26 April 2015 | Online since 2003


Chicago Reports

25 April 2015 | Chicago Reports
24/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans, meal and oil all closed lower on the day, but virtually unchanged for the week. The trade seems to be trying to balance the positive impact of renewed strike action in Brazil against improved production prospects, the advancing harvest in South America and the worsening US bird flu situation. Argentina's Ag Ministry now estimate the nation's 2014/15 soybean crop at a record 59.0 MMT versus a previous estimate of 58.0 MMT and the 2013/14 crop of 53.4 MMT. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated the soybean harvest in Argentina to now be 46% complete. up 13.5 percentage points in a week and 3.5 points ahead of this time last year. They have production estimated slightly lower than the government at 58.5 MMT. The IGC yesterday increased their forecast for the Argentine crop by 1.5 MMT to 58 MMT and added 1 MMT to their outlook for Brazil at 94.3 MMT. A Bloomberg survey of 17 traders found only two that were bullish on soybean price prospects going forward, 12 were bearish and 4 neutral. Stats Canada yesterday estimated the 2015 Canadian canola area at 19.416 million acres versus an average trade estimate of 20.2 million and the 2014 area of 20.325 million. Soybean plantings also came in below expectations at 5.375 million acres versus the average estimate of 6.0 million and the 2014 area of 5.562 million. That would be the first decline in Canadian soybean plantings in 8 years. Monday brings the usual weekly export inspections numbers from the USDA. Inspections last week were modest at 147,939 MT versus 450,365 MT the previous week. It is unclear whether there will be any inclusion of soybeans in Monday's planting progress report, with corn planting behind schedule they may elect to delay those for beans for another week. The weekly commitment of traders (COT) report shows fund money cutting their net short position in beans to around 47,500 lots. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.69 3/4, down 8 1/2 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.70 3/4, down 9 1/4 cents; Sep 15 Soybeans closed at $9.56 1/4, down 9 1/4 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $314.60, down $2.00; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.67, down 35 points. For the week, front month beans added one cent, meal fell $0.40 and oil gained 15 points.

Corn: The corn market closed lower on the day and for the week. Bird flu has been the over-riding bearish factor this week, it has now been found in at least 60 commercial poultry flocks in the US. "The majority are turkeys, and Minnesota, the nation’s top producer, has been hit hardest with an estimated 2.6 million causalities," reported Bloomberg. Argentina Ag Ministry estimated the country's 2014/15 corn crop at 30.0 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate. The IGC agree with them at 30 MMT, although others aren't as bullish. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange go for 23 MMT, unchanged on a week ago. They say that the harvest there only advanced 1.5 percentage points on a week ago to 25.7% complete. MDA CropCast go for production of 23.5 MMT in Argentina this year. They cut their outlook on the world 2015/16 corn crop by 2.4 MMT from a week ago to 951.7 MMT, representing a 2.4% fall on a year ago. That was mostly down to a 2.6 MMT reduction in Ukraine where they now go for a crop of 24.3 MMT, a 14.4% decline compared to last year. They also trimmed back their outlook on the US a little, down to 13.822 billion bushels. The IGC yesterday estimated the 2015/16 global corn crop at 951.0 MMT, up 10 MMT from a previous estimate of 941.0 MMT, but down 4.3% compared to the 2014/15 production of 994.0 MMT. Ending stocks were also seen up 10 MMT from a month ago at 181 MMT, although again that's down from 198 MMT in the current marketing year. Stats Canada yesterday estimated Canadian corn plantings this year at 3.689 million acres versus an average trade estimate of 3.1 million and up almost 20% compared to the 2014 area of 3.078 million. South Korea's KOCOPIA were said to have bought 53,000 MT of European origin corn for August shipment. Ukraine said that they had exported 14.1 MMT of corn so far this season compared to 18.4 MMT this time a year ago. Russia said that growers there had planted 18.6% of this year's anticipated corn crop. The trade is thinking that the US might have planted around 20% of it's expected corn area in Monday night's crop progress report from the USDA. It was 9% done a week ago. A Bloomberg survey of 17 traders found 5 that were bullish on US corn price prospects, 10 were bearish and 2 neutral. The latest COT report shows fund money net short more than 65k corn contracts as of Tuesday night, around 17k more than a week ago. May 15 Corn closed at $3.64 1/2, down 6 1/4 cents; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.69 3/4, down 7 cents. For the week front month corn shed 15 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with double digit losses on the day and mixed for the week. The world wheat crop seems to be trending lower for 2015/16, with the IGC yesterday knocking 4 MMT off last month's production estimate to 705 MMT. Those losses came courtesy of India, China and Argentina, although there were increases for the EU, Russia and Ukraine. MDA CropCast trimmed their outlook by 1.8 MMT from a week ago, largely thanks to a reduction of the same magnitude for Kazakhstan. They also reduced their outlook for the 2015/16 US winter wheat crop by 41 million bushels from a week ago to 1.5 billion bushels due to dryness on the Central Plains. Stats Canada said yesterday that the nation's all-wheat acres are expected to see an overall 3.9% increase to 24.765 million acres in 2015. The average trade guess was 24.2 million and the 2014 area was 23.835 million. Lanworth estimated the 2015 Canadian all wheat crop at 31.1 MMT. The IGC yesterday said 30.0 MMT versus 30.4 MMT previously and 29.3 MMT a year ago. MDA CropCast only see Canada at 28.3 MMT this year. Stats Canada forecast that barley plantings are expected to increase 10.2% to 6.478 million acres, after reaching a record low 5.880 million in 2014. The average trade guess for those though was 6.7 million. Ukraine said that they'd exported 9.9 MMT of wheat so far this year versus only 8.2 MMT this time a year ago. Barley exports are also up at 4.3 MMT versus 2.2 MMT in 2013/14. A Bloomberg survey of 17 traders found 5 that were bullish on US wheat price prospects, 5 were bearish and 7 neutral. Monday night's crop progress and condition ratings for wheat will make interesting reading, given that many were expecting a 2 point improvement in winter wheat last week. They didn't get that last week, with the USDA leaving things unchanged at 42% good to excellent. The crop maybe didn’t have enough time to show the benefits of rains late the previous week, suggested Benson Quinn at the time. Maybe that improvement will therefore come this week? What we do know from last week is that spring wheat plantings are racing ahead, at 36% done versus 17% the previous week, 19% for the 5-year average and only 9% complete this time last year in last Monday's report. Look for that trend to continue this week. Fund money added to their record Chicago wheat short position in the week through to Tuesday night the COT report shows. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.86, down 11 3/4 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.02 1/4, down 14 1/4 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.35, down 10 1/4 cents. For the week that puts the Chicago market 8 1/2 cents lower, with Kansas wheat down 30 1/2 cents and Minneapolis a net gainer of 2 1/4 cents.



24 April 2015 | Chicago Reports
23/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed around 7-8 cents firmer. Brazilian truck drivers are said to be caling a new strike starting today which is obviously seen as supportive for US beans. Weekly export sales of 102,100 MT were at least not the negative number that some were expecting. New crop sales of only 8.100 MT were a bearish surprise however. May 15 beans ended up 7 3/4 cents at 978 1/4, may 15 meal was up $1.10 at $316.60 and May 15 oil ended at 32.02, up 46 points.

Corn: The corn market ended around 2 cents lower. Weekly export sales of 867,900 MT on old crop and 6.200 MT on the new crop were at the top end of trade expectations. Continued talk of US bird flu sapping feed demand was bearish however. The IGC forecast the global corn harvest 1.1% higher than a month ago at 951 MMT. The crop in Europe will come in at 76 MMT, nearly 4% more than they estimated just a month ago, they now predict. May 15 corn ended at 370 3/4, down 1 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed. Weekly export sales of 397.500 MT were much better than last week's feeble effort. There were also new crop sales of 126,700 MT. India's 2015 wheat crop was estimated at only 87.9 MMT, down more than 8% on a year ago due to heavy rains and hail at harvest time. That would be their smallest crop since 2011. It's highly likely that quality has also been impaired, meaning that much of what is harvestable will need to be blended with better quality imported wheat from abroad. May 15 CBOT wheat closed at 497 3/4, down a cent.



23 April 2015 | Chicago Reports
22/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower, with concerns over bird flu in the US rising. Another outbreak in Wisconsin among an 87,000 turkey flock was confirmed by the USDA today. The virus has also been found in 13 turkey flocks in Minnesota with at least 430,300 birds, according to Bloomberg. Millions of chickens will also be slaughtered in Iowa in an effort to contain the disease which has now been found in 16 states. Ag Canada estimated the 2015 Canadian canola crop at 16 MMT, unchanged from their previous forecast and up 0.4 MMT on a year ago. Stats Canada release their latest acreage figures tomorrow. The average trade estimate for that puts canola plantings in 2015 at 20.2 million acres, down slightly from the 2014 area of 20.325 million. Ukraine farmers have begun planting what is expected to be a record near 2 million ha of soybeans for the 2015 harvest, and are eyeing Europe as the main home for this year's crop, say APK Inform. The total EU-28 oilseeds production for the 2015/16 marketing year is expected to decline by around 9% to 32 MMT, of which soybean production is only expected to account for around 1.7 MMT. Trade estimates for tomorrow's USDA Weekly Export Sales Report are in the 100,000-450,000 MT region for beans across both marketing years, with old crop sales possibly in negative territory. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.70 1/2, down 4 3/4 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.71 3/4, down 5 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $315.50, down $0.30; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.56, down 26 points.

Corn: The corn market closed with generally marginal losses. News of the spread of bird flu across the US was a bearish factor again today. An outbreak of another H5N2 virus in the Northeast in 1983 and 1984 resulted in the destruction of 17 million chickens, turkeys and guinea fowl, report Bloomberg. The US Energy Dept reported weekly ethanol production up 6,000 barrels/day at 930,000 bpd. That's an improvement, but below the 2015 average of over 950,000 bpd. China's CNGOIC said that the country imported just 50.6 TMT of corn in March, of which 36.1 TMT came from Ukraine and 9.4 TMT from Russia. Chinese DDGs imports last month on the other hand were nearly three times those of February at 243,000 MT. Trade estimates for the USDA Export Sales report for corn tomorrow are in the 400,000-700,000 MT range. Russian corn planting is said to be 13.3% complete on 373,000 ha so far. UkrAgroConsult estimated the Ukraine grain crop in 2015 at 53.9 MMT versus 59.4 MMT a year ago, Corn production will fall 7.3% to 24 MMT, they predict. Ukraine's corn exports in 2015/16 will come in at around 16-17 MMT versus 18.5 MMT this season, they predict. Canadian 2015 corn plantings are estimated at around 3.1 million acres in tomorrow's Stats Canada report, which is around the same level as a year ago. May 15 Corn closed at $3.72 1/2, down 1/2 cent; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.79 1/2, down 1/2 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market ended the day with small losses across the three exchanges. CNGOIC reported that China imported 152.2 TMT of wheat in March, down 71.8% on February. Canada (60.4 TMT), the US (55.6 TMT) and Australia (26.6 TMT) were the main suppliers. Barley imports on the other hand jumped 56.9% to almost 850 TMT, of which Australia (536 TMT) was the main supplier, followed by Canada (114 TMT) and France (174 TMT). Canadian all wheat plantings from Stats Canada tomorrow are forecast at 24.2 million acres versus the 2014 area of 23.835 million. UkrAgroConsult estimated Ukraine's 2015/16 wheat exports at 10.8 MMT. The Ukraine Ministry have exports this season at 11.7 MMT, so that would be a drop of 7.7%. Syria were reported to have purchased 150,000 MT of optional origin soft milling wheat, thought most likely to be from the Black Sea, at EUR216/tonne C&F, according to Reuters. Egypt were said to have bought 120,000 MT of wheat on the domestic market as part of the government's move to buy 3.7 MMT this year to go towards their subsidised bread programme. Rabobank forecast Chicago wheat prices to average $5.20/bushel in Q2 of 2015, and $5.30 in Q3. Both figures are 10 cents lower than their previous estimates in March. The trade will be hoping for better old crop weekly export sales tomorrow than the dismal 47,900 MT reported last week, with estimates for that in the 200-300 TMT region. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.98 3/4, down 2 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.12, down 1 3/4 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.43, down 2 1/4 cents.



22 April 2015 | Chicago Reports
21/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans ended with small losses. The prospect for a possible Brazilian trucker strike later in the week is supportive for old crop, where US sales have almost reached 100% of the USDA forecast for the season with more than 4 months of it still remaining. Recall that more than 92% of the USDA's 48.7 MMT export forecast for 2014/15 has already been shipped and isn't at risk of getting cancelled or carried over into next season. The market therefore remains sensitive to anything that might trigger a demand shift back to US origin. It is probably only a matter of time before Argentine truckers and dock workers eye an opportunity for a bit of industrial action themselves. Dr Cordonnier was said to have raised his forecast for the Argentine 2015 soybean crop by 1 MMT to 59 MMT, due to the exceptional yields that are being reported from what's been harvested so far. That puts him 2 MMT ahead of the USDA, although not out of line with other trade estimates. There's talk too of Brazil's crop maybe making 97 MMT eventually versus the USDA's 94.5 MMT estimate, say Benson Quinn. These figures would be all time highs for both countries. With an Argentine election coming up in October though, Bloomberg report that soybean farmers there are more inclined to hold onto as much of their inventory as possible, rather than cash it in now, on expectations that the winning candidate will devalue to Argentine peso. Argentine farmers are said to have bought enough silo bags, the common on-farm storage solution there, to store 50 MMT of soybeans this year. Could it be that the world is awash with soybeans in 2015, it's just that many of them aren't actually for sale? May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.75 1/4, down 2 1/4 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.76 3/4, down 2 3/4 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $315.80, down $2.70; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.82, up 23 points.

Corn: The corn market closed with losses of around 4-5 cents. Reports of a bird flu outbreak at a farm in Iowa with a flock of more than 5 million chickens was seen as bearish. "Additionally the governor of Wisconsin declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard to help curb the spread (of the disease) in their state," said Benson Quinn. Dr Cordonnier was said to have increased his forecast for the Brazilian corn crop by 2 MMT to 77 MMT versus the USDA's 75 MMT estimate, citing increased usage of superior hybrid seeds, He also upped Argentina by 1 MMT to 24 MMT, which now puts him in line with the USDA. The Argentine government were said to have authorised a further 3.5 MMT of corn for export. That adds to the 8 MMT that they've already cleared, as confidence grows in the size of this year's crop. Spain were said to have imported 552.6 TMT of corn in February, a 35.2% increased versus Feb 2014. Ukraine was the top supplier, with 262.1 TMT, followed by France at 122.1 TMT. Ukraine farmers are said to have planted 215k ha of corn so far this spring, or around 5% of the official Ministry forecast. Corn planting is also now underway in southern Russia. China released an official ten year Agricultural Outlook for 2015-2024, similar to the USDA's baseline projections. They said that they don't expect China's corn imports to rise above 7.2 MMT between now and 2024 as long as their domestic stocks remain adequate. Chinese corn planting is forecast to rise 1.9% this year, with production officially estimated at close to 220 MMT (record) versus 215.7 MMT last year. The state are said to be looking to continue to build on their vast corn reserves again this season. Meanwhile, weather conditions are said to have rapidly deteriorated in the Midwest, turning sharply colder. "The 7-day temperature outlook is very cold, indeed, 12-15 F below normal. Rainfall in the upcoming weeks is predicted to be less than average, especially the Upper Midwest," said Martell Crop Projections. May 15 Corn closed at $3.73, down 5 cents; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.80, down 4 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher on all three exchanges. Last night's unchanged US winter wheat crop ratings may have prompted a bit of short-covering, with the average market guess being for a 2 point increase in the good to excellent category. Ag Canada cut their forecast for the Canadian all wheat crop slightly, down from 29.6 MMT to 29.5 MMT. They see exports in 2015/16 at 22.4 MMT versus 22.9 MMT this season, and forecast ending stocks falling to 4.4 MMT from 6.2 MMT at the end of 2014/15. A Bloomberg survey estimated the EU all wheat crop at 147.7 MMT, from within a range of estimates of 146.2-149.5 MMT, down 6% on last year's record. The German crop is seen falling 7.2% to 25.8 MMT, although production in France will rise 2% to 39.8 MMT, the survey found. Production in Eastern European countries is generally forecast lower pretty much everywhere. Ukraine raised their forecast for 2014/15 grain exports by 1 MMT to a record 36.8 MMT, including 11.7 MMT of wheat. They said that early spring grains had been planted on more than 2 million ha, consisting mostly of barley (1.52 million ha). Russian early spring grains have been sown on 2.6 million ha, or 8.5% of the official Ministry forecast. IKAR estimated the Russian 2015 wheat crop at 54-59 MMT, and said that domestic prices for 12.5% milling wheat on an FOB basis had fallen $14/tonne in the past week as Russian growers bite the bullet and are forced into selling the old crop stocks that they hold to generate cash to fund spring plantings. For all the government assurances that cheap subsidised loans are available to Russian farmers to enable them to purchase their spring planting needs, the boots on the ground suggest that this is far from the case. Loans are very hard to get, and interest rates are sky high. Sellers are demanding cash on delivery for inputs such as seed and fertiliser. The Grains Industry Association of Western Australia says that wheat plantings in the country's top producing state may decline 2-3% this year. Barley production seen similar to previous seasons. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.00 3/4, up 2 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.13 3/4, up 1 1/4 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.45 1/4, up 6 1/4 cents.



21 April 2015 | Chicago Reports
20/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed higher on talk of another round of Brazilian trucker strikes/blockades being on the way, possibly as early as the end of the week. News that China had cut bank reserve rates in an effort to stimulate the economy there was also seen as positive. Weekly export inspections were modest though at 147,939 MT versus 450,365 MT the previous week. Still, the fact remains that 45 MMT of the USDA's export forecast for the entire season of 48.7 MMT is already shipped and gone. Only 31,614 MT of this week's export inspections were headed for China, but according to last week’s export sales report unshipped sales to China were only 185,000 MT so this is not an unexpected drop-off, noted Benson Quinn. The USDA haven't yet started reporting on soybean planting progress on a national level. Some southern states are reporting individually though, with Arkansas at 11% done versus 12% on average. Missouri is 32% complete versus 24% on average and Louisiana is 16% planted versus 27% typically at this time. Oil World said that world soybean production in 2015/16 will fall for the first time in 4 years. They see the US crop at 104 MMT, with production in Brazil at 92 MMT and Argentina chipping in with 57 MMT. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.77 1/2, up 8 3/4 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.79 1/2, up 8 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $318.50, up $3.50; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.59, up 7 points.

Corn: The corn market ended 1-2 cents easier despite robust weekly export inspections in excess of 1 MMT, which were above trade estimates of 750-850 TMT. Cumulative season to date inspections are now 55% of the USDA estimate for the season, which is still more than 5 points behind the average for this time. The USDA reported US corn planting at 9% complete on a national level, up 7 points on a week ago, but still 4 points behind the 5-year average. "Weather conditions last week were exceptionally warm raising soil temperatures above the 50 F threshold for corn germination. Producers have begun planting on a wide scale," said Martell Crop Projections. However "a sudden shift in the weather is underway in the Midwest, where much cooler temperatures are predicted this week, some 5-10 degrees below normal," they add. Corn planting is most advanced in TX at 51% (but down compared to 59% for the 5-year average), NC at 40% (versus 54% normally) and KS at 23% (19% on average). Sorghum planting is also a little behind schedule at this early stage, with 19% of the crop in the ground versus 22% for the 5-year average. Ukraine said it had exported 27.7 MMT of grains so far this season, of which 13.42 MMT was corn. Ukraine seaports exported just under 300 TMT of grain last week, of which almost 75% was corn as they now major on that particular grain. Spain's corn crop is seen falling more than 5% this year to 4.23 MMT. Poland's corn crop will fall slightly, down 2% to 4.4 MMT, according to the USDA's FAS in the country. May 15 Corn closed at $3.78, down 1 3/4 cents; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.84 3/4, down 2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher on all three exchanges. This may have been down to short-covering and profit-taking, with fund money revealed to be sitting on a record large short position in CBOT wheat on Friday night. Fundamentally though, nothing much has changed. The USDA left winter wheat crop conditions entirely unchanged from a week ago at 19% poor/very poor, 39% fair and 42% good to excellent. Some were looking for an improvement (the average estimate in a Bloomberg survey was 44% good to excellent), although the crop maybe hasn’t had enough time to show the benefits of rains late last week, suggested Benson Quinn. Winter wheat was 16% headed, up 10 points from a week ago and one ahead of the 5-year average. Spring wheat planting was said to be racing ahead well, at 36% done versus 17% a week ago, 19% for the 5-year average and only 9% complete this time last year. WA is already 88% complete versus 57% normally and SD is 73% done compared to only 31% typically at this time. Canada reported wheat exports (excluding durum) up 4.5% so far this season at 11.1 MMT. Durum exports are up 23% at 3.7 MMT. Egypt bought 300 TMT of a mixture of French, Russian and Romanian origin wheat over the weekend. Bangladesh bought 50 TMT of French wheat. Jordan are tendering for 100 TMT of optional origin wheat for Dec/Jan shipment. IKAR were said to have raised their forecast for the 2015 Russian wheat crop from 52-57 MMT to 54-59 MMT. There's talk of Russia looking to come up with some way of reducing the keenness of some trading houses to aggressively sell grain for export, to the detriment of domestic needs, without giving any specifics of how they might do this. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.98 3/4, up 4 1/4 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.12 1/2, up 3 1/4 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.39, up 6 1/4 cents.



18 April 2015 | Chicago Reports
17/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with small gains on the day (on old crop at least), and finished up with relatively modest advances for the week too. Fund money was seen as ending up a net buyer of around 2,000 soybean contracts on the day. "This afternoon’s Commitment of Traders report shows that the speculative funds piled on the new short positions last week as the market tumbled 34 1/2 cents basis the May future. The spec trader increased his short position by 27,845 contracts to net short 76,269 lots," noted Benson Quinn. Support for old crop beans comes from the fact that US exporters have already sold 48.537 MMT of US soybeans for export this season, with the vast majority of that (almost 45 MMT) already shipped and gone. The USDA forecast for the entire season is "only" for US exports of 48.716 MMT, so shippers are already at 99.6% of that target. This week's better than expected old crop weekly export sales and a March NOPA crush at record levels, and well above even the highest trade estimate, are also supportive to the nears. However, Celeres today estimated the Brazilian bean crop at a record 93.9 MMT. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange yesterday estimated this year's Argentine soybean crop at a record 58.5 MMT. With the Brazilian soybean harvest winding down, and the Argentine one making rapid progress, attention is now starting to switch to US planting potential. So all eyes will be on the fluctuating US weather forecasts across the coming months. The magnitude of the fund short in beans leaves the market vulnerable to an upside correction should there be a perceived threat to US output this year, which might prompt a re-test of the $10/bu level. If the weather plays ball, then record plantings and likely record US production in 2015 could see prices in the low $9/bu region, we haven't seen beans close below $9/bu since October 2009. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.68 3/4, up 2 3/4 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.71 1/2, up 2 1/2 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $315.00, up $2.60; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.52, down 24 points. For the week, front month beans were up 17 1/4 cents, meal advanced $5.80 and oil gained 43 points. The new crop soybean:corn price ratio ends the week at 2.36:1, up from 2.34:1 a week ago.

Corn: The corn market managed small gains on the day and for the week. Fresh news was thin on the ground today. "Monday’s (US) planting progress estimate is expected to confirm limited progress, which may have triggered light short covering," suggested Benson Quinn. The USDA reported US corn plantings at only 2% complete in their first numbers of the season last week. That was one point behind this time last year, and three behind the previous 5-year average pace. Ukraine said that they aim to export 3.5 MMT of corn to China this calendar year. Planting of the 2015 corn crop in Ukraine is now underway at 2% complete. UkrAgroConsult see plantings falling from 4.7 million ha to 4.4 million this year. Agritel estimated the EU corn crop in 2015 down from last year's record 74 MMT to 66 MMT. FranceAgriMer said that sowing of the French corn crop was 27% complete as of Apr 13, up from only 2% done a week previously, but still behind last year's pace of 35% sown. Agritel said that warm and dry weather should see further rapid progress made in the week ahead. Dr Cordonnier said that "the weather in Brazil continues to be beneficial for the development of the safrinha corn crop." Growers in Mato Grosso already have almost half their safrinha corn crop sold versus only 15% committed this time a year ago, say IMEA. The reason for the faster selling this year is the weaker Brazilian real, says Dr Cordonnier. Celeres estimated the Brazilian corn crop at 80.3 MMT, much higher than the USDA's 75 MMT forecast, and up 3.5 MMT on their last prediction. China reportedly only sold 1% of the near 300 TMT of domestic corn offered up for sale at auction today. In contrast all the near 36 TMT of US origin corn was sold. The reason for the difference is the low quality of the domestically produced corn on offer, said CNGOIC. For the week through to Tuesday night, fund money increased their net short in corn by around 39,000 lots to nearly 87,000 contracts. May 15 Corn closed at $3.79 3/4, up 3 1/2 cents; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.86 3/4, up 3 1/2 cents. May 15 was up 2 3/4 cents on the week.

Wheat: The wheat market ended the day narrowly mixed, but lower across the board for the week on all three exchanges. In Chicago, prices are now below $5/bu, and could be lining up a test of the September lows around $4.75-4.80/bu. We haven't seen prices trade below that since the first half of 2010. The strong dollar, and consequent lack of US exports, is the problem. Concerns over the state of health of the 2015 US winter wheat crop is about the only fundamental left to prevent a total capitulation. Rain is on the radar, moving across parts of Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma today, and are forecast to last at least through to Sunday. Have these rains come too late to do much good though? The USDA will update us with their latest crop condition ratings on Monday. Last week they had the US winter wheat crop rated 42% good to excellent, down by two points from previous week. The crop was then rated 19% poor to very poor, up from 16% a week previously. They will also report on spring wheat planting progress, which was 17% complete last Sunday night versus 5% a year ago and 11% done for the 5 year average. Tonight's commitment of traders report reveals fund money sitting on a record net short of around 82k contracts in Chicago wheat. That's over 11 MMT, and more than the expected entire size of the 2015 US SRW crop, so there could be some upside if they get spooked by anything. But what? Russia has said that it will be June before it decides on what to do next with the country's wheat export duty. The Russian Ag Minister is reported to have said that he sees no reason to prolong the duty beyond the end of June. Stats Canada are due out next Thursday April with their Canadian 2015 planting intentions report. A Reuters survey pegs the all wheat average trade estimate at 24.2 million acres versus the 2014 area of 23.835 million. For barley the average estimate is 6.7 million acres versus the 2014 area of 5.88 million. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.94 1/2, unchanged; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.09 1/4, up 1 cent; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.32 3/4, down 2 1/4 cents. For the week that puts Chicago wheat 32 cents lower, with Kansas down 52 1/2 cents and Minneapolis down 48 1/4 cents.



17 April 2015 | Chicago Reports
16/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans ended with small gains. Weekly soybean export sales of 312,600 MT for 2014/15 were up noticeably from the previous week and from the prior 4-week average. The market was expecting old crop sales of somewhere between net cancellations of 50 TMT to positive 150 TMT. New crop sales came in at 226,200 MT, which was a bit below expectations of 250-450 TMT. MDA CropCast raised their view on Argentine soybean production this year by 500 TMT from last week to 56.62 MMT on better than expected yields. Brazil was unchanged at 94.34 MMT. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated this year's Argentine soybean harvest to be 32.5% complete, up 18.7 percentage points in a week. They see final production this year at a record 58.5 MMT. The market is now starting to focus on US weather and planting progress. "The new 7-day forecast is wet, not only for the Midwest but also the Great Plains," said Martell Crop Projections. "Drought is a continuing worry in Nebraska, South Dakota and western Minnesota. Elsewhere in the Midwest soil moisture is adequate to begin planting corn," they add. That might take away some of the recent talk of intended corn acres getting switched into beans. However "the 6-10 day outlook calls for strong cooling in the Midwest that would slow corn planting and emergence," they note. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.66, up 1 cent; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.69, up 1 1/4 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $312.40, up $0.90; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.76, down 4 points.

Corn: The corn market closed with fractional gains. Weekly export sales of 588,200 MT for delivery in 2014/15 were down 8 percent from the previous week, but up 19 percent from the prior 4-week average. China popped up as a buyer of 65,200 MT. There were also small net sales of 28,500 MT for 2015/16. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange reported the Argentine corn harvest at 24.1% complete, estimating production at 23 MMT, unchanged from a week ago. The USDA's FAS in Zambia said that the country's corn harvest could halve this year due to drought. They pegged output at just 1.7 MMT versus 3.4 MMT a year ago. ProZerno estimated the Russian corn crop at 10.9 MMT versus 11.3 MMT in 2014. MDA CropCast estimated the US 2015 corn crop at 13.816 billion bushels, down 6 million from a week ago due to acreage adjustments. They see the Brazilian crop at 76.91 MMT, unchanged from last week, but increased Argentina by 480 TMT to 24.03 MMT due to higher yield expectations. The EU corn crop was forecast 4.1 MMT lower than a week ago at 61.5 MMT, a near 10% decline on a year ago. China's CNGOIV forecast corn production there this year at a record near 220 MMT. Crude oil had a choppy day, but ultimately closed higher. It now stands at the best levels since before Christmas and is up around 30% from the March lows. Lower US production on the back of poor margins is being cited as the principal reason for the rally. The USDA reported 108 TMT of sorghum sold to China under the daily reporting system as their appetite for the grain continues unabashed. May 15 Corn closed at $3.76 1/4, up 1/4 cent; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.83 1/4, up 1/4 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed, higher in Chicago and lower in Kansas and Minneapolis. I guess that we can put the firmer Chicago market down to short-covering after the recent rout. Fund money is thought to possibly have established a record short position in Chicago wheat, tomorrow's commitment of traders report will therefore make interesting reading. Concerns still remain over the health of US winter wheat on the Plains. Moderate-to-extreme drought conditions in the six-state High Plains region rose to 41% on April 14 from 36% a week earlier, data from the US Drought Monitor report reveals. Weekly export sales were pathetic at just 47,900 MT on old crop. They were also a marketing-year low, being down 85 percent from the previous week and 80 percent below the prior 4-week average - and the previous 4-weeks have been nothing to write home about. Sales of 112,500 MT for 2015/16 were less than stellar as well. In contrast, the EU issued more than 740 TMT worth of soft wheat export licences, more than fifteen times those of the US, this past week. The EU export total to date is 26.42 MMT, which is now more than 2 MMT ahead of this time last year. MDA CropCast cut their forecast for the world 2015/16 wheat crop by 3.4 MMT to 713.7 MMT, principally due to acreage reductions in the EU. ProZerno estimated the Russian wheat crop this year at 58.1 MMT, a relatively modest decline of 2.7% on a year ago. They see barley production falling 13.7% to 17.6 MMT. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated Argentine wheat plantings for the 2015/16 crop year to fall to 4.1 million ha from 4.4 million a year ago. Low profitability in planting wheat and difficulties growers face in financing fieldwork were the main reasons given. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.94 1/2, up 3 3/4 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.08 1/4, down 6 1/4 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.35, down 8 1/4 cents.



16 April 2015 | Chicago Reports
15/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans nudged a little higher, helped by the March NOPA crush being reported far higher than expected at a record 162.8 million bushels. That was well ahead of the average trade estimate of 155.26 million bushels, and even well above the high end figure of 159.5 million. With a crush figure so much higher than trade expectations you'd have thought that the market would end sharply higher, but it seems like today was a "buy the rumour, sell the fact" sort of a day. Attention is now very much on the ongoing South American harvest and the much-quoted "demand switch" to Brazil and Argentina. Brazil's record harvest is now well advanced, and confidence is growing by the day that Argentina's crop will also surpass all that has gone before. The Rosario Grain Exchange today raised their forecast for the Argentine soybean crop this year by 1.7% from their March estimate to a new all time high 59 MMT. Tomorrow's weekly export sales numbers aren't expected to offer too much support to the US market, with old crop sales estimates in the region of negative 50 TMT to positive 150 TMT. New crop sales are expected to be around 250-450 TMT. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.65, up 4 3/4 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.67 3/4, up 3 3/4 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $311.50, down $2.10; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.80, up 50 points.

Corn: The corn market edged a couple of cents firmer, garnering some support from the firmer tone in soybeans. Firmer crude oil markets and chatter of planting delays in corn in the South also added some further support. What wasn't too friendly though was the US Energy Dept reporting weekly ethanol production at 924,000 barrels/day, down 12,000 from the previous week and the slowest rate since mid October. Stocks came in at 20.6 million barrels, up 200,000 barrels from a week ago. Also bearish was the Rosario Grain Exchange raising their forecast for the Argentine corn crop by 2.2 MMT to 25.7 MMT. That's now 1.7 MMT more than the USDA predicted last week. Ukraine continues to ship large volumes of their 2014 corn crop. Exports in Jan/Feb to Europe alone included Spain (480.7 TMT), the Netherlands (73.9 TMT), Italy (35.8 TMT), Portugal (21.2 TMT), Germany (12.9 TMT), and Ireland (12.8 TMT), said APK Inform. Total Ukraine grain exports so far this month are 900 TMT, of which 80% (717 TMT) was corn. The leading homes for Ukraine corn this month have been China, South Korea, Egypt and Japan. DRV said that Germany's 2015 corn crop will fall 7.8% to 4.74 MMT. Bloomberg reported that US corn and soybean imports from countries able to supply non-GM crops are "booming" - including corn purchases from Romania. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 400-600 TMT. May 15 Corn closed at $3.76, up 2 1/2 cents; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.83, up 2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower for a third day, and has now fallen for six of the last eight sessions. Rain remains in the forecasts for the US Plains, although the Kansas forecast has grown progressively drier these past 3 days, cautioned Martell Crop Projections. Kansas is of course the top US wheat state. Russia said that the export duty on wheat will be reviewed around May/June. There was a little hint that an extension of it is not out of the question depending on the state of winter wheat crops then. For now though the government are standing by their official forecast for a 2015 grain crop of 100 MMT. Iran said that it would harvest an 11 MMT wheat crop this year, and that the government would buy 8 MMT domestically and import 2 MMT. Japan are tendering for 109 TMT of food grade wheat for June shipment in their regular weekly tender. Jordan are in the market for 100 TMT of wheat for Dec/Jan shipment. Brazilian farmers in the state of Parana are off to a slow start planting their winter wheat crop, with only around 1% of the crop in the ground so far versus 7% a year ago and 9% typically at this time according to the Secretary of Agriculture for the state (Deral). They currently estimate plantings to increase 3%, with production rising by 7% to 4 MMT. Parana is the leading wheat producing state in Brazil. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 100-300 TMT of old crop and 50-250 TMT of new crop. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.90 3/4, down 6 1/4 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.14 1/2, down 7 1/4 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.43 1/4, down 8 3/4 cents.



15 April 2015 | Chicago Reports
14/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans reversed yesterday's losses, and broke out of a run of six losing sessions in the past seven, to close with double digit gains. The March NOPA crush report, due out tomorrow, might reveal a record crush for the month, according to Benson Quinn. The average trade estimate for that is 155.26 million bushels, with one estimate as high as 159.5 million. The February crush was 146.970 million and in March 2014 the crush was 153.84 million (a record for the month). Brazil are well advanced in harvesting their anticipated record 2014/15 soybean crop, and things are also now getting going in neighbouring Argentina. Fears of crop losses in the latter due to excessive rains and flooding in some areas have now subsided. "Argentine farmers continue to report outstanding soybean yields and the question now is how fast they will sell their record soybean crop," said Dr Cordonnier. "The government of course wants the farmers to sell as quickly as possible in order to collect the 35% export tax on soybeans. But it remains to be seen how aggressive they will be in trying to force farmers to sell," he added. Argentine farmers still have around 17% of their 2013/14 soybean harvest to sell, along with 80% of this year's crop, according to official Ag Ministry estimates. Oil World estimated the EU 2015 rapeseed crop down 11% on last year's record at 21.5 MMT. Production in Germany will drop nearly 16% to 5.3 MMT, they predict. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.60 1/4, up 11 1/2 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.64, up 11 1/4 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $313.60, up $4.80; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.30, up 26 points.

Corn: The corn market recovered around half of yesterday's losses, in a mini "Turnaround Tuesday" reversal. Wheat prices continuing to fall was a negative influence however. Continued wetness in Southern US states is delaying corn planting, and may cause some switching away from corn into beans it is being suggested. Macquaire forecast US corn prices in Q2 of 2015 averaging $3.60/bu, rising to $3.70/bu in Q3 and $4.00/bu in Q4. They also predict that upwards trend to continue in 2016, with Q1 prices averaging $4.20/bu next year, rising to $4.25/bu in Q2. The Argentine grower is said to be 36% sold on his 2014/15 corn crop, up from 21% this time a year ago. South Africa is said to be importing Argentine yellow corn following significant crop losses there this year. Ukraine seaports exported almost 45 TMT of grains last week, with the vast majority (80%) being corn. Russia's corn seed imports were down nearly 38% last month compared to a year ago. This is probably due to the recent slump in value of the Russian rouble, forcing farmers to cut corners wherever they can. APK Inform recently forecast Russian growers to plant a record corn acreage this year, up 2.8% on last year. Even so, if much of what they are going to plant is inferior home grown seed than production is likely to fall. The USDA's FAS in Europe forecast an EU-28 2015 corn crop of 67.7 MMT versus the record 73.7 MMT produced last year. They see Europe's 2015/16 corn import needs rising 50% to 12 MMT. The Argentine government are expected to grant 1-2 MMT worth of corn export licences in the next few days. China's CNGOIC estimated that the country would import 8.1 MMT of sorghum this season, up from only 4.6 MMT in 2013/14. May 15 Corn closed at $3.73 1/2, up 3 cents; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.81, up 3 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market slipped back below $5/bushel in Chicago to close at its lowest level since Mar 10. Some are suggesting that rains across Kansas and Oklahoma this past few days might revive a flagging US winter wheat crop. Others are saying it's a case of "too little, too late" and that the damage is already done. I guess we won't know the real answer until the combines start rolling, and that day isn't really that far away. With 19% of US winter wheat now rated poor to very poor, among the lowest 25% in the last 29 years according to Martell Crop Projections, the crop needs to improve rapidly. "If drenching rain materialises, as predicted, plump kernels would develop on grain heads increasing test weights that boost the yield. However, significant damage to the (Kansas) wheat yield has already been done from prolonged spring drought," they said. Argentine farmers are said to be almost 66% sold on their 2014/15 wheat crop versus 45% committed this time a year ago. The Argentine government are expected to authorise 1-2 MMT of wheat export licences in the next week or so. South Korea's Daehan bought 45,400 MT of US milling wheat for August shipment. South Korea's KFA bought 24,800 MT of US wheat for Aug-Sept shipment. Japan are tendering for 109,005 MT of milling wheat for June shipment in their usual combo of US, Canadian and Australian origin. Nothing overly special there. China were said to be auctioning 830,000 MT of wheat from reserves today. Russia's seaports exported 190.5 TMT of wheat last week, say APK Inform. Ukraine seaports shipped out only 89.5 TMT, they add. Rusagrotrans see Russia's April wheat exports at around 400 TMT, down from 534 TMT last month. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.97, down 5 1/4 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.21 3/4, down 7 1/4 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.52, down 8 cents.



14 April 2015 | Chicago Reports
13/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans continue to grind a touch lower, and have now fallen for 6 of the past 7 sessions. Demand for US beans continues to slip towards the southern hemisphere as the harvest there advances and the Brazilian real and Argentine peso weaken versus the US dollar. Weekly US export inspections slowed to 450,317 MT last week, down from 569,648 MT the previous week, the USDA said today. AgRural said that the Brazilian bean harvest was 84% complete as of Friday, up from 77% a week previously. They estimated this year's crop at a record 93.8 MMT. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said last week that the Argentine soybean harvest is 13.8% done, up 6.8 percentage points versus a year ago. They see production there at a record 58.5 MMT. Customs data shows that China imported 4.49 MMT of beans in March, up 5.4% versus the shorter (and Lunar New Year) month of February. That means that China imported 15.63 MMT of beans in the first quarter of the year, up a modest 1.9% from a year ago. They are importing less edible oil. Imports of that were down by more than a third at 360,000 MT in March. That takes Q1 edible oil imports to 1.05 MMT, a fall of 46% compared to a year previously. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.48 3/4, down 2 3/4 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.52 3/4, down 3 1/4 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $308.80, down $0.40; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.04, down 5 points.

Corn: The corn market closed lower, under spillover pressure from tumbling wheat prices. Weekly export inspections weren't too bad at 855,766 MT, although they were well below the 1.039 MMT from last week and 1.479 MMT for the same week in 2014. The USDA reported US corn plantings at 3% complete in their first numbers of the season. That's one point ahead of this time last year, but two behind the previous 5-year average pace. Southern states remain delayed, with NC at 17% done versus 28% on average, KY is 3% complete versus 15% normally, and TN is at 6% versus 23% typically at this time. Sorghum plantings are 19% done versus 16% a year ago and 20% on average. Safras e Mercado said that Brazil's first corn crop is 61.4% harvested versus 73.7% a year ago. In Argentina the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that the corn harvest was 17.1% complete last week, up 0.6 percentage points on a year ago. The Argentine government are expected to release 2-3 MMT of corn export licenses at some point over the next week as the harvest there progresses and confidence of a decent crop again this year rises. China are expected to auction 331,500 MT of corn from state-owned reserves on Thursday. Russia said that it had exported 35% less corn (at just over 2 MMT) so far this season than it had a year ago. May 15 Corn closed at $3.70 1/2, down 6 1/2 cents; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.78, down 6 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market crashed sharply lower on beneficial weekend rains in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Kansas wheat was the biggest loser, slumping the best part of 30 cents, although the Chicago and Minneapolis markets also suffered significant losses. Forecasts for the week ahead also offer further chances of rain. Weekly export inspections were fair at 445,317 MT. South Korea tendered for 24,000 MT of wheat for Aug/Sep shipment. Iraq tendered for 50,000 MT of Australian, US, Canadian and/or Russian wheat. Egypt said that they will begin buying up to 3.7 MMT of local wheat tomorrow. After the close the USDA cut the proportion of the US winter wheat crop rated good to excellent by two points from last week to 42%. The crop is now rated 19% poor to very poor, up from 16% a week ago. Kansas slipped from 23% to 28% in the poor/very poor category and was down from 33% to 28% good/excellent. Oklahoma declined from 16% to 26% poor/very poor and from 43% to 36% in the good/excellent category. The crop is 5% headed versus 6% last year and 8% on average, they added. Spring wheat planting is 17% complete versus 5% a year ago and 11% on average, with all the leading states bar ND well ahead of the norm. WA is 70% done already compared to only 42% both a year ago and for the 5-year average. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.02 1/4, down 24 1/4 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.29, down 29 3/4 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.60, down 21 cents.




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