Chicago Reports
18-12-2014 09:39 AM | Chicago Reports
17/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with small gains at the end of a two-sided session. A trade delegation of Chinese buyers in Chicago were reported to have signed "showcase" deals to import 1 MMT of US soybeans. Abiove estimated Brazil’s 2014/15 bean crop at 91.0 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate and well below the CONAB estimate of 95.8 MMT and the USDA's 94 MMT forecast. "Weather outlooks continue to have Brazilian production areas getting adequate moisture for their crops with some press given to the drier areas in Argentina as having potential to a reduction in production," said Benson Quinn. There's some talk of increased US soybean sales to Cuba following comments from the Obama administration seeking to end more than 50 years of hostility between the two countries. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are in the region of 600-800 TMT for beans. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.27, up 3 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.35 1/4, up 4 cents; Jan 15 Soybean Meal closed at $359.30, up $2.70; Jan 15 Soybean Oil closed at $31.77, unchanged.

Corn: The corn market also posted small advances of a couple of cents or so, helped by surging wheat prices. Some news agencies reported that China had approved MIR 162 corn for import, although Reuters said that three sources at large Chinese corn importers that they had contacted said that they had received no such notification as yet. They also reported Chinese buyers booking 900 TMT of US DDGS in the past week, with state-owned COFCO the main buyer. That's something that they'd be unlikely to do without knowledge that approval of MIR 162 was imminent. If they know it's coming then they may have decided to act now before DDGS prices went up, it is thought. US ethanol production was reported at a new record 990,000 barrels/day - the third record week in the past four. South Korea's MFG bought 126,000 MT of optional origin corn for April shipment. South American weather remains generally favourable, although there's some talk creeping in of developing dryness in parts of Argentina. Martell Crop Projections report that "weather conditions in the Midwest have grown progressively drier over the past several weeks. This is reflective of an emerging El Nino, as Midwest winters are often very dry with El Nino." Weekly export sales tomorrow are expected to be around 600-800 TMT. Mar 15 Corn closed at $4.08 1/4, up 2 1/4 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $4.16 1/2, up 2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with strong gains. Turmoil in Russia is the main reason. Various reports appear to confirm that exporters are having extreme difficulty getting export certificates in a timely manner. It's being suggested that Turkey, Egypt, Armenia and India are being singled out for referential treatment, and exports to those destinations will get pushed through, but everybody else can go and whistle. This appears to have brought trade in Russian wheat to a virtual standstill very quickly. Exporters don't want to sell, for fear of getting caught having to pay expensive demurrage bills as vessels sit at the quayside waiting for customs clearance. That means that also neither are they a buyer on the domestic market all of a sudden. That leaves the government's intervention fund program looking a more attractive proposition than it has up until now. There are reports of Argentine wheat now trading into African and Middle Eastern homes, where buyers are shying away from even considering Russian wheat. There should also be a pick up in interest for EU and US wheat too. Note too the absence of large Russian wheat buyer Saudi Arabia from the unofficial list of approved homes. Is that just a coincidence, or a poke in the eye for the country seen by many as being responsible for the collapse in crude oil prices that is causing Russia so much stress at the moment? Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.48 1/2, up 25 1/4 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.81 1/2, up 26 3/4 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.59 3/4, up 25 1/2 cents.

17-12-2014 10:29 AM | Chicago Reports
16/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower on concerns about the Chinese economy and with a weaker Brazilian real heading bearish influences. The latter triggered a bout of Brazilian producer that selling that Benson Quinn said was the heaviest seen since last March. AgRural said Brazil bean planting is 96% complete versus 98% on average. Another bad day at the office for crude oil added to the bearish tone. Fund money was said to have ditched around a net 6,000 soybean contracts on the day. It is estimated that Chinese soybean imports will peak at around 7.5 MMT this month, before falling to around 7 MMT in January and 5 MMT in February (Chinese New Year). This is a normal seasonal trend. Oil World estimated the global 2014/15 soybean crop at 312.9 MMT versus a previous estimate of 309.1 MMT and compared to the 2013/14 production of 285.0 MMT. Their new figure is almost identical to the USDA's 312.8 MMT. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.23 1/2, down 16 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.31 1/4, down 14 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybean Meal closed at $356.60, down $8.80; Jan 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.77, down 50 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 2 cents lower. There continues to be talk of China finally approving MIR 162 corn and DDGS with traces of it for import, but no official confirmation of this has yet been forthcoming. The spectre of crude oil now falling to levels not seen since the dark times of the 2009 aftermath to the sub-prime led financial crisis are hard to ignore, although corn is doing its best to do just that. Ethanol values have held up very well, up until now, but are finally starting to show signs of cracking. Or should that be fracking? South Korea's MFG is shopping for 280,000 MT of optional origin corn for April shipment. South America might be the most likely winner of that business. "While US corn offers have gotten more competitive, I wouldn’t give the US the competitive edge into many potential destinations," said Benson Quinn's Brian Henry. Coceral increased their estimate for the EU-28 corn crop from the previous 72.8 MMT to a new record 73.5 MMT, which is more than 10 MMT up on a year ago. They peg the French crop at a record 16.91 MMT, although some other estimates are in the 17-18 MMT region. Mar 15 Corn closed at $4.06, down 2 1/2 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $4.14 1/2, down 2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher across all three exchanges. Russia raised their interest rates from 10.5% to a hefty 17% overnight in an effort to stabilise the rouble which had earlier fallen to new all time lows against the dollar and euro. Gossip abounds concerning some form of covert export restrictions being introduced. There's talk that the Russian Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service is now saying it will only release phytosanitary certificates to buyers from Turkey, Egypt, Armenia and India. Other reports suggest that some loaded vessels are sat portside waiting for clearance, which currently isn't forthcoming. Russia has announced a hike in the intervention price it will pay to farmers, as was expected. Following the recent demise of the rouble however the prices on the table are still below what is available on the cash market. The most likely beneficiary of Russia standing away from the export market is likely to be Europe before the US however. Coceral raised their forecast for the EU-28 soft wheat crop to 148.5 MMT, which is 12 MMT above last year's level. They see France at 37.45 MMT versus 36.87 MMT a year ago, with Germany at 27.81 MMT versus 24.87 MMT and the UK at 16.52 MMT versus 11.92 MMT. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.23 1/4, up 4 1/4 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.54 3/4, up 7 3/4 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.34 1/4, up 1 3/4 cents.

16-12-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
15/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed around 7 to 8 cents lower. Weekly export inspections were 1.82 MMT, down from 2.2 MMT a week ago, but still a decent volume. Year-to-date exports are now 25.567 MMT versus 20.879 MMT this time last year. The November NOPA crush came in at 161.2 million bushels. This was below trade expectations, but still a record for the month. South American weather looks friendly. "The forecast calls for above average rainfall in the majority of Brazil soybeans, favouring the interior of the country," said Martell Crop Projections. The FSA reported the 2014 US soybean "prevent planted" area at 841,000 acres versus the November figure of 839,000 acres and 1.702 million acres a year ago. They put the 2014 planted area at 81.626 million acres versus the November figure of 81.392 million and 75.277 million in 2013. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.39 1/2, down 7 3/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.46, down 7 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybean Meal closed at $365.40, down $1.60; Jan 15 Soybean Oil closed at 32.27, down 9 points.

Corn: The corn market closed with small gains, aided by spillover support from wheat. Weekly export inspections were fairly modest at 546,515 MT. Talk that China will finally approve MIR 162 corn and its by-products was friendly. So too is continued chatter that Ukraine is struggling to supply China with all their existing purchases on time, and of the quality they demand. The FSA reported the number of US 2014 "prevent plant" area at 1.606 million acres versus the November figure of 1.594 million and 3.614 million in 2013. They put the US 2014 corn planted area at 86.285 million acres versus the November figure of 85.842 million and 92.359 million a year ago. Russia said that their 2014 corn harvest was effectively concluded at 11.6 MMT, with yields averaging 4.56 MT/ha versus 5.28 MT/ha a year ago. APK Inform estimated Ukraine's 2014/15 corn exports at 18 MMT, down 8.8% from a year ago. Corn continues to do its best to ignore plunging global crude oil prices. Mar 15 Corn closed at $4.08 1/2, up 1 cent; May 15 Corn closed at $4.16 1/2, up 3/4 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with decent gains. Belief is growing that although Russia probably will not issue an all out export embargo, they will introduce export restrictions in one form or another, whether covertly or otherwise. The Russian rouble fell to yet another fresh all time low against the US dollar today. The FSA reported the US 2014 "prevent plant" wheat area at 1.38 million acres versus the November figure of 1.379 million and 2.013 million a year ago. Plantings were put at 53.521 million acres versus the November figure of 53.451 million and compared to 53.775 million a year ago. APK Inform estimated Ukraine's 2014/15 wheat exports at 10.8 MMT, a 16.4% increase on a year ago. Weekly US export inspections of 385,974 MT were up 42.8% from the previous week, but still no better than routine. EU winter wheat conditions have taken a turn for the worse with increasing dryness in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, but also extreme wetness in the Mediterranean countries Italy Romania and Hungary, say Martell Crop Projections. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.19, up 12 1/2 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.47, up 12 3/4 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.32 1/2, up 11 3/4 cents.

13-12-2014 15:39 PM | Chicago Reports
12/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed a two-sided day with gains of around 5 cents. Expiring Dec 14 meal took a complete nose-dive, other months were mixed. The USDA reported 110 TMT of US beans sold to "unknown" for 2015/16 delivery. A Chinese trade delegation are in town next week, with "showcase" deals likely to be forthcoming. The last time these guys were over in September when 4.8 MMT worth of soybean sales were reported to have been signed. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that farmers there have 71.94% of their 2013/14 soybean crop sold versus 80.39% a year ago. You will recall that the National Bank of Argentina, the country's top agricultural lender, recently said that it will stop extending credit to, and possibly even close the accounts of, farmers who cannot prove that they have sold all of their old crop inventory come Jan 1st. New crop soybeans are 4.23% sold versus 4.43% a year ago. NOPA release their November US crush data on Monday "with estimates of a year on year increase of 3.3% which, if realized, would be at a record 165.4 mln bushels," according to Benson Quinn. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.47 1/4, up 5 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.53 3/4, up 5 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $378.90, down $27.20; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.97, up 4 points. For the week Jan 15 beans added 11 1/4 cents, with Dec 14 meal down $15.30 and Dec 14 oil 4 points lower.

Corn: The corn market closed with decent gains on fund buying. A rumour that China had approved MIR 162 corn was doing the rounds, but it cannot be confirmed. Reuters reported that Syngenta said that they expected approval "soon" and the US Grains Council said it hoped for confirmation of approval "in the coming days". Reports that Ukraine is struggling to fulfil its obligation to ship 19 cargoes of corn to China, and may default on around 20% of the agreed volume, raises a bit of hope for US corn to again step into the void left. Ukraine exporters are saying that the fighting in the country means that they may not be able to ship the agreed volume by the Feb 2015 quota deadline. Sceptics might suggest that they simply think they can now make better prices elsewhere. Certainly in local currency terms they definitely can. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that growers there have 90.78% of their 2013/14 corn crop sold versus 84.14% a year ago. New crop is 15.31% sold versus 6.15% a year ago. Turkey, said to be the seventh largest importer of the product, announced that they are to ban the import of US DDGs on GM issues. South Korea bought 60,000 MT of optional origin corn for Feb-March shipment. The corn market did its best to ignore the alarming slump in crude oil values, which now stand at their lowest levels since May 2009. "There is a case to be made for institutional traders identifying the Ag sector as their best option to put capital to work," suggested Benson Quinn. Dec 14 Corn went off the board at $3.96 1/4, up 6 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $4.07 1/2, up 9 cents. For the week Dec 14 was 14 3/4 cents higher, with Mar 15 up 12 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher on more rumours of Russia introducing measures to at least slow up exports, if not go the whole hog and issue a formal embargo. Nearby Dec 14 went off the board on all three exchanges. "Newswires confirmed comments made by an Agricultural Minister that all options would be considered except for an outright export ban, which can’t happen due to Russia’s recently joining the WTO," said Benson Quinn. Intervention prices might be raised next week it seems, but that could be just the tip of the iceberg. As well as the new phytosanitary rules to cope with, there are now reports circulating of an emergency draft law being put together to force Russian companies and exporters to sell half of their foreign currency reserves to the Central Bank in an effort to shore up the ailing rouble. Recent Bank of Russia intervention in the currency markets has done little to help stabilise that for anything more than hours. In other news, Egypt said that it's wheat stocks were sufficient to last until April. That would be assuming that all their Russian purchases turn up! Argentina approved a further 1 MMT of wheat for export. The head of the Rosario Grain Exchange said this week that Argentina's 12 MMT wheat crop this year, plus carryover stocks from last year, will enable them to supply all of Brazil's anticipated 7 MMT import requirement in 2014/15. The Argentine harvest is now past halfway done. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that growers there have still only sold 80.13% of last year's crop, versus 100% this time a year ago. Conversely, new crop wheat is said to be 32.09% sold versus 15.71% a year ago. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.27 1/2, up 17 1/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.34, up 10 1/2 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.70, up 50 cents. For the week that puts nearby Chicago wheat up 18 1/2 cents, with Kansas just 1 1/2 cents firmer and Minneapolis up 50 1/2 cents.

12-12-2014 10:59 AM | Chicago Reports
11/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed around 10 cents higher. Weekly export sales of 810,300 MT for 2014/2015 were down 31 percent from the previous week and 20 percent below the prior 4-week average. "Soybean sales have reached 84.5% of the new USDA export estimate, which compares to a 5 year average of 76.8%," said Benson Quinn. "Soy meal sales have reached 59% of the current USDA estimate, which compares to a 5 year average of 51.2%," they added. Actual shipments of 2.4 MMT remain very robust, with China alone taking more than 1.5 MMT of that total. The Rosario Grains Exchange, in their first estimate for the season, forecast Argentina’s 2014/15 soybean crop at 55.0 MMT, which is in line with yesterday's USDA figure. IMEA said Mato Grosso farmers have sold 34.1% of their 2014/15 soybean crop versus 48.8% this time a year ago. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.42 1/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.48 3/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $406.10, up $0.90; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.93, up 26 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 4-5 cents higher, save for the expiring Dec 14 which closed up 7 1/2 cents. Weekly export sales of 962,800 MT for 2014/15 were down 18 percent from the previous week, but up 9 percent from the prior 4-week average, and in line with expectations. Exports of 678,300 MT were primarily to Japan (246,400 MT), Peru (103,900 MT), Mexico (95,000 MT), Colombia (77,000 MT), Costa Rica (38,400 MT) and Saudi Arabia (36,300 MT). The Rosario Grains Exchange estimated Argentina’s 2014/15 corn crop at 21.5 MMT, unchanged from previous estimate and 0.5 MMT below the USDA's forecast of yesterday. Ukraine said that their 2014 corn harvest is now 98% complete at 27.52 MMT. They said that 2014/15 grain exports were 16.358 MMT, including 5.172 MMT of corn. Fund money was estimated as being a net buyer of around 3,000 corn contracts on the day. The market continues to do a decent job of ignoring the ongoing slump in crude oil prices. Iran said that crude could hit $40/barrel if OPEC doesn't get itself in order soon. US ethanol production though is running at record levels. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.90, up 7 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.98 1/2, up 4 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with good gains. Weekly export sales of 442,300 MT for delivery in the 2014/15 marketing year were up 39 percent from the previous week and 16 percent above the prior 4-week average. They were also towards the top end of trade estimates for once. Egypt's GASC picked up 180 TMT of wheat in their tender, two cargoes being Russian origin and one of French. The prices paid were significantly cheaper than their last purchase, and it was particularly interesting to see Russian wheat be competitive again. Some are suggesting that this was a "let's get it sold and shipped whilst we still can" move. "News eventually began to trickle out that a Russian ag minister made statements indicating they would attempt to reduce exports and would eventually raise Russian intervention prices to keep the domestic market supplied," said Benson Quinn. That's the first time that there's been anything but a flat denial from Russia that this sort of move could be on the cards, even if it has been widely rumoured. Japan bought 143,317 MT of milling wheat for Jan/Feb shipment in their regular weekly tender. The origin was split between US, Canada and Australia. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.10 1/4, up 17 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.23 1/2, up 8 3/4 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.20, up 22 cents.

12-12-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
11/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed around 10 cents higher. Weekly export sales of 810,300 MT for 2014/2015 were down 31 percent from the previous week and 20 percent below the prior 4-week average. "Soybean sales have reached 84.5% of the new USDA export estimate, which compares to a 5 year average of 76.8%," said Benson Quinn. "Soy meal sales have reached 59% of the current USDA estimate, which compares to a 5 year average of 51.2%," they added. Actual shipments of 2.4 MMT remain very robust, with China alone taking more than 1.5 MMT of that total. The Rosario Grains Exchange, in their first estimate for the season, forecast Argentina’s 2014/15 soybean crop at 55.0 MMT, which is in line with yesterday's USDA figure. IMEA said Mato Grosso farmers have sold 34.1% of their 2014/15 soybean crop versus 48.8% this time a year ago. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.42 1/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.48 3/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $406.10, up $0.90; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.93, up 26 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 4-5 cents higher, save for the expiring Dec 14 which went off the board up 7 1/2 cents. Weekly export sales of 962,800 MT for 2014/15 were down 18 percent from the previous week, but up 9 percent from the prior 4-week average, and in line with expectations. Exports of 678,300 MT were primarily to Japan (246,400 MT), Peru (103,900 MT), Mexico (95,000 MT), Colombia (77,000 MT), Costa Rica (38,400 MT) and Saudi Arabia (36,300 MT). The Rosario Grains Exchange estimated Argentina’s 2014/15 corn crop at 21.5 MMT, unchanged from previous estimate and 0.5 MMT below the USDA's forecast of yesterday. Ukraine said that their 2014 corn harvest is now 98% complete at 27.52 MMT. They said that 2014/15 grain exports were 16.358 MMT, including 5.172 MMT of corn. Fund money was estimated as being a net buyer of around 3,000 corn contracts on the day. The market continues to do a decent job of ignoring the ongoing slump in crude oil prices. Iran said that crude could hit $40/barrel if OPEC doesn't get itself in order soon. US ethanol production though is running at record levels. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.90, up 7 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.98 1/2, up 4 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with good gains. Weekly export sales of 442,300 MT for delivery in the 2014/15 marketing year were up 39 percent from the previous week and 16 percent above the prior 4-week average. They were also towards the top end of trade estimates for once. Egypt's GASC picked up 180 TMT of wheat in their tender, two cargoes being Russian origin and one of French. The prices paid were significantly cheaper than their last purchase, and it was particularly interesting to see Russian wheat be competitive again. Some are suggesting that this was a "let's get it sold and shipped whilst we still can" move. "News eventually began to trickle out that a Russian ag minister made statements indicating they would attempt to reduce exports and would eventually raise Russian intervention prices to keep the domestic market supplied," said Benson Quinn. That's the first time that there's been anything but a flat denial from Russia that this sort of move could be on the cards, even if it has been widely rumoured. Japan bought 143,317 MT of milling wheat for Jan/Feb shipment in their regular weekly tender. The origin was split between US, Canada and Australia. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.10 1/4, up 17 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.23 1/2, up 8 3/4 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.20, up 22 cents.

11-12-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
10/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower, and near session lows. The decline came despite the USDA raising US 2014/15 soybean exports and lowering ending stocks a bit more than the average trade guesstimate. Exports were increased 40 million bushels, with a corresponding drop in carryout of the same magnitude to 410 million bu. That was a little below the 425 million ballpark that was the average trade guess. There were no changes to 2014/15 production for the US, Brazil, Argentina, China or India. Paraguay and Canada were tweaked a little higher. The world import picture was virtually unchanged, except for a small increase for Indonesia. A 1 MMT rise in US soybean exports was virtually matched by reductions of 700 TMT and 200 TMT respectively for Brazil and Argentina. The US crush was left unchanged, contrary to some people's ideas. World ending stocks therefore came in at around 400 TMT lower than last month at almost 89.9 MMT, which was pretty much in the middle of the 88.5-91.5 MMT range expected. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.32, down 17 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.38 1/2, down 17 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $405.20, down $6.40; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.67, down 24 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around a cent or two lower. The USDA lowered US 2014/15 corn ending stocks by 10 million bushels to just under the 2 billion mark, contrary to trade expectations for a 15 million increase. World ending stocks came in at 192.2 MMT, a small rise versus last month and almost slap bang in the middle of trade expectations of between 190 and 194 MMT. The trade was expecting production in Argentina to be unchanged, and Brazil maybe to be lowered by 1 MMT. The USDA went the other way round, cutting Argentina 1 MMT to 22 MMT and leaving Brazil unchanged at 75 MMT. China's production was raised 1.5 MMT to 215.5 MMT, and Europe's was increased 0.5 MMT to a record 73.6 MMT. China's import needs were scaled back from 2.5 MMT to now only 2 MMT "on a larger crop and as policies continue to encourage imports of alternate feed grains." Chinese sorghum imports were raised 400 TMT to 5 MMT. Conab forecast Brazil's 2014/15 corn crop at a large 78.9 MMT, which is some 10 MMT more than Informa said last week. This appears to suggest a larger "safrinha" crop than many think is possible given that this season's soybean harvest is likely to be later than hoped for. The US Energy Dept put ethanol production at a new record 988k barrels/day for the past week. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.82 1/2, down 1/2 cent; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.93 3/4, down 1 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower. The USDA estimated US ending stocks at 654 million bushels, up 10 million from last month. "US stocks are forecast slightly higher year-to-year in spite of a smaller crop as high relative prices make exports less competitive," they said. World wheat production was raised by more than 2 MMT to a new record 722.2 MMT. That came courtesy of a surprise hike in output for Canada, up from the 27.5 MMT forecast last month to 29.3 MMT. Kazakhstan's crop was also raised, up from 12 MMT to 12.5 MMT. Australia's crop was left unchanged at 24 MMT where some had expected a reduction. World ending stocks were increased 2 MMT to just shy of 195 MMT. These were only expected to come in around 191.8 MMT, from within a range of guesses from 189.5 MMT to 193.2 MMT. "Global wheat consumption is projected at a record in 2014/15. Food use is expanding because of population growth, urbanization, and rising incomes. Growth is particularly strong in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Even with consumption at a record, exporter ending stocks are up nearly 20 percent from last year," they noted. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.93 1/4, down 7 1/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.14 3/4, down 2 1/4 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.98, down 6 cents.

10-12-2014 09:19 AM | Chicago Reports
09/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans ended with fairly modest 5-6 cents gains ahead of the release tomorrow's USDA WASDE report. That is expected to reflect the current very strong pace of US soybean exports by raising those from the existing forecast of 46.8 MMT, with a subsequent lowering in ending stocks. These were projected at 450 million bushels last month, but could come in around the 425 million mark this time round. Strong demand for meal could also lead them to up the size of the US crush this season, also potentially eating into those ending stocks and reducing them further. World soybean ending stocks are expected to be around 88.5-91.5 MMT versus 90.3 MMT a month ago. Conab are also due to release their revised Brazilian production numbers tomorrow as well. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.49 1/4, up 5 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.55 1/2, up 5 3/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $411.60, up $10.10; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.91, up 14 points.

Corn: The corn market closed higher in what looks like book-squaring and short covering ahead of tomorrow's report. US corn ending stocks are forecast to rise around 15 million bushels to 2.023 billion bu in that. Argentine production will probably be left unchanged at 23 MMT, but Brazil's might be lowered from the current 75 MMT it is thought, with some other analyst's estimates below 70 MMT. The late planting of their full season soybean crop is likely to eat into their second crop corn area it is thought. Current corn prices in Brazil also offer little incentive. The world ending stocks figure is expected to come in between 190 and 194 MMT, according to a Bloomberg survey. Last month's figure was 191.5 MMT. The trade will also be looking at Conab's take on Brazilian corn production tomorrow, and in addition to that we will also have the weekly US ethanol grind data from the US Energy Dept. Last week's production was 962,000 barrels/day. Ukraine said that they'd now exported more than 5 MMT of corn this season. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.83, up 5 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.95 1/4, up 5 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed sharply lower. The trade is wondering what tomorrow's report will hold for wheat. It seems that there is a possibility that the USDA might lower projected US wheat exports in 2014/15 from last month's 25.5 MMT estimate. That could raise ending stocks from the 644 million bushels estimated in November. EU wheat exports on the other hand might rise from last month's 28 MMT. World ending stocks are expected to come in around 191.8 MMT, from within a range of guesses from 189.5 MMT to 193.2 MMT, and versus 192.9 MMT a month ago. Essentially, there is no shortage of wheat around at the moment, and although demand is also buoyant, it's not generally US wheat that the world is buying. ABARES cut their forecast for the Australian wheat crop by 1 MMT to 23.2 MMT. "The worst damage has occurred in Victoria where the wheat harvest is pegged down 28%. Western Australia, the leading wheat state, is expecting a 20% shortfall," said Martell Crop Projections. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.00 1/2, down 9 1/2 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.17, down 17 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.04, down 13 cents.

09-12-2014 09:29 AM | Chicago Reports
08/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed a two-sided session higher. The USDA announced 130,000 MT of beans sold to Spain for 2014/15 shipment under the daily reporting system. Weekly export inspections were impressive once again at 2.2 MMT, taking the 2014/15 season to date total to 23.7 MMT versus 19.1 MMT a year ago. Chinese customs data showed that the country imported 6.03 MMT of beans in November, up 47.1% from October, but about the same as a year previously. China has now imported 62.87 MMT of beans between Jan-November, up 12.3% from a year ago. Trade analysts expect them to import around 7.5 MMT this month. Safras e Mercado said that Brazilian soybean planting is 92% complete versus 85% a week ago and 95% on average. Ag Rural estimated Brazilian plantings at 85% done, up 9 points on a week previously and 4 points behind normal. They forecast production up 10% this year at a record 94.9 MMT. Emater estimated soybean planting in Brazil's southern state of Rio Grande do Sul to be 80% done, with the crop largely in good condition. The Argentine National Bank, the largest agricultural lender in the country, are said to have announced that they will not give loans/credit to farmers who can't prove that they're not hoarding old crop soybeans. The Argentine government have been searching for a way of pressurising farmers into liquidating their crops, which some are holding as a hedge against the falling peso and raging inflation. Whether the move works remains to be seen. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.43 3/4, up 7 3/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.49 3/4, up 7 3/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $401.50, up $7.30; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.77, down 24 points.

Corn: The corn market closed lower. March corn tried to break through $4/bushel but failed. The trade appears to feel that anything approaching $4/bushel on corn is a sell. The USDA announced 136,000 MT of corn sold to Japan for 2014/15 shipment, which failed to cause much excitement. Weekly export inspections of only 532,498 MT were less than expected and below the level required to hit the USDA target for the season. The strong US dollar continues to hamper foreign sales. Emater said that Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul is more than 90% planted on corn, and will be finished by the end of the month. Crop conditions are mostly good. Dr Cordonnier said that the first corn got planted in the state around August/September, and that some of that will be ready for harvesting by the end of December, so whilst some are getting ready to harvest others will only just be wrapping up with planting. Safras e Mercado said that nationally, Brazil corn planting is 95.9% complete versus 99.1% a year ago. Ukraine is now concentrating it's export efforts on corn, with 539.3 MMT, or 83%, of the 649.4 MMT of grains shipped out of the country's seaports last week being corn, according to APK Inform. South Korea KFA bought 60,000 MT of US or South American origin corn for April shipment. New lows in crude oil was seen as a bearish influence, even though recent weekly US ethanol production levels have been very good. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.77 1/2, down 4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.90 1/4, down 4 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed narrowly mixed across the three exchanges. Weekly export inspections were less than stellar at only 269,319 MT, around half of what they were in the same week a year ago. The strong US dollar continues to hurt demand for US wheat, whilst Europe is exporting at a pace that is currently even ahead of last year - when exports went on to be record high. The world wants wheat, just not US wheat, at least for the time being anyway. Russia's exports are also well ahead of last year's levels, they've exported 14.6 MMT of wheat so far this season. Bangladesh are tendering for 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat for Dec-Jan shipment. Jordan are in the market for 100,000 MT of hard milling wheat of optional origin. India said that it had sown 20.86 million hectares of wheat for the 2015 harvest so far, down from 21.37 million this time a year ago. Weakness was seen on the front month Dec 14, relative to the deferred positions. The trade might be questioning why in the case of Chicago wheat, this should command a healthy premium over Mar 15, given the current sluggish demand scenario for US wheat, and the slow pace of exports. Ukraine said that it's winter grains were 95% emerged, and that 82% of the crop was in good to satisfactory condition. Large parts of Russia's winter grains remain vulnerable to winterkill. "World supplies aren’t ample enough to completely ignore potential export restrictions out of the Black Sea, but it is hard to get too excited so far ahead this far away from spring, when new crop issues could actually be confirmed," said Benson Quinn. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.10, up 1 cent; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.34, up 1 1/2 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.17, down 2 1/2 cents.

06-12-2014 11:39 AM | Chicago Reports
05/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans and meal closed strongly higher, with the gains in each spread fairy evenly across the months, rather than concentrated at the front end for once. Fund money was given credit for being a net buyer of around 12,000 soybean contracts on the day, along with around 5,000 in meal. Demand for US soybeans (and meal too) remains very strong, with weekly export sales topping 1 MMT in six of the last seven weeks. Cumulative sales on beans are already 85% of the USDA's target for the season, which is a record percentage given that we are only a quarter of the way into the season. The late planting of Brazil's crop will also likely keep this demand focused on US origin beans just that little bit longer than last year too. The USDA also reported 240 TMT worth of new sales to unknown under the daily reporting system today, adding to the bullish vibe. Next week brings the USDA's December WASDE report due on Wednesday. Given the frenetic pace of US soybean exports, most thing that the USDA will drop 2014/15 US soybean ending stocks from the 450 million bushels forecast last month to around 427 million this time round. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.36, up 25 1/2 cents Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.42, up 24 3/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $394.20, up $8.50; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.01, up 41 points. For the week, on a front month basis, beans were up 20 cents, with meal $3.10 higher and oil 17 points lower.

Corn: The corn market closed around 5 cents higher on the day, and for the week. Yesterday's better than expected weekly export sales was supportive, although it only takes total commitments so far this season to 51% of the USDA's target, which is just about in line with average. US corn offers FOB the Gulf are said to be reasonably competitive at around $185/tonne versus $188 in Bordeaux and $194 in Argentina. Brazil and Ukraine offers however are around the $180/tonne mark. The trade is expecting the USDA to raise their forecast for US corn carryout in 2014/15 from the 2.008 billion bushels estimated a month ago to around 2.025 billion. Argentine production will probably be left unchanged at 23 MMT, but Brazil's might be lowered from the current 75 MMT. Informa estimated that Brazilian 2014/15 corn production will drop to 68.7 MMT earlier in the week. Agrimoney report that Chinese authorities may be starting to question the GMO credentials of corn from other origins, besides the US, as well as pondering over the "safety" of the country's soaring sorghum imports. Ukraine said that it had harvested 63.6 MMT of grains of 98% of the planned area, including just over 27 MMT of corn off 97% of plan. They said that the country had exported 15.66 MMT of grains so far this season, including 4.62 MMT of corn. Russia said that it had harvested 110.4 MMT of grains, off 99.8% of the planned area. Corn accounts for 11.2 MMT of that off 96.7% of the projected area. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.81 1/2, up 5 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.95, up 5 1/4 cents. For the week Dec 14 corn was 5 3/4 cents higher.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mostly higher on the day, but mixed for the week. Russia continues to officially refute trade rumours of any upcoming export restrictions. When is an export ban not an export ban? When the Russian Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS) say it has only toughened up the requirements for the quality of grain exports, it would seem. Remember that buyers haven't asked for this, it's something that has been done voluntarily. The Russian rouble is dropping like a stone, due to Western sanctions against the country and also the slumping value of crude oil. Grain that hasn't been exported is dollars essentially, so there's plenty of incentive to hang onto it and keep it in Russia, at least until the rouble stabilises. However, if you don't want the WTO on your case (as well as just about everybody else), and to be accused of deliberately driving domestic food prices up, at a time when they are already rising anyway, then what do you do? Especially when you promised that you wouldn't introduce an export embargo again the last time that you did so in 2010. Well, you could introduce some vague new rules that slow exports down so much that buyers end up going elsewhere. Is that what's happening here? Only time will tell, but reports of delays awaiting the right paperwork are already circulating. In other news, next week's USDA report is expected to show US 2014/15 ending stocks a bit higher than the 644 million bushels shown last month at 651 million. The Russian Ministry said it's wheat harvest was over at 62.3 MMT in bunker weight. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.09, up 9 1/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.32 1/2, up 5 1/4 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.19 1/2, down 3 3/4 cents. For the week that pegs Chicago wheat 31 3/4 cents higher, with Kansas down 4 1/2 cents and Minneapolis down 1 1/2 cents.

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