their agri holdings following a spate of bad press and criticism over the ethics of speculating in food commodities. Celeres said that Mato Grosso’s bean harvest is 19% complete vs. 12% a week ago, and vs. 20% a year ago. Nationally the harvest is 12% complete versus 6% a week ago and 11% a year ago, they added. They said that 59% of new crop beans are sold versus 58% a week ago and 42% for the 5-year average. Brazilian port workers are still threatening to strike next week. Argentina got some rain, and the promise of more to come in the week ahead, easing drought fears there. Cooler temperatures are also said to be on the cards which will be welcomed. Tomorrow's weekly export sales report is expected to show another bumper week, with trade estimates for soybeans anywhere between 700 TMT and 1.1 MMT.

Corn: Mar 13 Corn closed at USD6.95 1/2, down 3/4 cent; May 13 Corn closed at USD6.93 1/2, down 2 cents. Funds sold an estimated 2-3,000 corn contracts on the day. This was the ninth lower close in a row for corn, which is said to be it's longest consecutive losing streak since 1980. Weekly ethanol production data showed a recovery in output to 789,000 barrels/day, up 15,000 bpd from last week. Ethanol margins have improved significantly over the last week and there are strong rumours of several of the currently idle plants re-opening shortly. South Korea NOFI seek 195 TMT of optional origin corn, specifically excluding US corn, for July shipment. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are a modest 150-350 TMT. Old crop sales need to exceed 300 TMT/week from here on in to hit the USDA's target for the season.

Wheat: Mar 13 CBOT Wheat closed at USD7.35 1/2, up 3 1/2 cents; Mar 13 KCBT Wheat closed at USD7.80 1/4, up 2 1/4 cents; Mar 13 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.23, up 7 cents. Funds were said to have been net buyers of 1-2,000 Chicago wheat contracts on the day in modest short-covering. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are 275-400 TMT. Wheat really needs a decent week of sales to stop it sliding further. The question is will any of the recently rumoured sales to non traditional homes show up? Snow and rain is finally seen improving the outlook for US wheat on the Plains, although things could hardly get worse. MDA CropCast are still calling for warmer and drier than normal conditions in their long range 31-60 day outlook.