Chicago Reports
18-04-2014 09:09 AM | Chicago Reports
17/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed a little lower on light profit-taking ahead of the long weekend. They still managed decent gains for the week though. Fresh news was lacking heading into the Easter break. Weekly export sales for beans came in at a net 19,200 MT for old crop (with the trade expecting zero due to tightness in availability) and 400,700 MT for new crop (expecting 150-350 TMT) - the latter being mostly for unknown/China. Actual shipments themselves this week were 339,200 MT, continuing to slacken off - as they need to do. The US has now already shipped 41.5 MMT of soybeans abroad this year, and has outstanding sales of just over 3 MMT. The USDA estimate for the season is only 43 MMT, so the US has already exported 96.5% of the USDA target for the season, and has total commitments of 103.5%. Whilst talk of China now defaulting on as many as 30-40 cargoes of existing soybean purchases is bearish, outstanding sales from the US are only said to be 141,400 MT - so this is a much bigger problem for South America than it is for the US. The Argentine soybean crop is 21.4% harvested versus 38% a year ago. The Ministry there estimate production this year matching the 2009/10 record at 54.5 MMT, and up 12.4% versus 48.5 MMT last year. They say that Argentine growers have around 20% of their crop sold versus 25% this time a year ago. May 14 Soybeans closed at $15.14, down 4 3/4 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $15.02 1/4, down 6 1/2 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $488.30, down $2.70; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 43.41, down 30 points. For the holiday-shortened week that puts nearby beans up 51 cents, with meal up $15.40 and oil 131 points higher.

Corn: The market also closed with modest losses of around 2-3 cents in light consolidation ahead of the Easter break. Weekly export sales came in at a combined 794,500 MT (including 192,600 MT of new crop), in line with the expected 600-900 TMT. In addition, the USDA announced 125,000 MT of corn sold to South Korea for 2013/14 shipment. Exports this week were 1,111,000 MT. MDA CropCast cut their forecast for Ukraine corn production this year by 1.1 MMT from last week to 27.1 MMT, a 10% fall on last year's record, although still easily their second largest crop ever (their previous best was 22.8 MMT in 2009/10). MDA CropCast also trimmed their view on Argentina's output next year by 1.5 MMT to 22.7 MMT. Strategie Grains estimated the EU-28 2014/15 corn crop at 65.1 MMT versus a previous estimate of 65.2 MMT and 64.1 MMT in 2013/14. The Argentine corn harvest is said to be 19.7% complete versus 31.7% a year ago. The Argentine Ministry estimated the 2013/14 corn crop at 23.5 MMT versus 27.0 MMT last year. They said that Argentine growers have sold 25% of their 2013/14 corn crop versus 57% a year ago. The US weather is finally about to improve, to the benefit of corn and soybean plantings. "The weather pattern in North America is expected to undergo a fundamental shift , finally warming up and turning significantly wetter. The biggest change would occur in the heartland, the Great Plains and western Midwest, where very strong warming is predicted along with generous rainfall. Spring weather conditions for many weeks have been cold and dry, so this represents a significant change for the better," said Martell Crop Projections. May 14 Corn closed at $4.94 3/4, down 2 3/4 cents; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.00 1/2, down 3 cents. For the week that puts front month corn 3 3/4 cents lower.

Wheat: The market closed with modest gains across the three exchanges. Weekly export sales came in at 438,000 MT of old crop and 359,900 MT of new crop. That was towards the top end of trade expectations which had been as low as only 250 TMT to as high as 850 TMT on a combined marketing year basis. The old crop sales included increases for Brazil (85,000 MT, including 50,000 MT switched from unknown destinations). MDA CropCast said that Brazil's 2014/15 wheat crop would rise 29% to 7.1 MMT, on increased plantings. They also raised their forecast for Argentina's 2014/15 wheat output, up from 10.9 MMT last week to 11.9 MMT this week, and 17% higher than a year ago. The potential for both Brazil and Argentina to produce more wheat in 2014/15 is a significant one as US exports have received a major shot in the arm from demand from Brazil this season. Strategie Grains estimated the EU-28 soft wheat crop at 137.2 MMT, down 0.5 MMT from last month but still 2% higher year-on-year. They see exports in 2013/14 at a record 26.8 MMT, with those in 2014/15 falling to 22.4 MMT, both estimates are higher than a month ago. Seeing as wheat has been possibly the main beneficiary of the sudden upsurge in speculative interest that we've seen in the markets in the past couple of months, it will be interesting to see how it takes the news that broke late in the day of a "deal" of sorts between Russia, Ukraine and EU/US negotiators reached in multi-party talks in Geneva (if indeed it holds until Monday or even proves effective at all). May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.91 1/4, up 3 1/4 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.58, up 3 1/2 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.32 3/4, up 6 1/4 cents. For the week that puts Chicago wheat up 31 cents, with Kansas gaining 38 1/2 cents and Minneapolis adding 31 cents.

17-04-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
16/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed sharply higher for the third session in a row. Fund buying continues to support the market, they were in for an estimated net 5,000 bean contracts on the day today. Old crop remains extremely tight, with any shorts in May or July getting squeezed out as making delivery against those shorts isn't an easy option. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that the rain-delayed soybean harvest in Argentina is 21.4% complete, up from 14% a week previously, producing a crop of around 13.5 MMT so far. The harvest this time last year was 38.6% complete. The Brazilian soybean harvest was 86% complete as of last Friday. US weekly export sales are out tomorrow, with the trade expecting zero on old crop beans due to lack of availability, and with sales of maybe 150-350 TMT on new crop. We will also see how many soybeans have been shipped out of the US in the past week, with shipments so far already at 96% of the USDA's forecast for the entire season. Unfulfilled sales to China are said to be only 262,800 MT, with a further 984,000 MT outstanding for unknown. This makes the Chinese credit/default problems much more of an issue for South American sellers than it is for the US. Two vessels are currently said to be in Brazil's shipping line-up to load beans for the US. It looks like more will be needed. May 14 Soybeans closed at $15.18 3/4, up 17 1/2 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $15.08 3/4, up 21 1/4 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $491.00, up $3.60; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 43.71, up 88 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 4 to 6 cents lower. Funds were estimated to be net sellers of around 6,000 lots on the day. The Chinese Stats Bureau said that corn plantings there this year will rise 1.75%. Dr Cordonnier said that 7% of Mato Grosso's safrinha corn crop has already finished pollinating, with 10% of the crop at the same stage in Parana (Brazil). Crop conditions so far are "very favourable" he noted. Parana corn is rated 93% good, 6% average and only 1% poor, he said. CONAB estimate second crop corn producing 43.9 MMT this year, or around 58% of the national crop. UkrAgroConsult said Ukraine exported 954,000 MT of grain between April 1-April 14. The vast majority of that will have been corn. The Ukraine Ministry said that the country had exported 28.6 MMT of grains to date this season, and over 18 MMT of that has been corn. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that progress with Argentina's corn harvest has been very slow, with only 19.7% of the crop cut so far. That's only 3.2% up in a week, and 12 points down on a year ago at this time. They noted that there had been an early frost in some parts of the grain belt, and that this could have an adverse affect on yields. Nevertheless, they held their production estimate unchanged for now at 24 MMT. Weekly US ethanol production came in at 939k barrels/day, up sharply on 896k barrels/day a week previously, and hitting the level required to match USDA targets for the season for the first time in weeks. This was the highest weekly grind since early December. May 14 Corn closed at $4.97 1/2, down 6 1/4 cents; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.03 1/2, down 6 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower on profit-taking. Fickle funds were given credit for ending the day net sellers of around 4,000 Chicago wheat contracts on the day - having been said to have been net buyers of 6,000 yesterday. The latest US weather forecast on the Plains is warmer, and a bit wetter. Recent Chinese government wheat auctions haven't been going well. They only sold less than 17% of the 626 TMT of wheat on offer in today's sale and last week's auction of 858 TMT of wheat only received a take-up rate of 16%. Jordan purchased 150,000 MT of optional origin wheat yesterday and 100,000 MT of optional origin barley today. The Black Sea is the most likely origin for both. EU soft wheat exports look like they are finally slowing, with Brussels granting 421 TMT worth of export licences this week versus 585 TMT the previous week. The 2014 EU wheat and barley harvests look like being early, with crops running 2-4 weeks ahead of normal maturity following a generally mild winter. Japan is tendering for 136,200 MT of food grade wheat. There's a long weekend looming, with US and Europe closed on Friday. US markets re-open on Monday afternoon, whilst Europe remains shut until Tuesday. Who knows what the Ukraine situation will be like by then? Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report from the USDA are all over the place, from as low as only 250 TMT to as high as 850 TMT. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.88, down 13 3/4 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.54 1/2, down 11 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.26 1/2, down 12 cents.

16-04-2014 09:39 AM | Chicago Reports
15/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed above $15/bu on a front month for the first time since last July after the March NOPA crush came in well above expectations. The trade was anticipating a crush number of around 146 million bushels. What it got was a figure of 153.84 billion, which under current "excited" market conditions was enough to spark another feeding frenzy amongst the fund community, who ended up as net buyers of an estimated 10-12,000 soybean contracts on the day. The crush number again implies that US 2013/14 soybean ending stocks are likely to be far tighter than the USDA currently project. Certainly though this will stimulate imports, and encourage US farmers to not waiver from their intention to plant a record large crop this year. The market views potential demand reductions out of China as more of a problem for South American beans than it is for US beans. There are some suggestions that Chinese buyers could ultimately default on 30 or more cargoes of existing soybean purchases due to negative crush margins and difficulties in obtaining Letters of Credit. The Philippines bought 120,000 MT of US or South American soymeal for Aug/Sep shipment today. Dr Cordonnier estimated the 2013/14 Brazilian soybean crop at 86.5 MMT, unchanged from his previous estimate. He estimated the 2013/14 Argentine bean crop at 53.5 MMT, down from a previous estimate of 54.0 MMT. May 14 Soybeans closed at $15.01 1/2, up 25 1/4 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $14.87 1/4, up 23 3/4 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $487.40, up $8.30; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 42.76, up 50 points.

Corn: The corn market ended narrowly mixed on a general lack of news. The Ukraine situation continues to add a bit of support to the market, with corn planting there only just getting going. There's the probability that lack of credit will mean Ukraine growers are forced to cut back on their planting intentions and also on inputs. Agritel yesterday estimated Ukraine’s 2014 corn crop at 23.3 MMT versus a previous estimate of 26.8 MMT, and down 18% from a year ago. Remember though that this will still be their second largest corn crop in history. Dr Cordonnier estimated the 2013/14 Brazilian corn crop at 70.0 MMT, unchanged from previous estimate, although he did note that there was potential for this the be raised at some time in the future. Growing conditions for Brazil's second corn crop are said to be favourable. He estimated the 2013/14 Argentine corn crop at 23.5 MMT, also unchanged from his previous estimate. The Ukraine state stats service said that the country's April 1st grain stocks were 12.3 MMT, up 14% from a year ago. The US Energy Dept will release their usual weekly ethanol production and stocks report tomorrow. Last week's production of 896k barrels/day was well below the circa 938k barrels/day required to hit the USDA's target for the season. Planting of US corn in the Midwest remains delayed by cold weather, although it's too early to suggest that this will mean a drop in yields later this year. May 14 Corn closed at $5.03 3/4, up 3/4 cent; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.09 1/2, up 1/4 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market jumped back above the $7/bu mark in Chicago on heavy spec buying as the problems in Ukraine intensified. Funds were estimated as finishing up as net buyers of around 6,000 Chicago wheat contracts on the day. This would almost certainly take their long holding back above the levels of a fortnight ago, which was their largest net long in CBOT wheat since Nov 2012. Talk of crop damage to US winter wheat after a hard freeze overnight also got the market excited, although some analysts said that less than 1% of the crop was likely to be at risk. "For wheat that was very advanced with jointing there would be serious damage. However, due to persistently cold weather this spring, freeze damage is not likely to be severe in Kansas, where crop development is significantly delayed," said Martell Crop Projections. "Oklahoma wheat jointing was further advanced with 4% of wheat flowering-heading. A hard freeze would have killed pollen leading to a blank grain head with no kernels. Just a small percentage of the crop would have been affected. Texas wheat was 28% heading suggesting serious freeze damage in wheat. However, we don’t know exactly where wheat was heading. The panhandle is the main wheat region in Texas and also the coldest with mid-upper 20s F overnight. North Central Texas wheat growing areas were less cold with 32 F (freezing) at the minimum. There leaf burn may have developed but no lasting freeze damage. Temperatures tonight are expected to remain above freezing, though mid 30s F are still possible in western Kansas on the High Plains. Moderating temperatures are predicted the balance of the week," they added. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $7.01 1/2, up 22 3/4 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.65 3/4, up 23 3/4 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.38 1/2, up 21 1/4 cents.

15-04-2014 08:59 AM | Chicago Reports
14/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans ended up recovering most of Friday's losses as fund money returned to the fray after weekend events in Ukraine took a turn for the worst. They were estimated as ending up as net buyers in beans of around 4-5,000 contracts on the day. Weekly US export inspections were reported at 267,939 MT, which is not much better than half of last week's 509,627 MT. Nevertheless, nor do they need to be, cumulative shipments for the marketing year to date now stand at almost 41 MMT, just 2 MMT shy of the USDA's target for the season. US exports are (finally) dropping off as the Brazilian harvest winds down. Safras e Mercado said as of Friday that was 86% complete versus 80% a week ago, 82% a year ago and 78% for the 5-year average. There's unconfirmed talk of more unwanted Chinese purchases of Brazilian beans being resold into the US. The NOPA March crush report comes out tomorrow, with the trade expecting a domestic demand number of around 146 million bushels. There are reports of bird flu outbreak in Japan. Goldman Sachs forecast US soybean prices at $10.50/bushel 12 months from now. May 14 Soybeans closed at $14.76 1/4, up 13 1/4 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $14.63 1/2, up 16 1/4 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $479.10, up $6.20; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 42.26, up 16 points.

Corn: The market closed around 4-5 cents higher, with renewed tensions between Russia and the West/Ukraine supporting. Fund money was estimated as finishing the day as a net buyer of around 5-7,000 corn contracts. The rapid demise of the Ukraine currency, which is down by more than 50% in the past 3 months since their political problems escalated to new heights, is seen harming corn planting and inputs this year. Agritel estimated Ukraine’s 2014 corn crop at 23.3 MMT versus a previous estimate of 26.8 MMT, and down 18% from a year ago. Although for now, Ukraine's corn exports continue relatively uninterrupted, there's also the suggestion that farmers there may hold off selling whatever old crop they have left (and likely do the same on new crop) as a hedge against the weakening hrynia - at least until the situation stabilises. Agritel estimated Russia’s 2014 corn crop at 9.8 MMT versus a previous estimate of 10.2 MMT, and down 6% from 2013. Weekly US export inspections were strong at 1.45 MMT, and now total almost 25.2 MMT for the marketing year to date. Safras e Mercado said that as of Friday 74% of the Brazilian summer corn crop has been harvested versus 63% a year ago. They estimated Brazil’s 2nd "safrinha" corn crop at 40 MMT or more. Current conditions for that are favourable. The USDA released the first crop progress report of the year today, placing the US crop at 3% planted versus 2% this time a year ago and 6% on average. May 14 Corn closed at $5.03, up 4 1/2 cents; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.09 1/4, up 4 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The market closed with good gains, although it also finished well off the intra-day highs as a bit of profit-taking kicked in later in the day. Fund money was estimated as being a net buyer of around 6-7,000 Chicago wheat contracts on the day, smelling blood (unfortunately, literally) on weekend developments in Ukraine. Agritel suggested that financial problems will cut Ukraine many farmers' ability to fund inputs for corn and wheat this year. There's also the issue of inadequate winter rains in not just Ukraine, but also Russia. Agritel estimated Ukraine’s 2014 wheat crop at 18.4 MMT versus a previous estimate of 20.0 MMT, and down 16.5% from a year ago. They now see Russia's crop at 48.1 MMT versus a previous estimate of 49.9 MMT, and down 8% from 2013. Taiwan bought 92,550 MT of US milling wheat for May June shipment, according to Reuters. South Korea's NOFI bought 65,000 MT of optional origin feed wheat for Sep/Oct shipment. Weekly US export inspections of 683,544 MT were better than trade expectations of 450-550,000 MT. The USDA reported US winter wheat at 34% good to excellent, down a point from a week ago and versus 36% a year ago. They rated 32% of the crop as poor to very poor, versus 29% a week ago and 31% a year ago. Headed was 5% versus 4% a year ago. Spring wheat plantings were 6% complete versus 5% a year ago. All in all then, the US wheat crop is in similar shape to 12 months ago. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.78 3/4, up 18 1/2 cents,; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.42, up 22 1/2 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.17 1/4, up 15 1/2 cents.

13-04-2014 14:49 PM | Chicago Reports
11/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed sharply lower on profit-taking and fund selling (estimated at a net 4,000 in soybeans on the day) spurred by widespread reports of Chinese defaults and cancellations/deferrals of Brazilian soybean purchases. Chinese demand is after all almost single handedly responsible for keeping the global soybean market going. It is also the reason why US growers are expected to "go large" and plant a record soybean crop this year. MDA CropCast yesterday estimated US 2014 production at 97.2 MMT, a 12% hike on last year. Brazilian growers are of course also keen to continue to get a slice of the action. Their crop will rise 9% to 95.7 MMT in 2014/15, as world output increases by 7.5% to a record 292.1 MMT, MDA CropCast said. Note too, that they are often quite restrained in their production estimates. The USDA will give us their first 2014/15 crop production forecasts next month. As well as Chinese defaults/cancellations there are also now reports circulating that the Chinese government may start selling beans from its reserves in May. A cynic would say "they're just trying to get the market down" but it doesn't feel like that to me on this occasion. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that farmers there have currently sold 18% of their new crop soybeans versus 24% a year ago. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that the Argentine harvest is 14% complete versus 9.5% a week ago and 24% a year ago. They estimated the crop at 54.5 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate. MDA CropCast raised their forecast for the Brazilian 2013/14 soybean crop by 1.2 MMT to 87.6 MMT. That's now very similar to Lanworth and the USDA who both line up at 87.5 MMT, and above CONAB who gave us 86.08 MMT yesterday. The USDA announced 330,000 MT of US beans sold to unknown for 2014/15 shipment. The March NOPA crush report comes out on Tuesday, with the trade expecting a figure of around 146 million bushels, which would be the largest March crush in 4 years. May 14 Soybeans closed at $14.63, down 19 1/4 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $14.47 1/4, down 18 1/4 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $472.90, down $6.60; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 42.10, down 40 points. For the week that still puts front month beans higher, up 26 1/2 cents, with meal $4.50 firmer and oil up 162 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 2-5 cents lower, but like beans it still managed net gains for the week. Chinese demand, or lack of it is also an issue for corn, and US corn in particular as the dispute over the MIR 162 variety trundles on. Some suggest that this issue may not now be resolved until the second half of the year. China are said to have now rejected 1.45 MMT of US corn and US corn products since this spat began last November. The National Grain and Feed Association said that exports of US corn and corn products to China between January and April are down 85% versus the same period last year. The Argentine Ag Min said farmers there have sold 22% of their new crop corn versus 55% a year ago. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that the Argentine corn harvest is 16.5% complete versus 13% a week ago and 28.2% a year ago. They estimated production at 24.0 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate. Lanworth estimated the Brazilian 2013/14 corn crop at 71.0 MMT versus a USDA estimate of 72.0 MMT. MDA CropCast raised their forecast for Brazilian production to 71 MMT citing favourable conditions for 2nd crop corn. They forecast the US 2014/15 corn crop at 357 MMT, which is up 9.3 MMT on last year despite a lower planted area due to an anticipated rise in yields. A brief warm up this weekend will give way to much colder Midwest weather next week with heavy rain on the way, said Martell Crop Projections. The rain should be welcome, although the return to cold will not. "Moderating temperatures in April generated more optimism for corn planting in the Midwest. April temperatures to date have been near normal, promoting gradual thawing of frozen fields. Frost is still present in farm fields, however, especially the Upper Midwest. Southern Minnesota's topsoil temperatures are still 37-40 F, a far cry from the 50 F needed to germinate seeds. January-March temperatures were among the coldest on record causing deep penetrating frost in Midwest corn farms. Yet, deep frost that delays planting is not necessarily a prescription for a reduced corn yield. Similar cold occurred in 1978 and 1979 abut in both years the corn yield finished better than average," they observed. The USDA are expected to release their first national corn planting progress report on Monday night. On a national level around 3-5% of the corn crop is expected to have been sown in southern states. May 14 Corn closed at $4.98 1/2, down 2 3/4 cents; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.04 1/2, down 2 3/4 cents. May 14 corn posted a 6 1/2 cent gain for the week.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mostly lower on the day, and lower for the week, across the three exchanges. Egypt bought Romanian, Ukraine and Russian wheat in their tender. US and French wheat proved too expensive. Algeria bought what was considered to most likely be French wheat. Grain exports continue out of the Black Sea unabated. However, tensions between Ukraine (and the West) and Russia continue, with reports of pro-Russian groups seizing control of police buildings n some cities in eastern Ukraine, and reports of ensuing gun battles breaking out as Ukraine forces try to regain control, emerged over the weekend. The Russian taking of Crimea was of course one of the primary catalysts responsible for fund/spec money coming flooding back into the grains markets, sending Chicago wheat prices surging by almost 30% in 6 weeks from the beginning of February through to mid-March. We shall have to see how these latest developments pan out, and whether this encourages more spec money to re-enter the market. The latest Commitment of Traders report shows managed money reducing their net long holding in wheat, corn and soybeans for the week through to Tuesday night, although not by that much. In the case of wheat, they cut their net long by less than 2k contracts to 43k. Last week's position was said to be their largest spec long holding in CBOT wheat since November 2012. Their net corn long was reduced by under 6k lots this week to 270k and their long in beans reduced by just over 12k to 181k contracts. Talk of 2014 developing into an El Nino year would probably come too late to be of much benefit to US winter wheat on the Plains. El Nino, if it occurs, would usually be positive for Midwest crops as it typically brings wetter and cooler summer growing conditions, said Martell Crop Projections. That would probably be beneficial for spring wheat and also of course US corn and soybean production. The USDA attaché in Turkey forecast the 2014 wheat crop there to fall from 18.0 MMT last year to 15.8 MMT this time round on drought. The Turkish 2014 barley crop was estimated falling from 7.3 MMT to 5.8 MMT and the corn crop dropping from 5.1 MMT to 4.9 MMT. CONAB yesterday pegged Brazil's 2014/15 wheat production at 6.7 MMT, which is a 1.2 MMT increase from last year. Beneficial rains are expected there over the weekend. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.60 1/4, down 2 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.19 1/2, down 3 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.01 3/4, up 3/4 cent. For the week Chicago wheat lost 35 1/4 cents, with Kansas down 44 cents and Minneapolis losing 38 cents.

11-04-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
10/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower on concerns over Chinese demand. Few think that the world's largest buyer will import the 69 MMT of soybeans this season that the USDA forecast yesterday, and with good reason. The jungle drums have been beating loudly concerning credit problems in China recently, and Reuters reported today that there are 5-6 panamax vessels carrying $300 million worth of soybeans sat waiting for the buyers to pay for them before they can unload. The buyers are defaulting due to their inability to obtain Letters of Credit, it would seem. There are said to be more vessels on the way that face similar problems. Reduced demand due to bird flu and negative crush margins are also a factor, along with a huge stockpile of previously imported soybeans. Chinese trade data overnight revealed that the country had imported 4.62 MMT of beans in March versus the expected 5.69 MMT. Some analysts are now saying that they may import less than 15 MMT in Q3 of 2014 versus 18.25 MMT in the same period last year. China will account for 65% of the world's soybean exports in 2013/14, according to the USDA, so if they catch a cold, everybody is going to get it. CONAB today forecast the 2013/14 Brazilian soybean crop at 86.08 MMT versus a previous estimate of 85.44 MMT. They see 2013/14 soybean exports at 45.3 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate. Weekly export sales came in low at 79,100 MT for 2013/14 and 210,400 MT for 2014/15. The trade had been expecting old crop sales of 0-100,000 MT and new crop sales of 300,000–500,000 MT. Funds sold an estimated net 7,000 soybean contracts on the day. May 14 Soybeans closed at $14.82 1/4, down 13 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans finished at $14.65 1/2, down 12 1/2 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $479.50, down $2.60; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at $42.50, down 41 points.

Corn: The corn market ended narrowly mixed. Weekly export sales of 658,700 MT for 2013/14 and 58,000 MT for 2014/15 were at the low end of expectations for old crop sales of 700,000–900,000 MT and new crop sales of 0-200,000 MT. There has to be a chance that Chinese credit and bird flu problems will also spill over into demand for corn. Not that they're taking delivery of US corn anyway at the moment due to the MIR 162 situation. CONAB estimated the 2013/14 Brazilian corn crop at 75.46 MMT versus a previous estimate of 75.18 MMT and compared to the USDA's estimate of "only" 72.0 MMT. They appear to be bullish on "safrinha" or second crop corn production potential, for which current conditions are said to be favourable. CONAB have domestic corn use estimated at 53.82 MMT, with exports at 19.5 MMT and ending stocks at 11 MMT. MDA CropCast estimated the 2014/15 US corn crop at 357 MMT, up 9.3 MMT on last year despite a lower planted area. Corn planting hasn't reached the Midwest yet. "Welcome warmth dominated the Midwest this week, but colder temperatures are expected to resume next week when the jet stream carves out a cold trough in the heartland. While soil temperatures have steadily warmed with stronger solar rays March into April, fields are still too cold to plant with soil temperatures below the 50 F threshold. The typical start to corn planting is late April-early May, but is expected to be delayed this season due to deep penetrating frost," said Martell Crop Projections. However "delayed planting from springtime cold is not necessarily detrimental to the yield," they noted. May 14 Corn closed at $5.01 1/4, down 1 cent; Jul 14 Corn ended at $5.07 1/4, down 3/4 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market closed around 6 to 11 cents lower on the day across the three exchanges. Fund selling was estimated at a net 3-4,000 contracts in Chicago. Weekly export sales offered no assistance whatsoever. They came in at just 41,800 MT – a marketing-year low – and were down 88 percent from the previous week and 90 percent from the prior 4-week average. New crop sales were 349,100 MT. Trade estimates had been for old crop sales of 250,000-375,000 MT and new crop sales of 150,000-300,000 MT. Japan bought 119,178 MT of US/Canadian wheat for May-Sept shipment in their routine weekly tender. South Korea FLC seeks 70 TMT of optional origin wheat for October shipment. CONAB estimated the Brazilian 2014 wheat crop at 6.7 MMT versus a previous estimate of 5.5 MMT. Domestic wheat usage was estimated at 11.93 MMT and wheat carryover stocks were estimated at 1.92 MMT. US winter wheat is set to get a break in the coming week. "Good rainfall is finally predicted in Kansas, the top US wheat state is expecting at least 0.25 inch state-wide, and up to 1.25 inches locally. Wheat farms in Oklahoma and West Texas would mostly miss out though," said Martell Crop Projections. World Weather said that next Wednesday through to Friday could bring 1 to 2 inches of rain from western Oklahoma into east-central Kansas. Early spring grains planting in Ukraine is just about done already, some rain has fallen there this week, and more is in the forecast for the next five days. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.62 1/4, down 6 3/4 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat ended at $7.22 1/2, down 10 3/4 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.01, down 11 3/4 cents.

10-04-2014 08:49 AM | Chicago Reports
09/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans ended with decent gains, but also finished well off the highs. Once again it was the front end that saw the biggest rises, although July added more than May due to fund money position rolling. The USDA cut 2013/14 US soybean ending stocks by 10 million bushels from last month to 135 million, which was a larger downward revision than the trade expected. They did increase US soybean imports as expected, by 30 million to 65 million bushels, but they also raised overall demand by 40 million. China's import needs were left unchanged from last month at 69 MMT, contrary to trade expectations for a cut. Brazilian production was reduced by 1 MMT, as expected, to 87.5 MMT. Argentine production was left unchanged at 54 MMT, where some had expected an increase. The stand out point from all of this is that the USDA now has US soybean exports this season at a record 43 MMT. However the US has already shipped 40.5 MMT of soybeans and has sales of a further 4 MMT on the books waiting to go. So to make these numbers work 1.5 MMT of those outstanding sales need to get cancelled (or switched into 2014/15) AND the US makes no further sales this marketing year. That doesn't seem like a very likely scenario to me. The alternative is that the US needs to import more beans themselves. Note too, that the US crush is estimated at 45.9 MMT, marginally below last year's levels, yet the current cumulative NOPA crush is running ahead of a year ago. World 2013/14 ending stocks were cut to 69.4 MMT from 70.6 MMT last month, which is again a larger reduction than the trade expected (the average trade guess was 70.14 MMT). Oil World estimated Brazil’s April bean exports at 5.5 MMT versus 6.23 MMT in March, saying that this would be the first time in 10 years that April's exports would be below those of March. CONAB release their April Brazilian crop estimates tomorrow morning. Also out tomorrow are the weekly export sales numbers from the USDA. The trade is expecting old crop sales of 0-100,000 MT and new crop sales of 300,000–500,000 MT. May 14 Soybeans closed at $14.95 1/4, up 12 3/4 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $14.78, up 16 1/2 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $482.10, up $4.00; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 42.91, up 80 points.

Corn: The market ultimately closed lower, having initially made new highs just after the USDA report came out. The USDA pegged US 2013/14 corn ending stocks at 1.331 billion bushels, which was down on the 1.456 billion forecast in March and below the average trade guess of 1.403 billion. World ending stocks were placed at 158 MMT versus 158.5 MMT in March and the average trade guess of 157.7 MMT. Global corn production was however raised 6.4 MMT from last month, with a 2 MMT increase for Brazil and a 1 MMT rise for both South Africa and Russia. The trade didn't see that one coming. The Brazilian hike was due to "favourable precipitation in March and early April has supported the developing safrinha corn crop with yields now expected just below last year’s levels in the areas where this second-season corn crop is grown," they said. The global 2013/14 corn crop is now seen at a new record near 974 MMT. China's imports were left at 5 MMT, although the USDA's own FAS in Beijing yesterday cut their forecast to 4 MMT, adding that 2014/15 Chinese corn imports would decline to 3 MMT. Currently, it won't be US corn that they are importing as there's been little progress in getting MIR 162 corn approved yet, and that is keeping US exports to China on hold. The USDA forecast US 2013/14 corn exports at 44.5 MMT, up 41.3 MMT a month ago. The US has shipped 22.8 MMT of corn so far this season, so still has a fair way to go to hit that target, even if they have got 18.5 MMT worth of outstanding sales. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are for old crop sales of 700,000–900,000 MT and new crop sales of 0-200,000 MT. Weekly ethanol production data lent no support, falling from 922k barrels/day last week to 896k barrels a day this time round. The level needed to hit the USDA's target for the season of 5 billion bushels of corn going to make ethanol in the US this year is 938k barrels/day. It's been a long time since they've achieved that. Corn planting in the Midwest is delayed, but Dr Cordonnier said that he doesn't currently see this as being a problem to "achieve near trend line yields if the summer weather cooperates." May 14 Corn closed at $5.02 1/4, down 4 3/4 cents; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.08, down 5 cents.

Wheat: The market closed lower as the USDA report lent bearish for wheat. The USDA raised projected US wheat ending stocks to 583 million bushels, which was exactly in line with the average trade guess. "Lower imports (are) more than offset by a reduction in feed and residual use," they said. US wheat exports were left unchanged at 32 MMT this season. They've shipped 25 MMT so far in a season that finishes at the end of May. The bearish surprise came from a near 3 MMT hike in world ending stocks to 186.7 MMT. The trade had been anticipating a slight cut to 183.7 MMT. China's wheat import needs this season were revised down from 8.5 MMT to 7 MMT, with domestic feed demand there cut by 2 MMT to 23 MMT. This was the main reason behind the rise in world ending stocks. News that a Chinese government auction of 858 TMT of wheat had only received a take-up rate of 16% was hardly encouraging for wheat demand there. FranceAgriMer estimated French 2013/14 soft wheat ending stocks at 3.3 MMT versus a previous estimate of 3.2 MMT, and up 12.5% from a year ago. That was the fourth month in a row that they've increased their wheat stocks estimate, and reflects lower shipments to fellow EU countries. French corn and barley stocks were also raised, with barley coming in at 1.5 MMT versus a previous estimate of 1.4 MMT, and up 19% from a year ago. French corn stocks were increased to 3.0 MMT versus a previous estimate of 2.9 MMT, and up 23% from a year ago. Whilst the USDA reported that only 35% of the US winter wheat crop is in good/excellent condition in it's first weekly update of the season last night, that was in line with expectations and only one point down on a year ago. Early spring plantings in Russia and Ukraine are well advanced on year ago levels. Rain would be useful, and above average precipitation is in the forecast for almost the entire region. Light rain was reported across western Ukraine yesterday, moving eastwards. For tomorrow's weekly export sales report the trade is looking for old crop sales of 250,000-375,000 MT and new crop sales of 150,000-300,000 MT. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.69, down 12 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.33 1/4, down 8 1/4 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.12 3/4, down 10 1/2 cents.

09-04-2014 08:59 AM | Chicago Reports
08/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed higher, with the largest gains at the front end, regardless of fund re-positioning. The trade is now focussed on tomorrow's upcoming USDA WASDE report, which is expected to show an extremely tight old crop availability situation. US 2013/14 soybean stocks are expected to fall to 139 million bushels from 145 million last month. World ending stocks are forecast to fall 0.5 MMT to 70.14 MMT. Brazil's crop may shrink by 0.5-1.0 MMT from the 88.5 MMT forecast in March. Some suggest that production in Argentina may be raised 0.5 MMT to 54.5 MMT, although reports circulating today suggest that heavy rain now, in the midst of harvest, may cut output by as much as 1 MMT. Bloomberg reported that palm oil stocks in Malaysia are at their lowest level in more than 3 years. Fund buying in beans was estimated at around a net 5,000 contracts heading into tomorrow's report. May 14 Soybeans closed at $14.82 1/2, up 18 1/4 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $14.61 1/2, up 13 1/4 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $478.10, up $3.80; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 42.11, up 68 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 6-8 cents firmer, with fund money stepping in for an estimated net 10,000 contracts on the day, despite a disruption to trading caused by "technical issues" in the electronic market. China have sealed a deal to import Brazilian corn. The USDA attache in China estimated the country's corn imports at 4 MMT this year versus the USDA's own estimate of 5 MMT. They said that 2014/15 corn imports will fall to 3 MMT and estimated Chinese corn production next season at 218 MMT. Tomorrow's USDA report is expected to show US corn stocks of just over 1.4 billion bushels at the end of 2013/14 versus the 1.456 billion estimated a month ago. Global stocks are estimated at 157.7 MMT versus 158.5 MMT last month. We will also get the usual weekly US ethanol production data tomorrow. Last week's output came in at 922,000 barrels/day, which is more than 10,000 bpd below the level required to hit the USDA forecast for the season. Warmer and drier conditions for the rest of the week may give US farmers in the Midwest the chance to get a bit of fieldwork done, although rain is back in the prognosis for early next week. May 14 Corn closed at $5.07, up 7 3/4 cents; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.13, up 7 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market managed relatively modest gains, with tomorrow's USDA report likely to be of more significance for corn and beans than it is for wheat. US 2013/14 wheat carryout is estimated at 583 million bushels versus 558 million in March. World ending stocks are estimated at 183.65 MMT, which is little changed from last month. The USDA attache in China forecast their wheat crop in 2014 at 122 MMT, and estimated 2013/14 imports at 7 MMT (which is 1 MMT lower than the current official USDA figure). They said that 2014/15 Chinese wheat imports would fall to only 4 MMT. The USDA's FAS in Australia estimated the 2014/15 wheat crop there at 24.8 MMT, down from 27 MMT this season. Despite lower production though, the attache's office projected 2014/15 Australian wheat exports at 19.1 MMT versus 18.5 MMT this season. The USDA issued their first weekly crop progress report of the year. They said that on a national level 35% of the US winter wheat crop was in good/excellent condition, which was towards the top end of trade estimates. Kansas wheat is 29% good.excellent, but 27% poor/very poor. Oklahoma has no wheat rated excellent at all, and only 15% of the crop is seen as good. Almost half (48%) of the state's crop is poor/very poor, a percentage only topped by Texas which is 61% poor/very poor. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.81, up 4 3/4 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.41 1/2, up 2 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.23 1/4, up 1 cent.

08-04-2014 09:29 AM | Chicago Reports
07/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans began the week on the defensive, with the front end faring the worst. That's where the big premiums are, and that's what fund money was selling today as they began to roll their nearby longs into July. End user buying wasn't sufficient to stem the tide. Reports that a vessel carrying Brazilian beans had arrived in the US Gulf also lent a bit bearish. The trade seems to be expecting that this could be the first of many Chinese resale cargoes, and that this is how the US is going to reconcile the fact that it's already exported almost the entire USDA forecast for the season. Weekly export inspections came in at 509,603 MT versus 507,533MT last week. The marketing year to date total is almost 40.7 MMT versus 33.4 MMT this time last year, and within 1 MMT of the USDA's target for 2013/14 which doesn't finish until the end of August. The USDA reported the sale of 120 TMT of new crop beans to China. Strategie Grains increased their estimate for the 2014/15 EU-28 rapeseed crop to 21.55 MMT versus 21 MMT a year ago. Oil World projected the EU rapeseed crop a little lower at 21.4 MMT, whilst Informa go for 21.1 MMT. The trade is now looking to see what Wednesday's WASDE report from the USDA has to say. With regards to US soybean stocks at the end of 2013/14, these are expected to fall to 139 million bushels from 145 million last month, according to a Reuters survey. They may raise Argentina's soybean production from last month's 54 MMT estimate, but may also lower Brazilian output from the 88.5 MMT suggested in March. World ending stocks are forecast to fall 0.5 MMT to 70.14 MMT. Demand from China will be of interest, with the USDA seeing them importing 69 MMT of soybeans last month. A reduction to that could be on the cards, along with a probable increase in US imports. May 14 Soybeans closed at $14.64 1/4, down 9 1/2 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $14.48 1/4, down 6 3/4 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $474.30, down $4.80; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 41.43, down 14 points.

Corn: The corn market closed a couple of cents lower in what may have been light profit-taking ahead of Wednesday's USDA report. Weekly export inspections were strong at 1,310,564 MT, similar to a week ago. The marketing year to date total now stands at 23.7 MMT versus 11.3 MMT this time last year. The USDA's target for the season is 42 MMT. Informa pegged the world corn crop in 2014/15 at 957.5 MMT, down from the record 964.6 MMT produced last year. Despite a drop in plantings, improved yields mean that the US corn crop will only fall a little, from 353.7 MMT to 351.5 MMT, they estimate. They see production in Brazil rising from 68 MMT to 69.3 MMT, with Argentina up from 21.7 MMT to 26.2 MMT and the EU-28 crop up from 64.7 MMT to 66.4 MMT. The Ukraine Ministry said that corn planting is underway there, they've also just started in France, according to FranceAgriMer. Russia said that it had exported 593 TMT of corn in March and that the marketing year to date total is now just over 3.1 MMT, versus the USDA's forecast for the whole of 2013/14 of 3 MMT. French corn stocks in commercial hands as of March 1 were 4.7 MMT versus 5.3 MMT a year previously. French Jul/Feb corn exports were 3.2 MMT versus 3.5 MMT a year ago, with 2.9 MMT of that going to fellow EU member states. Wednesday's USDA report is expected to show US corn stocks of just over 1.4 billion bushels at the end of 2013/14 versus the 1.456 billion estimated a month ago. Global stocks are estimated at 157.7 MMT versus 158.5 MMT last month. The Brazilian corn crop was forecast at 70 MMT last month, with Argentina at 24 MMT. Not much change is expected there. The USDA should have updated us after the close with it's first crop progress report of 2014, but this has been delayed until tomorrow. "Temperatures last week were still too cold to plant corn in the northern two-thirds of the corn belt. Soaking rains have softened frozen fields in the eastern corn belt. Observed rainfall the past 30 days shows above normal amounts in a swath from central Missouri through southern Illinois into Indiana and Ohio. However, drought has continued over much of the western corn belt," said Martell Crop Projections. May 14 Corn closed at $4.99 1/4, down 2 1/2 cents; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.05 1/4, down 2 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher, regaining some of it's recent losses as weekend rains on the US Plains came in lighter than expected/hoped for. News reports of further pro-Russian activity in eastern Ukraine were also viewed as bullish. The USDA delayed their first weekly crop progress report of the year until tomorrow. It is expected to show sharp declines in crop ratings across the winter. Informa estimated the world wheat crop in 2014/15 at 710.8 MMT, a little below the record 712.8 MMT produced in 2013/14. Despite drought on the US Plains, they see US output in 2014/15 rising from 58 MMT to 59.7 MMT They reduced their forecast for India's wheat crop following rain in March, but still see that rising from 93.5 MMT to a bin-busting record 104 MMT this year. Harvesting of that is already underway. Elsewhere, they forecast the EU-28 wheat crop up slightly from 142.9 MMT to 143.1 MMT, although Canada's is expected to fall from last year's record 37.5 MMT to 26 MMT, they said. The Ukraine wheat crop was forecast at 20.5 MMT versus 22.3 MMT last year. The Russian attache in Moscow estimated wheat production there little change versus last year at 52 MT, with exports rising by 0.5 MMT to 18 MMT and ending stocks steady at 6 MMT. The USDA's FAS in Turkey forecast their wheat crop at 15.8 MMT this year, down from 18 MMT a year ago, with imports rising to 4.5 MMT versus 3.9 MMT in 2013/14. French commercial wheat stocks (excluding durum) as at March 1 were estimated at 6.8 MMT versus 7.8 MMT a year ago. French wheat exports Jul/Feb were said to be 10.8 MMT versus 9.5 MMT in the same period in 2012/13. APK Inform said that Ukraine had exported 619 TMT of grain via it's seaports last week. March exports were 2.74 MMT, including 294 TMT of wheat, they added. Wednesday's USDA report is likely to peg 2013/14 US wheat carryout at 583 million bushels versus 558 million in March, according to a Reuters survey. World ending stocks are estimated at 183.65 MMT, which is little changed on 193.81 MMT last month. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.76 1/4, up 6 1/2 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.39 1/2, up 5 3/4 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.22 1/4, up 3/4 cent.

06-04-2014 13:19 PM | Chicago Reports
04/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed mostly higher at the end of a choppy session, although front month May 14 posted nominal losses of a cent and a half. The impending start of fund money rolling forward their longs begins on Monday, which will effectively see them selling May and replacing it with July, was credited with putting the front month under a bit of pressure. Talk persists of problems with Chinese demand, but there are few signs so far that this is affecting demand for US beans, it seems to be South America where the problem lies. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that Argentine farmers had harvested 9.5% of their 2013/14 soybean crop versus 3.3% a week ago and 5.8% a year ago. They estimated production at 54.5 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate and up 12.4% versus 48.5 MMT in 2012/13. They said that the sunflower harvest is 85.5% complete and forecast the crop at 2.3 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate. Oil World estimated Argentina’s Jan/Feb soybean crush at 3.5 MMT versus 2.9 MMT a year ago. The USDA release their April WASDE report on Wednesday. The trade is expecting US 2013/14 ending stocks to tighten from 150 million bushels to around 140 million. They may well raise their forecast for US soybean (and meal) imports. CONAB the come out on Thursday with their monthly Brazilian crop production estimates. Last month they had the Brazilian soybean crop at a record 85.44 MMT, with exports at 45.3 MMT. The latest Commitment of Traders report sees fund money continuing to add to their overall net long in soybeans for the week through to Tuesday night. They're now sitting on a net long of in excess of 193k contracts. May 14 Soybeans closed at $14.73 3/4, down 1 1/2 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $14.55, up 3/4 cent; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $479.10, down $1.00; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 41.57, down 10 points. For the week, May 14 beans gained 37 1/4 cents, meal added $10.70 and oil gained 109 points.

Corn: The corn market closed higher on the day and higher for the week. Today's Commitment of Traders report shows managed money adding over 36k corn contracts to their net long position which now stands at over 275k lots. That potentially leaves the market in a precarious situation should they all decide to get out at the same time for whatever reason. Fund money is expected to begin rolling out of front month May 14 on Monday, which could put that under a bit of pressure relative to the deferred positions. The US weather is seen warming up in the Midwest by the middle/latter half of next week, with temperatures of 65F in Chicago by next Thursday, according to MDA CropCast. They were said to have forecast 2014 US corn yields at 168.4 bu/acre, up 6% (or 9.6 bu/acre) on last year. China said that it is still evaluating MIR 162 GMO corn, and a report on Reuters suggested that approval for it may not now come until the second half of the year. That would continue to lean bearish for US corn export hopes there. Currently the US has 45.68 million bushels of unfulfilled sales to China (and a further 194.84 million sold to unknown). The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange's weekly Argentine crop progress report said that the corn harvest there is 13% complete versus 10% a week ago and 24% a year ago. They estimated production at 24.0 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate but down versus the 2012/13 crop of 27.0 MMT. For next Wednesday's USDA WASDE report a Reuters poll has the average trade guess on 2013/14 US ending stocks at 1.403 billion bushels, down from 1.456 last month. CONAB update us on Brazilian crop production on Thursday, last month they estimated the corn crop there at 75.18 MMT, which is much higher than the USDA's current 70 MMT forecast. Before that, the USDA will release their first US crop progress report of the season on Monday. May 14 Corn closed at $5.01 3/4, up 1 3/4 cents; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.07 1/2, up 2 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower on the day, and lower on the week. The fall came despite the latest Commitment of Traders report showing fund money adding around 8.5k lots of Chicago wheat to their new net long. They're said to now have their largest spec long holding in CBOT wheat since November 2012. The USDA are due to issue their first weekly crop condition ratings for US winter wheat since last October on Monday, with hefty falls in most of the major producing states expected (although the crop did enter winter dormancy with some of the highest good/excellent ratings in recent years). Wheat crops in Europe are well advanced, which may not necessarily be a good thing. FranceAgriMer reported that 90% of the French winter wheat crop is now displaying an ear of at least 1 cm versus only 18% this time a year ago. Moisture needs are therefore rising, and Meteo France say that French March rainfall was 35% below normal (whilst average temperatures were 1.1 C higher than normal). The 14 day forecast remains dry, although temperatures are expected to moderate. German wheat is said to be up to 4 weeks ahead of normal. They at least are expected to get better than average rainfall across the next two weeks, after a pretty dry winter. Polish wheat is said to be around 2 weeks ahead of normal development. The US weather forecast leans a bit more beneficial to winter wheat than it has, although it's hardly a soaking that they are in for. "Best rains are predicted in western Kansas and north-central Oklahoma with 0.30” - 0.75” inch of moisture. Other hard red wheat farms would received lighter rain, traces to .25 inch. If the forecast verifies, it would be the wettest week since February 8," said Martell Crop Projections. The Philippines are tendering to purchase up to 134,500 MT of feed wheat of optional origin. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.69 3/4, down 6 1/4 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.33 3/4, down 10 1/4 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.21 1/2, down 9 cents. For the week, that puts CBOT wheat down 25 3/4 cents, with KCBT losing 29 3/4 cents and MGEX 18 1/4 cents.

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