Corn: The corn market closed around 3 cents higher. For now, tensions are easing
in Brazil, with a meeting between the government and protesters lined up for
a week from today. Informa have the Brazilian 2014/15 corn crop now estimated
at 72.4 MMT versus a previous estimate of 72.8 MMT. For Argentina they go 23.5
MMT versus a previous estimate of 23.0 MMT. As with soybeans the reduction in
Brazil is offset by the increase in Argentina. "They cited results from
planting surveys as the reason for the loss in production in Brazil, and higher
yields as the reason for the Argentinian increase," said Benson Quinn.
Informa now have South Africa’s 2014/15 corn crop is estimated at 10.1
MMT versus a previous estimate of 13.0 MMT. Dr Cordonnier estimated Brazil's
2014/15 corn crop at 74 MMT, and went for 23 MMT in Argentina. Both figures
were unchanged from a week ago. Egypt and Algeria are said to be shopping for
corn. Argentine farmers are reported to be calling for a 3 day strike next week
on Wednesday–Friday. There's talk that Argentine truckers may also strike
in the latter half of the month. Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.82, up 3 1/4 cents;
May 15 Corn closed at $3.91, up 3 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed anywhere from virtually unchanged to up to 15
cents higher. Monthly winter wheat crop ratings put the Kansas crop at 44% good
to excellent, down 2 points on a month ago. Kansas wheat rated poor to very
poor was 12% versus 13% a month ago. Oklahoma was 42% good to excellent and
14% poor/very poor versus 41% and 13% respectively at the end of January. Illinois
winter wheat was 47% good to excellent (versus 49% a month ago) and 13% poor/very
poor (unchanged). Texas wheat is 46% good to excellent and 12% poor/very poor
versus 42% and 16% a month ago. Nebraska is 62% good to excellent and 3% poor
to very poor versus 61% and 3% at the end of January. Japan are in for 130,929
MT of milling wheat from the US, Canada, and Australia for April–May shipment
in their regular weekly tender. Informa estimated India’s 2015 wheat crop
at 97.0 MMT versus previous estimate of 96.0 MMT. Harvesting of that usually
begins at the end of March. Kazakhstan’s Ag Ministry said that the country
had exported 4.4 MMT of grain between July 1-Feb 28th versus 6.0 MMT a year
ago. They estimate full season exports at 7.0 MMT. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed
at $5.08 3/4, up 3/4 cent; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.30 1/2, up 9 1/2 cents;
Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.61 1/4, up 15 cents.
Corn: The corn market ended around 5 cents lower. That came despite weekly
export inspections of 1.28 MMT easily beating trade expectations of 750-900,000
MT. An easing of tensions in Brazil was probably the main downwards driver.
"Early morning reports had mixed opinions regarding the amount of progress
the Brazilian government had over the weekend in diffusing the trucker strike.
Reports indicated that the majority of roads blocks nationwide had been cleared,
down from around 50 on Saturday to around 10 on Sunday evening," said Benson
Quinn. Safras e Mercado said that Brazil 1st corn crop harvest is 25.9% complete
versus 20.7% a week ago and 40.6% a year ago. Brazil's 2nd corn crop planting
is at 58.4% complete versus 39.5% a week ago 55.7% a year ago, they added. The
Brazilian Ministry reported February corn exports at 1.1 MMT, which is similar
to a year previously. Ukraine said that they had exported 10.9 MMT of corn so
far this season versus around 14.2 MMT a year ago. Russia's corn exports stand
at 1.4 MMT. There's continued talk of lower corn plantings in Ukraine and Russia
this year due to financial considerations. There's also talk of what does get
sown to be of inferior quality and thus lower yielding varieties. Mar 15 Corn
closed at $3.78 3/4, down 5 3/4 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $3.88, down 5 1/4
Wheat: The wheat market closed lower. Weekly export inspections of 450,093
MT were towards the upper end of expectations. Lower trade in corn and beans
didn't help wheat's cause today though. Neither did falling prices in Paris
wheat, which is already priced very competitively versus US origin material.
The USDA attaché in India estimated India’s 2015 wheat crop at
94.0 MMT, down from the 2014 crop of 95.9 MMT. They estimated wheat exports
at 2.0 MMT versus 3.5 MMT last year. Ukraine said that they'd exported 9.2 MMT
of wheat so far this season. Russia said that they'd shipped 18.8 MMT of wheat
so far. APK Inform reported Ukraine's seaports shipped out 125.3 TMT of wheat
last week. Russia's wheat shipments via seaports were similar at 126.4 TMT,
they added. Ukraine has apparently asked the EU to increase duty free import
quotas on agri products due to the ongoing problems with Russia. ABARES increased
their estimate for Australian wheat production to 24.4 MMT from 23.6 MMT a year
ago. There's still some talk of possible winterkill damage to US, Ukraine and
Russian wheat. "In terms of the US crop, it looks like the bulk of the
US HRW crop has gotten moisture and much of it will have some snow cover when
cold temps hit on Wed and Thurs morning," said Benson Quinn. Mar 15 CBOT
Wheat closed at $5.08, down 9 1/2 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.21,
down 13 1/2 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.55, down 1 cent.
Corn: The corn market closed higher on the day, but little changed for the
week."The Brazilian trucker strike continues to be the trade’s mains
focus. Yesterday’s reports of an agreement between the Brazilian government
and the trucking union now seem slightly premature," said Benson Quinn.
The USDA announced 140,000 MT of US corn sold to Saudi Arabia for 2014/15 shipment
under the daily reporting system. They also reported 120,000 MT of US sorghum
sold to China, split a cargo each for 2014/15 and 2015/16. Brazil’s Agroconsult
estimated the country's 2015 first corn crop at 29.0 MMT, with production of
the second corn crop at 50.0 MMT. Argentina's Ag Ministry forecast their corn
crop at 30 MMT, down 3 MMT from last year. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated
the Argentine crop much lower at 22.5 MMT. Harvesting of that is in its fledgling
stage at 1.7% complete. Rains in the centre of the country are delaying the
harvesting of corn that is ready to combine, they said. There's talk of reduced
corn plantings in Ukraine and Russia this year due to the cost of producing
an "input hungry" crop at a time when the local currencies have been
under severe pressure and costs have risen substantially in domestic terms compared
with 12 months ago. Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.84 1/2, up 4 1/2 cents; May 15
Corn closed at $3.93 1/4, up 4 3/4 cents. For the week Mar 15 corn was 3/4 of
a cent lower.
Wheat: The wheat market closed with generally decent gains on the day, but
was mixed for a week in which Minneapolis wheat in particular lost some ground.
Some of today's strength may have been tied to month end book squaring and profit-taking.
There's talk of possible weekend frost damage to wheat unprotected by snow on
the Southern Plains, although losses aren't expected to be significant. There's
also continued trade chatter of possible winterkill damage to poorly established
winter wheat in Russia and Ukraine. The trade is also mulling widespread reports
of likely difficulties in funding the spring planting campaign in both countries
too. Russia said that it had exported 24.2 MT of grains so far this season,
including 18.8 MMT of wheat, and that exports for the full marketing year might
reach 28.5 MMT and 20 MMT respectively. Russia exported 869,000 MT of grains
Feb 1-25, and may finish the month shipping around 1 MMT, said Rusagrotrans.
Wheat exports so far this month (to Feb 25) were only 322,000 MT, a drop of
more than half compared to the same period in 2014. There's some talk of the
Russian wheat export duty being tinkered with in the not too distant future.
The Russian Ag Ministry estimated Feb 1 grain stocks at 29.2 MMT, up 3.9 MMT,
or 15.4% higher than a year ago. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.17 1/2, up 14
1/4 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.34 1/2, up 7 1/4 cents; Mar 15 MGEX
Wheat closed at $5.56, up 4 3/4 cents. For the week Chicago wheat was up 7 1/4
cents, with Kansas 1 1/4 higher and Minneapolis 10 3/4 cents lower.
Corn: The corn market closed around 6 cents lower. "The overnight session
started off weaker and gravitated lower into the morning pause. Larger than
expected grain inspections in corn and wheat weren’t enough to rally the
grains on the day. The bulls seem to have run out of bullets for the moment,"
said Benson Quinn. Weekly export inspections of over 900 TMT were indeed a little
above trade expectations of 700-850 TMT. Year to date inspections now total
17.29 MMT, and are around 2% up on a year ago. Total shipments so far this season
are now running at 39% of the USDA's target for the marketing year versus 44%
normally at this point. Brazilian rains may be delaying the harvest there a
little, but should be beneficial for newly planted safrinha corn. Planting of
that crop in Mato Grosso is said to be around 40% complete versus 57% normally.
Argentine corn is said to be looking great. Ukraine said that they'd shipped
10.6 MMT of corn so far this season, around half of the Ag Ministry's forecast
for the 2014/15 export campaign. Crude oil slipped back below $50/barrel, which
didn't help corn's cause today. Mar 15 corn posted the lowest close since Feb
2. Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.78 3/4, down 6 1/2 cents; May 15 Corn closed at
$3.86 3/4, down 6 1/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed. Weekly export inspections of more than
500 TMT were half decent, and the largest since early October. Even so, the
marketing year to date total is still down almost 30% on year ago levels. Exports
are now 67% of the USDA target for the season versus 70% typically at this time.
Egypt are said to have re-opened their tender for US wheat. You will recall
that they've been given a special $100 million line of credit to buy US wheat,
but passed up on what they were offered last week, booking EU wheat at more
than $60/tonne below the cheapest US offer. A Reuters survey into Canadian spring
wheat plantings came up with an average trade guess of 17.3 million acres, down
slightly on 17.4 million a year ago. FranceAgriMer said that French winter wheat
and barley crop conditions are better than they were a year go. The EU Commission's
MARS unit said that winterkill damage in Europe had so far only been light.
They did however note significant damage potential in north-eastern regions
of Ukraine, and especially southern Russia. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.05
3/4, down 4 1/2 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.31 1/4, down 2 cents;
Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.67 3/4, up 1 cent.
Corn: The corn market was lower on the day, and a bit easier for the week too.
That came despite weekly export sales of 932,200 MT of old crop and 143,200
MT of new crop beating expectations. US corn sales are now 77% of the USDA target
for the season versus 72% this time last year and 68% typically at this time.
That's not too bad given the current strength of the US dollar. The USDA's Outlook
Forum estimated this year's US corn crop at 13.595 billion bushels versus 14.216
billion in 2014, a 4.4% decline. Yields were pegged at a second highest ever
166.8 bu/acre versus last season's record 171.0 bu/acre. That might be setting
the bar a bit high, even at this early stage in the game. US corn ending stocks
were estimated at 1.687 billion bushels versus 1.827 billion this season. Corn
used for ethanol production in 2015/16 was forecast at 5.225 billion bushels,
or 38.4% of the crop. "Argentina;s corn prospects continue to improve with
favourable summer growing conditions. Pollinating corn benefited from heavy
rainfall in January, with most corn farms receiving 125-150% of normal rainfall.
February weather has trended drier, but cool temperatures are promoting favourable
grain filling," said Martell Crop Projections. The later than normal Brazilian
soybean harvest is delaying planting of second crop corn there however. Mar
15 Corn closed at $3.85 1/4, down 4 1/2 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $3.93,
down 4 3/4 cents. Front month corn lost 2 cents over the course of the holiday-shortened
Wheat: The wheat market closed lower on the day, and with some hefty losses
for the week. This week's Egyptian pass on US wheat offers, followed by them
booking 240 TMT of EU wheat, highlighted just how expensive US wheat is. The
European wheat bought was more than $60/tonne cheaper than US material, and
that's before more expensive freight is added on. Weekly US export sales of
only 266,600 MT for delivery in the 2014/15 marketing year were down 35 percent
from the previous week and 41 percent from the prior 4-week average, driving
home the message. Marketing year to date sales are down a hefty 24% on where
they were a year ago. Benson Quinn described this week's sales total as "awful".
Sales so far this season are 86% of the USDA target versus 88% normally. Actual
shipments this week of 391,900 MT were up 5 percent from the previous week and
9 percent above the prior 4-week average. They were still rather unspectacular
though. "The negative momentum on the charts is building with sessions
as poor as this one. New lows for the move everywhere and a new contract low
for Kansas wheat doesn’t bode well for the length going forward,"
said Benson Quinn. In Washington, the USDA's Outlook Forum estimated the 2015/16
US wheat crop at 2.125 billion bushels versus 2.026 billion last year, a rise
of 4.9%. Wheat ending stocks next season were pegged at 763 million bushels,
up more than 10% from this year. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.10 1/4, down
17 1/2 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.33 1/4, down 11 1/4 cents; Mar
15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.66 1/2, down 7 1/2 cents. For the week that takes
Chicago wheat 22 3/4 cents lower, with the market in Minneapolis down 20 1/2
and Kansas falling 29 1/2 cents.
Corn: The corn market closed around 5-6 cents higher. The USDA Outlook Forum
estimated US corn plantings this spring at 89 million acres, which is in line
with the average trade guess according to a Bloomberg survey. It would also
be the lowest area in 5 years and fall 1.6 million below last year's level.
They predict an average US corn price of $3.50/bu in 2015/16. The Energy Dept
reported US weekly ethanol production up 3,000 barrels/day from a week ago to
964,000 bpd. Stocks fell slightly to 21.1 million barrels, but are still up
sharply on year ago levels of 17.2 million. "The report could be considered
slightly bullish as weekly stocks managed to decline for the first time since
the week of December 12th on nominally unchanged production. Demand remains
steady and plants continue to grind at an aggressive rate even in a weak margin
environment," said Benson Quinn Commodities. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange
said that rain is hampering the corn harvest in Argentina, which is now only
1.1% complete. They see production down 16.6% on a year ago at 22.5 MMT. Brussels
announced that it had granted 239 TMT worth of EU corn import licences, taking
the season to date total to 5.9 MMT, which is 27% down on this time last year.
Agritel increased their forecast for the Ukraine corn crop to 28 MMT, pegging
exports at 17.5 MMT versus 15.5 MMT previously. The USDA estimate Ukraine's
corn exports a little higher at 18 MMT, whilst the ever optimistic Ukraine Ministry
of Agriculture go for 20 MMT. Agritel also raised their figure for the 2014/15
Russian corn crop slightly to 11.3 MMT, forecasting exports at 3.0 MMT. Mar
15 Corn closed at $3.89 3/4, up 6 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $3.97 3/4, up
5 3/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed mostly lower. News that EU offers today came
in more than $60/tonne cheaper than the best US price in yesterday's passed
on exclusively US wheat tender did most of the damage. An attempt to rally on
the back of firmer corn and soybean markets failed to hold and fizzled out towards
the end of the session. US wheat is simply not competitive with other global
offers, especially those out of Europe. The US dollar is strong and the euro
is weak, further hurting US export hopes and ambitions. The USDA Outlook Forum
suggested a US all wheat area for the 2015 harvest (winter and spring wheat)
at 55.5 million acres. which is half a million below the "baseline"
projection and 1.3 million down on last year. They predict an average US wheat
price of $5.10/bushel in 2015/16. Japan bought 101,128 MT of milling wheat for
March-April shipment, of mostly US origin, in a routine tender. Algeria were
reported to have bought 400,000 MT of what is expected to be EU, and most likely
French, wheat for June shipment. Tunisia are in the market for 59,000 MT of
optional origin durum wheat for March-April shipment. I'm hearing that the Russian
Ag Ministry said that winter grain production there might fall to 28-30 MMT,
down sharply from 48 MMT a year ago due to poor establishment in the autumn
and winterkill. Winter crops in the South and Central regions are said to be
rated 29% in poor condition. Another report I read from a company in the Rostov
region says that as much as a third of winter crops in the area failed to emerge,
and around half the planted area may have to be resown in the spring. If producers
have the money to do so that is. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.27 3/4, unchanged;
Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.44 1/2, down 3 1/2 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed
at $5.74, down 8 cents.
Corn: The corn market closed around 5-6 cents lower, in part of a general sell-off
in the grains sector. The regular weekly US ethanol production data that usually
comes out on a Wednesday is delayed a day due to the President's Day holiday
on Monday. Asia is closed, or are closing, for a week, keeping things quiet.
A Bloomberg survey estimates US corn plantings in 2015 at 89.09 million acres,
down 1.7% versus last year and the lowest in 5 years. The USDA's January "baseline"
projection was 88 million acres. Last year's Outlook Forum forecast was 92 million
and the final area estimated last month was 90.6 million, so they weren't too
far out a year ago. In other news, FranceAgriMer estimated French 2014/15 corn
ending stocks at 4.15 MMT versus a previous estimate of 3.99 MMT. Ukraine said
that they'd exported more than 10 MMT of corn already this season and would
finish 2014/15 shipping out 20 MMT. That would match last season's record volume
and also beat the current USDA estimate which was raised to 18 MMT earlier this
month. Ag Canada estimated the Canadian corn crop at 12.2 MMT in 2015, up from
11.5 MMT a year ago. They see exports in 2015/16 at 700,000 MT and ending stocks
at 800,000 MT. South American crop weather leans favourable. Mar 15 Corn closed
at $3.83 3/4, down 5 3/4 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $3.92, down 5 3/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed lower on disappointment that a tender by Egypt's
GASC to buy US only wheat failed to ignite a lot of interest, with GASC dismissing
the offers put up as too expensive. That shouldn't really have surprised too
many people, but apparently it did. What the US wheat market now doesn't need
is another set of poor weekly export sales this week. These are delayed a day
until Friday, due to Monday's holiday. The firm US dollar continues to be a
problem for US exports which are missing out to cheaper offers from various
sellers, but particularly Europe helped by the weakness of the single currency.
The trade is more interested in what the USDA's Outlook Forum will say with
regards to US 2015 corn and soybean plantings than they are for wheat. The winter
wheat crop is after all already in the ground, whereas corn and soybean sowings
are not. Last year's Forum all wheat estimated area was 55.5 million acres and
the final area reported in January was 56.8 million. The Indian government forecast
this year's wheat crop (harvesting of which will start next month) at 95.76
MMT versus 95.85 MMT a year ago. Ukraine estimated that they will export the
maximum allowed 12.8 MMT of wheat this season. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.27
3/4, down 7 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.48, down 14 1/4 cents; Mar
15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.82, down 6 3/4 cents.
Corn: The corn market slipped back from higher overnight trade to modestly
lower once the daytime session began. A weaker look to wheat, which had posted
double digit gains at one stage overnight, may have been a contributory factor.
The trade is expecting the USDA to indicate that US growers may plant 3-4 million
fewer corn acres in 2015 at this week's Outlook Conference. It's early days
yet to be talking of an emerging weather problem for US corn in 2015. Martell
Crop Projections however say that "strong drying in the US heartland has
increased moisture stress in hard red winter wheat also causing concerns for
spring corn planting in the Midwest." Dr Cordonnier raised his forecast
for this year's Argentine corn crop by 1 MMT to 23 MMT. He was unchanged on
his outlook for Brazil at 74 MMT. Brazil's safrinha corn crop is said to be
only 23% planted versus around 50% normally. UkrAgroConsult said that they expect
Ukraine farmers to reduce corn plantings this year by 5-7% due to increased
costs. Rosstat said that Russia's Feb 1 corn stocks were up 13.3% on a year
ago. The Russian Deputy PM said that the country will subsidise the Russian
sector to the tune of RUB35.7 billion, some of which will go to help farmers
get cheap (ish) loans to help with spring plantings.
Wheat: The wheat market gave up most of it's early gains, which ran into double
digits at one stage overnight, once the daytime session opened. Early strength
was probably tied to news that the fighting in eastern Ukraine goes on, despite
last week's "ceasefire" and also concerns of possible damage to US
winter wheat due to bitter cold across large parts of the country. "The
jet stream has begun to carve out a deep, cold trough over the Midwest and eastern
United States. Arctic air began spilling into the heartland this morning. February
temperatures have been persistently cold averaging 15-20 F in the Upper Midwest,
20-30 F in the southern half of the corn belt. The new Midwest forecast is very
cold calling for temperatures more than 15 F below average," said Martell
Crop Projections. SovEcon said that Russia may still export 21 MMT of wheat
this season, despite the new export duty. That probably gives them around 2
MMT to export in the Feb/Jun period. Russian grain stocks were up 15.4% as of
Feb 1, with wheat stocks 22.7% higher, according to Rosstat. Argentina approved
a further 1 MMT of wheat for export in 2014/15. Japan tendered for 101,128 MT
of a combination of US and Australian wheat for Mar/Apr shipment. Algeria are
tendering for 50 TMT of optional origin milling wheat for June shipment.
The overnight markets are open though, and are currently green across the board,
with beans up around 6-7 cents, meal $2-3 firmer, corn is up a couple of cents
and wheat 5-7 cents higher.
The Russian Deputy PM has said that the government will provide agricultural
producers with RUB35.7 billion worth of subsidies this year (around $567 million),
without saying exactly where the money will come from.
Rosstat said that last year's Russian grain harvest was 103.8 MMT, versus the
government's number of 105.3 MMT, a 12.3% rise versus 2013.
The Russian Ministry of Economic Development say that grain production in 2015
will fall, but not by too much, to 100.5 MMT. They estimate that around 21%
of Russian winter grains (approximately 3.6 million hectares) are in "unsatisfactory"
They could ultimately prove to be far too optimistic there methinks.
Mind you, they also say that 2014/15 ending stocks will rise 30% year-on-year,
which does have a ring of truth to it following last year's bumper production,
lower exports than originally expected, and farmer reluctance to sell due to
the falling rouble and rising inflation.
UkrAgroConsult say that 20% of Ukraine's winter rapeseed crop is in weak/poor
condition, up from 5% a year ago, report the HGCA.
Ukraine grain stocks as at Feb 1 were up 14% at 22.3 MMT, according to the
State Stats Service. That includes 6.9 MMT of wheat, 1.7 MMT of barley and 12.7
MMT of corn.
Corn: The corn market closed around 3 cents or so lower. The
firm US dollar and weaker crude oil were bearish influences. The USDA raised
their forecast for the world 2014/15 corn crop up from 988 MMT in January to
a record 991.3 MMT. "Larger crops in Ukraine, Argentina, and India more
than offset lower production in Russia," they said. Argentina's crop was
raised 1 MMT to 23 MMT and Brazil's was left unchanged at 75 MMT. Exports from
Argentina and Ukraine were both hiked by 1.5 MMT from last month to 13.5 MMT
and 18 MMT respectively. US exports were seen unchanged at 44.5 MMT. Chinese
imports were increased by 0.5 MMT to 2.5 MMT. World ending stocks were raised
by half a million tonnes to 189.64 MMT, despite those in the US being reduced
a bit more than expected, from 47.7 MMT to 46.4 MMT (1.827 billion bushels).
The USDA added 75 million bushels to the US ethanol grind. "To offset a
portion of a higher ethanol grind, they reduced the feed usage by 25 million
bu due to the expected rise in available DDG’s for feed use. They also
narrowed the range of the season-average farm price by a nickel on both sides
to $3.40-3.90," noted Benson Quinn. The USDA also raised their forecast
for US sorghum exports from 6.8 MMT to 7.5 MMT, and increased Chinese imports
from 6.2 MMT to 7.0 MMT. In other news, Taiwan's MFIG bought 60,000 MT of US
corn for Apr/May shipment. Dr Cordonnier estimated the Brazilian corn crop at
74 MMT, pegging Argentina's output at 22 MMT, both unchanged from his previous
forecasts. Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.88, down 3 1/4 cents; May 15 Corn closed
at $3.96 1/4, down 3 1/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed around 6-9 cents lower across
the three exchanges. The USDA painted a picture of record world wheat production,
abundant stocks and lower US exports due to a variety of factors, not least
the strong US dollar and fierce competition from Europe and elsewhere. "US
wheat exports to Brazil are likely to drop significantly in 2014/15 compared
to last year on competition from traditional South American suppliers. Brazil
also has record production, and imports are forecast slightly lower than last
year. Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay have recently harvested larger crops
and are expected to export more to Brazil. Mercosur exporters have freight and
logistical advantages in addition to tariff-free access, while others, including
the United States, are subject to a 10% import duty. The situation is very different
from last year, when US wheat filled an unusual gap left by short crops in both
Argentina and Paraguay," they said. The world wheat crop was pegged at
725 MMT, up from 723.4 MMT previously and versus 716.1 MMT a year ago. Consumption
was raised 1.5 MMT to 714.65 MMT, but ending stocks were still increased by
the best part of 2 MMT to almost 198 MMT. US wheat exports were lowered from
25.5 MMT to 25.0 MMT, and Europe's increased from 30 MMT to 31 MMT, although
still below last season's record near 32 MMT. Egypt's imports were raised 0.5
MMT to 10.5 MMT. In other news, South Korea bought 47 TMT of US milling wheat,
and 50 TMT of Australian milling wheat. Bahrain bought 25,000 MT of Australian
wheat for Mar-Apr shipment. Morocco are tendering for 360,000 MT each of US
soft wheat and US durum wheat for May shipment. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at
$5.21 3/4, down 8 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.54, down 9 1/2 cents;
Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.70, down 6 cents.