US March soybeans did not trade overnight; Globex opens at 9:30 AM central today. China futures were mixed, with nearby Jan 0.05% higher but March was down 0.12%. Malaysia palm oil futures traded 0.4% lower. Outside market forces look mixed today with a lower stock market and a slightly weaker US dollar. March soybeans managed to close slightly higher on the session Friday, as strength in soybean oil supported but lower trade for meal kept the advance intact. March soybeans with the action last week managed to close higher for seven sessions in a row. Traders remain concerned that below normal precipitation and above normal temps in South America could clip yields as December rains have come in well under normal for the past three weeks. However, southern Brazil saw a decent rain event this past weekend and Argentina saw some rains on Saturday, which could ease the stress somewhat. Talk of a dry forecast for Argentina for this week and concerns that the drier than normal trend will stretch into the reproductive phase in January has also sparked talk of a larger weather premium. A surge in palm oil futures on Friday helped support soybean oil, with the early rally pushing the market to the highest level since December 5th. Meal closed lower on the day Friday with an inside trading session. The Commitments of Traders reports as of December 20th for Soybeans showed Non-Commercial traders were net long 20,148 contracts, an increase of 3,191 contracts for the week and the buying trend is seen as a short-term positive force. Non-Commercial and Non-reportable combined traders held a net short position of 10,426 contracts, down 8,025 contracts for the week and the short-covering trend is also seen as a positive force. Commodity Index traders held a net long position of 159,903 contracts, up 3,373 for the week. For Soybean Meal, Non-Commercial traders were net short 26,987 contracts, a decrease of 6,935 contracts for the week and the short-covering trend is seen as positive. Non-Commercial and Non-reportable combined traders held a net short position of 27,651 contracts, down 7,271 contracts for the week. For Soybean Oil, Non-Commercial traders were net short 11,955 contracts, an increase of 1,659 contracts for the week and the slight short-covering trend is positive. Non-Commercial and Non-reportable combined traders held a net short position of 17,214 contracts, down 2,694 for the week. Commodity Index traders held a net long position of 86,780 contracts. Last week, net weekly export sales for soybeans came in above trade expectations at 653,400 metric tonnes for the current marketing year and 75,000 for the next marketing year for a total of 728,400. Cumulative sales stand at 65.5% of the USDA forecast for 2011/2012 (current) marketing year versus a 5 year average of 70.7%. Sales of 327,000 metric tonnes are needed each week to reach the USDA forecast. Sales are still running 32% behind last year's pace. Meal sales came in at 142,000 metric tonnes as compared with 97,000 metric tonnes needed each week to reach the USDA forecast. Net oil sales came in at 14,800 metric tonnes which was higher than expected and compares with 11,000 tonnes needed each week to reach the USDA forecast.