Shares kept up their champagne performance, hitting fresh
record highs on Wall Street, but for grains sentiment was a lot less festive.
In a truncated trading session in many markets, equities
found strength in US data which showed orders for durable goods jumping in
November, and planned spending by companies on capital goods rising by the most
in nearly a year.
New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average touched a record
But while commodities overall managed a positive
performance, with the CRB index adding 0.2%, grain buyers appeared to have
broken up already for the Christmas break.
Egypt tender gap
Indeed, wheat only extended its dismal December performance
The March contract closed down 0.5% at $.06 ¼ a bushel, the
lowest finish for a spot contract since May last year, despite ideas from Macquarie
that the grain may be poised for a strong start to 2014.
"Investors weighed prospects for lower prices to spur demand
against an outlook for record global production," US Commodities said.
Egypt, the top importing country, did little to help the
mood by saying it has enough in stock to last six months.
"Traders anticipate Egypt to begin tendering again in
February," CHS Hedging said, meaning a gap in demand from that destination.
'No DDGs rejected'
Wheat's performance dragged on fellow grain corn – but would it deny the yellow
grain its usual seasonal gains.
March corn had closed higher both the day before and day
after Christmas nine times in the previous 10 years.
And it managed the first leg at least this year by the
slimmest of margins - closing up 0.25 cents at $4.34 ½ a bushel
It was helped by better news from China, with the CNGOIC think
tank saying that US shipments of the feed ingredient, a byproduct of corn ethanol
manufacture, had not been interrupted, despite the rejection of some cargoes of
the grain itself on grounds of containing a genetically modified variety
unapproved in Beijing.
"Traders reported they had not heard of any US DDGs being
rejected," CHS said.
That was a help to soymeal
too, with DDGs an alternative protein source in feed.
Soymeal regained 0.5% to $432.10 a short ton for March delivery.
That in turn helped soybeans
themselves gain 0.2% to $13.22 ¾ a bushel for March, and by 0.4% to $13.33 ¾ a
bushel for January, maintaining their own knack for festive headway.
In the previous decade, January beans have closed higher the
day before Christmas nine times and the day after eight times.
Egypt was helpful to the oilseed too, in buying 114,000
tonnes for 2013-14, with a further 65,000 tonnes announced to "unknown"
destinations, which took a further 120,000 tonnes for next season.
The Argentina weather outlook remained stable, with weather
expected hot for this week, but showers forecast for next week.
The oilseed also received help from ideas that not all crushers may not have large stocks, talk of which was a headwind to soybeans in the last session.
Allendale noted many end-users "saying they have enough inventories through mid-January".
However, one central Illinois processor has been "holding soybean bids at $0.10 a bushel over the January futures", the broker said.
Among soft commodities, robusta
coffee dropped 0.8% to $1,691 a tonne in London for March delivery,
undermined by ideas that Vietnamese exports, while still down this month, may
beat market expectations.
That weighed on arabica
coffee too, which dropped 0.9% to 114.75 cents a pound in New York for March.
But cocoa for
March ended up 10% at £1,809 a tonne in London, its intraday high, and a
two-year high for a spot contract, continuing to gain support from ideas of a
persistent production shortfall.
As Macquarie noted, cocoa is the only major agricultural
commodity "expected to be in an outright deficit" next year.
its readers, in more than 170 countries, a very happy Christmas holiday.