Chicago Reports
20-09-2014 14:59 PM | Chicago Reports
19/09/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed at new 4-year lows on harvest pressure and talk of stunning early US yields. Dollar strength was also a negative feature. The USDA announced 1.236 MMT of US beans sold to China under the daily reporting system. This was simply part confirmation of the showcase 4.8 MMT deal announced earlier in the week. A Safras expert said that Brazilian farmers had only sold around 10% of their 2014/15 soybean crop versus being 22% sold on new crop this time a year ago. After the close Informa revised its 2014 US soybean planted area estimate to 83.7 million acres, down 1.2 million from USDA’s 84.8 million. They forecast 2015 US plantings however rising to 87.65 million acres, a new all time high. With record large production in the US this year now looking assured, and significant increases in output from South America also thought likely to be in the pipeline early next year, 2014/15 ending stocks are already seen jumping to all-time highs. The prospect of a further near 5% rise in US plantings next year would only further add to the abundance of global soybean supplies in the following season. Weekend weather forecasts look conducive for a pick up in early US harvest activity. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.57, down 14 1/2 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.65 1/4, down 14 1/4 cents; Oct 14 Soybean Meal closed at $324.10, down $4.70; Oct 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.46, down 26 points. For week, Nov 14 beans were down 28 1/4 cents, with Oct 14 meal losing $14.40 and Oct 14 oil sliding 9 points.

Corn: The corn market beat last Thursday's 4-year closing low for a front month by a quarter of a cent. As with beans, it's harvest pressure (historically Chicago corn often doesn't bottom until October) and reports of very impressive early yields doing the damage. "Despite the corn market sliding into oversold conditions, corn charts offer very little hope with new lows for the session and all momentum studies pointing lower," said Benson Quinn Commodities. The USDA announced 375,936 MT of US corn sold to Mexico for 2014/15 shipment. Much more will be needed if we end up with a US corn crop of around 14.4-14.5 billion bushels, or even higher. Dollar strength won't help US corn make it to destinations farther afield than Mexico either. The Argentine Ag Ministry forecast all corn plantings there down 8.2% this year. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange forecast corn for grain plantings down 16%, and said that sowing of the 2014/15 crop is 4.3% done so far. Russia's corn crop is 20.7% harvested at 2.8 MMT. Ukraine's is 12% done at 2.42 MMT. Informa estimated US 2014 corn plantings at 89.3 million acres, down 2.3 million acres versus the current USDA estimate of 91.6 million. They estimated US corn plantings falling further to 87.27 million acres next year as growers turn to beans. US weather conditions over the weekend look largely beneficial for harvest activity. Last week the USDA said that nationally 4% of the crop had been harvested versus 9% for the 5-year average. They will update us on that on Monday night. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.31 1/2, down 6 3/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.44 1/4, down 6 1/2 cents. Dec 14 corn ended the week 7 cents lower than it began it.

Wheat: The wheat market slumped to fresh more than 4-year lows of its own. Yesterday's weekly export sales of little more than 300 TMT highlight the fact that for US wheat competition remains fierce around the globe despite recent price declines. So too does the result of this week's Egyptian tender. They are said to be tendering again to buy wheat for October 21-31 delivery over the weekend. Let's see who's willing to sharpen the pencil the most on Monday. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange left their estimate for Argentine wheat plantings unchanged at 4.1 million hectares, a 13% rise on a year ago. The Argentine Ag Ministry are even more bullish, predicting plantings up 23% at 4.5 million hectares, and saying that this area is now virtually all sown. They said that 83% of the crop is tillering and 5% already at the heading stage. The Russian wheat harvest is 73.2% complete at 53.8 MMT, with the barley crop now 85.3% cut at 19.6 MMT, according to the Ag Ministry. Kazakhstan said that their 2014 grain harvest was past halfway, at 51.4% done, producing a crop of 8.3 MMT to date. Ukraine has finished with it's wheat harvest and is now concentrating on corn. Southern Plains winter wheat areas are said to have picked up some needed moisture this week, which will be of benefit to newly planted crops there. Informa estimated US 2014 all wheat production at 2.046 billion bushels, which is 16 million above the USDA's latest figure. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.74 1/2, down 14 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.60 1/4, down 9 1/2 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.35 1/2, down 14 3/4 cents. For the week, Dec 14 Chicago wheat lost 28 cents, with Kansas down 33 cents and Minneapolis losing 42 1/2 cents.

19-09-2014 07:59 AM | Chicago Reports
18/09/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower despite strong weekly export sales and the USDA announcing 110,000 MT of US beans sold to China for 2014/15 shipment. Weekly sales came in at close to 1.5 MMT, headed by China (546,300 MT) and unknown destinations (469,100 MT) once again. Talk that this year's US soybean crop could still be larger than current record estimates suggest is what is piling the pressure on. "Yield reports out of the south continues to stun at 60 to 90 bu/acre," said Benson Quinn Commodities. The USDA currently estimate national yields averaging 46.6 bu/acre. MDA CropCast raised their US crop forecast by 44 million bushels from last week to 3,819 billion. That's an increase of 1.2 MMT to 103.95 MMT, a 20% hike on a year ago, and they are not the largest number in the hat. They also raised production in Brazil by 1.36 MMT to a record 93.95 MMT (up 7.3% on a year ago), with Argentina increased by 1.48 MMT to an also record 55.55 MMT, up 2.1% versus 2013/14. With three huge crops on the way, any talk of Chinese demand slowing is unsettling. Argentina's Ag Ministry said as of Sep 10 Argentine farmers had sold 58.35% of their bean crop versus 68.35% a year ago. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.71 1/2, down 11 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.79 1/2, down 11 1/4 cents; Oct 14 Soybean Meal closed at $328.80, down $7.60; Oct 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.72, down 67 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 3 cents lower. Weekly export sales of 659,700 MT were in line with trade expectations. Weakness in wheat dragged corn lower with it. As with beans, early US yield reports continue to impress, giving credence to the notion that production could ultimately end up even higher than the USDA's current all time high 14.395 billion bushels estimate. US weather forecasts continue to adopt a non-threatening look. Strategie Grains forecast the EU-28 corn crop at a record 71.3 MMT, up 3.3 MMT from just a month ago and significantly higher than the USDA's 68.4 MMT estimate from only a week ago. MDA CropCast trimmed their forecast for Ukraine's 2014 corn crop by 0.5 MMT to 26.2 MMT, a 13% fall versus last season's record, although still the second largest ever. They also increased their outlook for Brazil by 0.5 MMT to 74.1 MMT. Russia said that its corn harvest was 20% complete at 2.8 MMT. Argentina's Ag Ministry said that as of Sep 10 Argentine farmers had sold 70.40% of their corn crop versus 76.07% a year ago. Customs workers in Argentina are staging a 4-day strike starting today. China sold 625,844 MT of the 5 MMT of corn offered up for sale at this week’s auction. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.38 1/4, down 3 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.50 3/4, down 3 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed at new 4-year lows. Weekly export sales of 314,500 MT were below even the fairly modest trade expectation of 350-550,000 MT. Strategie Grains forecast the EU all wheat crop at a record 153.8 MMT, and increased the volume of the crop suitable for milling by 2 MMT from last month. Their new estimate is well above the USDA's 151 MMT estimate from a week ago. The French analysts also increased their EU wheat export estimate by 600 TMT from a month ago to 24.3 MMT in the light of recent international sales. They also increased their EU-28 barley production estimate by 1.9 MMT from last month to 59.6 MMT, which is now almost identical to last year's 59.7 MMT crop. MDA CropCast raised their forecast for the 2014 Ukraine wheat crop by 3 MMT from last week to 23.6 MMT, and also added 0.9 MMT to the country's barley production estimate to 8.7 MMT. The former represents an 8.8% increase versus a year ago, and the latter a 16% rise. Argentina's Ag Ministry said that as of Sep 10 Argentine farmers had sold 70.09% of wheat crop versus 97.49% a year ago. Russia said that its wheat harvest was almost 73% complete at 53.2 MMT in bunker weight. Their barley harvest is 85% done at 19.5 MMT. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.88 1/2, down 10 3/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.69 3/4, down 12 1/2 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.50 1/4, down 12 3/4 cents.

18-09-2014 09:39 AM | Chicago Reports
17/09/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with small gains in a low volume and narrow trading range session. The USDA announced 620,000 MT of US beans sold to China for 2014/15 delivery. This was almost certainly part of the 4.8 MMT "showcase" deal announced yesterday following a Chinese delegation visit to the US, so we can expect more big sales announcements in the coming days. China’s Ministry of Commerce estimated the country's September soybean imports at 4.98 MMT. Benson Quinn said that "stellar" yields continue to be being reported from early US harvest activity. Lanworth increased their forecast for US soybean yields this year from 46.7 bu/acre to a new record 47.0 bu/acre. They also increased production from 3.852 billion bushels to 3.873 billion. The USDA are currently at 46.6 bu/acre and with production at 3.913 billion bushels (Lanworth are using a smaller harvested area estimate). Dr Cordonnier said that Brazilian farmers are slow to sell their crops due to the weakening Real. One Real was worth $1.55 back in 2011, today the exchange rate is around $2.33, and expected to climb to £2.50 next year, he said. Bloomberg reported that this year's US corn and soybean harvest of around a record 18.3 billion bushels combined will meet with some forced spot selling as the entire US on farm storage capacity is only an estimated 13 billion bushels. Trade expectations for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are anywhere from 850 TMT to 1.6 MMT. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.82 1/2, up 1 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.90 3/4, up 1 1/2 cents; Oct 14 Soybean Meal closed at $336.40, down $1.90; Oct 14 Soybean Oil closed at 33.39, up 58 points.

Corn: The corn market closed a cent or two lower on early harvest pressure. US weather forecasts offer no threat. "Well above average temperatures expected in the northern plains will help the development of the crop in our trade territory through the next 10 days. Temps through rest of the corn belt are expected to be normal to slightly below, which should allow for good progress on the row crop harvest," said Benson Quinn. Lanworth increased their US 2014 corn yield estimate from 173.7 bu/acre to 174.5 bu/acre. They however cut their production estimate from 14.649 to 14.569 billion bushels on the back of a decrease in harvested area, although still comfortably a record volume. The USDA are currently at 171.7 bu/acre and 14.395 billion bushels. Iran bought 300,000 MT of what was probably Black Sea origin corn for Sep-Oct shipment. South Korea's NOFI are tendering for up to 210,000 MT of optional origin corn for Jan-Feb shipment. The US Energy Dept said that weekly US ethanol production rose to 931,000 barrels/day last week. Russia said that it's 2014 corn harvest was 18.5% done at 2.5 MMT. Ukraine's is only 8% complete so far at 1.5 MMT. Reuters reported that there had been no progress made with Chinese officials with regards to resolving the MIR 162 dispute that is now threatening to bring US DDGS exports to the region to a grinding halt as well as those of corn. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are in the region of 500-700 TMT. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.41 3/4, down 2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.54, down 1 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed, but without much change. Lanworth estimated US all-wheat production at 2.034 billion bushels, slightly higher that the USDA's current estimate of 2.030 billion. "Though the US is out of the game on GASC business, it is interesting to watch how the other global origination points react to these tenders. The French bombed yesterday’s tender and the Russians took notice as evidenced by cheaper offers on paper. This could result in the next leg down in global values," said Benson Quinn Commodities. "Despite a wet summer, drought has not been eradicated in the 3 main hard red winter wheat states Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The US drought monitor still shows pockets of 'exceptional' drought. Kansas producers report subsoil moisture at 16% very short, 31% short, 52% adequate and 1% surplus, the leading US wheat state," noted Martell Crop Projections. Turkey bought 200,000 MT of milling wheat in a tender, probably Russian origin. Iran bought 150,000 MT of feed barley for Sep-Oct shipment, probably Black Sea material. Tunisia are tendering for 92,000 MT of optional origin wheat and 75,000 MT of optional origin barley for Nov-Dec shipment. Algeria bought 50,000 MT of optional origin durum wheat for Jan shipment. Talk suggests that Australia's 2014/15 wheat exports may fall to 18 MMT, a five year low and 1 MMT below the current USDA estimate, as global competition hots up. Trade ideas for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 350-550 TMT. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.99 1/4, up 3 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.82 1/4, down 1 cent; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.63, down 2 1/2 cents.

17-09-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
16/09/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower, despite there being some bullish news about. A worrying sign. The FSA reported prevented soybean plantings of 841,000 acres, up from 827,000 in August. A Chinese delegation to the US signed an agreement to buy 4.8 MMT of US beans in a "showcase" deal. Nov 14 beans tried to break through the $10/bushel mark on the news, but failed. Reuters actually reported that Chinese crush margins are poor and that bean imports could fall. That would be very bad news for the entire complex, with the world set to produce a record crop to cater for China's oft quoted "insatiable" desire for soybeans. As has been mentioned before, the market is extremely sensitive to any mention of Chinese soybean imports slowing up, as they are forecast to account for 66% of world bean trade in 2014/15. The Chinese government sold less than 70 TMT of the 330 TMT of soybeans that they had up for auction today. Dr Cordonnier estimated 2014 US soybean yields at a record 46.7 bu/acre versus a previous estimate of 45.5 bu/acre. He also estimated Brazil's 2014/15 soybean crop at a record 95 MMT. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.80 3/4, down 8 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.89 1/4, down 8 1/4 cents; Oct 14 Soybean Meal closed at $338.30, down $0.50; Oct 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.81, down 46 points.

Corn: The corn market managed small gains. The FSA reported corn prevented plantings of 1.58 million acres versus 1.54 million in August. A Bloomberg report said that Chinese regulators were discussing changing inspection requirements for shipments of US corn byproducts. They were a big buyer of US DDGS in the first half of the year, but recently threw those imports into question by saying that all future shipments would carry a zero tolerance attitude towards the MIR 162 corn variety. Cargill said that it will be closing a corn mill in Memphis in Jan 2015 due to underutilization. Dr Cordonnier increased his estimate for US 2014 US corn yields to a record 173.0 bu/acre, up 3 bu/acre from his previous forecast. Reports from the field continue to suggest much better than expected early yields. Last weekend's frost threat appears to have done little damage, and the weather forecasts for the week ahead are conducive for good progress to be made with the 2014 harvest. The US Energy Dept are out with their weekly ethanol production data tomorrow. Reuters reported that the EU-28 corn crop could top 70 MMT for the first time ever this year. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.43 3/4, up 3/4 cent; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.55 1/2, up 1/2 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower across the three exchanges. Egypt's GASC bought three cargoes (180 TMT) of French wheat at the knock down price of $247.49/tonne C&F. US wheat wasn't even offered. The feeling is that the French badly needed the business, given that it looks unlikely that it will export anything like it's normal volume to traditional top buyer Algeria this season. The silo system in Rouen is said to be groaning under the volume of wheat it has in store, exacerbated by sluggish exports. Ukraine said that it had exported 7 MMT of grains so far this season, including just over 4 MMT of wheat and 2.5 MMT of barley - the latter figure being the USDA's forecast for the entire season as they maintain their stance of being very aggressive early season sellers. The FSA reported US wheat prevented plantings of 1.376 million acres, up slightly on 1.36 million in August. However it then immediately cast a cloud over it's numbers by saying that due to budgetary constraints and lack of personnel, not all the paperwork was in place yet. The wheat market continues to remain under pressure, weighed down by a record world crop and an impending all time high corn crop too. Dec CBOT wheat made a new contract low of $4.91 today. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat finally closed at $4.96 1/4, down 4 1/2 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.83 1/4, down 3 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.65 1/2, down 3 cents.

17-09-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
16/09/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower, despite there being some bullish news about. A worrying sign. The FSA reported prevented soybean plantings of 841,000 acres, up from 827,000 in August. A Chinese delegation to the US signed an agreement to buy 4.8 MMT of US beans in a "showcase" deal. Nov 14 beans tried to break through the $10/bushel mark on the news, but failed. Reuters actually reported that Chinese crush margins are poor and that bean imports could fall. That would be very bad news for the entire complex, with the world set to produce a record crop to cater for China's oft quoted "insatiable" desire for soybeans. As has been mentioned before, the market is extremely sensitive to any mention of Chinese soybean imports slowing up, as they are forecast to account for 66% of world bean trade in 2014/15. The Chinese government sold less than 70 TMT of the 330 TMT of soybeans that they had up for auction today. Dr Cordonnier estimated 2014 US soybean yields at a record 46.7 bu/acre versus a previous estimate of 45.5 bu/acre. He also estimated Brazil's 2014/15 soybean crop at a record 95 MMT. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.80 3/4, down 8 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.89 1/4, down 8 1/4 cents; Oct 14 Soybean Meal closed at $338.30, down $0.50; Oct 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.81, down 46 points.

Corn: The corn market managed small gains. The FSA reported corn prevented plantings of 1.58 million acres versus 1.54 million in August. A Bloomberg report said that Chinese regulators were discussing changing inspection requirements for shipments of US corn byproducts. They were a big buyer of US DDGS in the first half of the year, but recently threw those imports into question by saying that all future shipments would carry a zero tolerance attitude towards the MIR 162 corn variety. Cargill said that it will be closing a corn mill in Memphis in Jan 2015 due to underutilization. Dr Cordonnier increased his estimate for US 2014 US corn yields to a record 173.0 bu/acre, up 3 bu/acre from his previous forecast. Reports from the field continue to suggest much better than expected early yields. Last weekend's frost threat appears to have done little damage, and the weather forecasts for the week ahead are conducive for good progress to be made with the 2014 harvest. The US Energy Dept are out with their weekly ethanol production data tomorrow. Reuters reported that the EU-28 corn crop could top 70 MMT for the first time ever this year. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.43 3/4, up 3/4 cent; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.55 1/2, up 1/2 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower across the three exchanges. Egypt's GASC bought three cargoes (180 TMT) of French wheat at the knock down price of $247.49/tonne C&F. US wheat wasn't even offered. The feeling is that the French badly needed the business, given that it looks unlikely that it will export anything like it's normal volume to traditional top buyer Algeria this season. The silo system in Rouen is said to be groaning under the volume of wheat it has in store, exacerbated by sluggish exports. Ukraine said that it had exported 7 MMT of grains so far this season, including just over 4 MMT of wheat and 2.5 MMT of barley - the latter figure being the USDA's forecast for the entire season as they maintain their stance of being very aggressive early season sellers. The FSA reported US wheat prevented plantings of 1.376 million acres, up slightly on 1.36 million in August. However it then immediately cast a cloud over it's numbers by saying that due to budgetary constraints and lack of personnel, not all the paperwork was in place yet. The wheat market continues to remain under pressure, weighed down by a record world crop and an impending all time high corn crop too. Dec CBOT wheat made a new contract low of $4.91 today. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat finally closed at $4.96 1/4, down 4 1/2 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.83 1/4, down 3 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.65 1/2, down 3 cents.

16-09-2014 09:19 AM | Chicago Reports
15/09/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed a little higher. Weekend frost damage in the Midwest was not thought likely to have been too severe, and there's no more in the forecast for the next couple of weeks. The USDA announced 118,000 MT of beans sold to China for 2014/15 shipment. The NOPA August crush came in at 110.6 million bushels versus trade expectations of 111.6 million and compared to the July crush of 119.6 million. Dr Cordonnier said that soybean planting in Brazil is likely to start today - the first day permitted by the government in an effort to combat the spread of Asian Rust. August rains mean that soil conditions are good to begin sowing fast maturing beans that could be ready to harvest by the end of the year, he said. This could mean that there's more new crop Brazilian beans on the market in January than normal, shortening the window of opportunity for the upcoming record US soybean crop. Safras forecast the 2014/15 Brazilian soybean crop at a new record 95.9 MMT, up 10.6% from last season and versus the USDA's 94 MMT estimate. South Korea bought 55,000 MT of South American soymeal at prices said to be around $20/tonne under US material. The Argentine government said that farmers there are still holding 21.5 MMT of 2013/14 soybeans back from the market. Weekly export inspections for US beans came in at just over 255 TMT. After the close crop condition ratings were left unchanged at a high 72%. The USDA said that 24% of the crop is dropping leaves, up from 12% a week ago but behind the 5-year average of 32% at this time. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.89 1/2, up 4 1/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.97 1/2, up 5 cents; Oct 14 Soybean Meal closed at $338.80, up $0.30; Oct 14 Soybean Oil closed at 33.27, up 72 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 4 cents higher on what looks like short-covering. There was some talk of the USDA dropping crop condition ratings later in the afternoon. They did not however, leaving their estimate at a historically high 74% good to excellent. Their other data all highlighted that crop development is behind schedule. In their first harvest progress report they said that nationally 4% of the crop has been harvested versus 9% for the 5-year average. They said that 27% of the crop is mature, up from 15% a week ago but behind 39% normally at this time. The crop is 82% dented versus 85% normally. In other news the USDA announced 120,000 MT of corn sold to Mexico for 2015/16 shipment. Dr Cordonnier said that Brazilian growers getting started with early fast maturing soybean plantings would allow them to also get their safrinha corn crop sown in a timely manner. Despite low prices, Brazil's 2014/15 corn crop is still expected to be a large one at 77.8 MMT, according to Safras. China are still offering large volumes of its corn surplus up for auction on a weekly basis. Last week they sold 943 TMT out of a 5 MMT offering. Oil World said that the US exported 7.2 MMT of DDGS between Jan-July, up 48% from a year ago. They said that exports in July alone were a record 1.17 MMT, with China taking around half of that volume. That would have been prior to them stating that they will not now accept DDGS shipments from the US containing traces of MIR 162 corn, so these volumes could drop off sharply in the second half of the year. Certainly some of the volume earmarked for China has now been redirected to Europe. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.43, up 4 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.55, up 4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower, unable to buy a rally, even with the corn market firmer. SovEcon raised their forecast for the Russian 2014/15 grain crop from 98 MMT to a rather large 104-106 MMT in clean weight, the second largest of the post Soviet era. Wheat production was increased from 58 MMT to 60 MMT. The Russian Ministry said that 68.5% of the grain harvest was now in, producing a bunker weight crop in excess of 85 MMT so far, which makes this new target look achievable. Rabobank estimated Australia’s 2014/15 wheat crop at 24.0 MMT. Traders say that crop development in Western Australia state is 2-3 weeks ahead of normal. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that 99% (4.476 million ha) of the planned 4.516 million ha of winter wheat in the country had now been planted. That's up sharply from plantings of only around 3.7 million ha a year ago. Wetness has been the problem getting this year's Argentine crop planted, so a forecast dry spell for the next 10 days will be welcomed. Saudi Arabia bought 610 TMT of hard wheat of optional US, Canadian, South American, EU or Australian origin. Ukrainian grain stocks were 23.4 MMT as of September 1, up 15% from a year ago, according to the State Stats Service. The USDA said that the US spring wheat harvest had made some good progress in the past week, to 74% complete, up from 58% a week ago, although still lagging the 5-year average of 86%. They said that winter wheat plantings were 12% done, one point ahead of the 5-year average. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.00 3/4, down 1 3/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.86 1/4, down 7 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.68 1/2, down 9 1/2 cents.

16-09-2014 09:19 AM | Chicago Reports
15/09/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed a little higher. Weekend frost damage in the Midwest was not thought likely to have been too severe, and there's no more in the forecast for the next couple of weeks. The USDA announced 118,000 MT of beans sold to China for 2014/15 shipment. The NOPA August crush came in at 110.6 million bushels versus trade expectations of 111.6 million and compared to the July crush of 119.6 million. Dr Cordonnier said that soybean planting in Brazil is likely to start today - the first day permitted by the government in an effort to combat the spread of Asian Rust. August rains mean that soil conditions are good to begin sowing fast maturing beans that could be ready to harvest by the end of the year, he said. This could mean that there's more new crop Brazilian beans on the market in January than normal, shortening the window of opportunity for the upcoming record US soybean crop. Safras forecast the 2014/15 Brazilian soybean crop at a new record 95.9 MMT, up 10.6% from last season and versus the USDA's 94 MMT estimate. South Korea bought 55,000 MT of South American soymeal at prices said to be around $20/tonne under US material. The Argentine government said that farmers there are still holding 21.5 MMT of 2013/14 soybeans back from the market. Weekly export inspections for US beans came in at just over 255 TMT. After the close crop condition ratings were left unchanged at a high 72%. The USDA said that 24% of the crop is dropping leaves, up from 12% a week ago but behind the 5-year average of 32% at this time. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.89 1/2, up 4 1/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.97 1/2, up 5 cents; Oct 14 Soybean Meal closed at $338.80, up $0.30; Oct 14 Soybean Oil closed at 33.27, up 72 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 4 cents higher on what looks like short-covering. There was some talk of the USDA dropping crop condition ratings later in the afternoon. They did not however, leaving their estimate at a historically high 74% good to excellent. Their other data all highlighted that crop development is behind schedule. In their first harvest progress report they said that nationally 4% of the crop has been harvested versus 9% for the 5-year average. They said that 27% of the crop is mature, up from 15% a week ago but behind 39% normally at this time. The crop is 82% dented versus 85% normally. In other news the USDA announced 120,000 MT of corn sold to Mexico for 2015/16 shipment. Dr Cordonnier said that Brazilian growers getting started with early fast maturing soybean plantings would allow them to also get their safrinha corn crop sown in a timely manner. Despite low prices, Brazil's 2014/15 corn crop is still expected to be a large one at 77.8 MMT, according to Safras. China are still offering large volumes of its corn surplus up for auction on a weekly basis. Last week they sold 943 TMT out of a 5 MMT offering. Oil World said that the US exported 7.2 MMT of DDGS between Jan-July, up 48% from a year ago. They said that exports in July alone were a record 1.17 MMT, with China taking around half of that volume. That would have been prior to them stating that they will not now accept DDGS shipments from the US containing traces of MIR 162 corn, so these volumes could drop off sharply in the second half of the year. Certainly some of the volume earmarked for China has now been redirected to Europe. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.43, up 4 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.55, up 4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower, unable to buy a rally, even with the corn market firmer. SovEcon raised their forecast for the Russian 2014/15 grain crop from 98 MMT to a rather large 104-106 MMT in clean weight, the second largest of the post Soviet era. Wheat production was increased from 58 MMT to 60 MMT. The Russian Ministry said that 68.5% of the grain harvest was now in, producing a bunker weight crop in excess of 85 MMT so far, which makes this new target look achievable. Rabobank estimated Australia’s 2014/15 wheat crop at 24.0 MMT. Traders say that crop development in Western Australia state is 2-3 weeks ahead of normal. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that 99% (4.476 million ha) of the planned 4.516 million ha of winter wheat in the country had now been planted. That's up sharply from plantings of only around 3.7 million ha a year ago. Wetness has been the problem getting this year's Argentine crop planted, so a forecast dry spell for the next 10 days will be welcomed. Saudi Arabia bought 610 TMT of hard wheat of optional US, Canadian, South American, EU or Australian origin. Ukrainian grain stocks were 23.4 MMT as of September 1, up 15% from a year ago, according to the State Stats Service. The USDA said that the US spring wheat harvest had made some good progress in the past week, to 74% complete, up from 58% a week ago, although still lagging the 5-year average of 86%. They said that winter wheat plantings were 12% done, one point ahead of the 5-year average. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.00 3/4, down 1 3/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.86 1/4, down 7 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.68 1/2, down 9 1/2 cents.

13-09-2014 10:49 AM | Chicago Reports
12/09/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed mostly with small gains, save for the expiring front end September contract. That should take some of the extreme nearby volatility that we have witnessed in recent weeks out of the market, now that these are out of the way. Worries over a weekend frost threat for the Midwest were maybe enough to trigger some short-covering. The trade still has the USDA's huge 475 million bushels 2014/15 ringing in it's ears from yesterday though - the highest since 2006/07. The trade also still feels that final US yields this year may still end up higher than the USDA's 46.6 bu/acre that they gave us yesterday, potentially pushing carryout even higher too. The USDA reported 131 TMT worth of new crop soybean sales to "unknown" today. This afternoon’s Commitment of Traders report shows funds now sitting on a record soybean short 81,567 contracts as of Tuesday night. The NOPA crush and latest crop condition ratings are out on Monday, with revised "prevent plant" acreage data from the FSA on Tuesday. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $10.91, up 29 1/2 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.85 1/4, up 3 3/4 cents; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $408.00, down $18.70; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.16, up 72 points. The very technical Sep 14 soybean contract expired up 5 1/2 cents on the week, but the more liquid Nov 14 was down 36 1/4 cents. Sep 14 meal fell $28.10 and Sep 14 oil lost 19 points on the week.

Corn: The corn market closed a couple of cents higher, save for expiring Sep 14. As with beans, the threat of a weekend frost may have encouraged some risk off moves. "Favourable yields in corn point to a bumper harvest, but delayed maturity is a worry. Corn development has been retarded in cool growing season increasing worries about freeze damage. Corn was just 15% ripe as of September 7. That compares to 30% mature, normally, and at least one week delayed. Especially at risk for freeze damage are northern Midwest corn farms where the first hard freeze arrives the first week of October," said Martell Crop Projections. Without a killing frost, many will be feeling that final US corn yields could still end up higher that the USDA's 171.7 bu/acre forecast from yesterday. The USDA reported 116 TMT of new crop corn sold to "unknown" today. Ukraine said that they'd harvested 953 TMT of corn off 5% of the planned area. Russia said that they'd harvested 2 MMT off 15% of plan. The Rosario Grain Exchange said this week that Argentine growers would reduce their corn plantings by 16% this year, down from 4.3 million ha to 3.7 million ha. The latest Commitment of Traders report shows fund money sitting on a very small net long of under 10,000 contracts as of Tuesday night. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.39, up 7 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.38 1/2, down 2 1/2 cents. For the week that puts Sep 14 down 7 1/2 cents and with Dec 14 falling 17 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower across the board, with some spectacular declines for expiring Sep 14 contracts in Kansas and Minneapolis. As with beans and corn, the fallout from yesterday's USDA report continues for wheat, pushing prices to new 4-year lows. The backdrop of record world production of all three in 2014/15, along with rising world and US ending stocks has the market under pressure. In the case of wheat in particular, the USDA notes the intensifying competition with rival exporting nations, cutting foreign sales and increasing inventories. Brazil, which gave US wheat exports a welcome boost in 2013/14, will soon start harvesting what could be a record crop of it's own this year. Argentine plantings are also seen up 16.5% to 4.4 million hectares for their 2014/15 harvest which would usually begin in November. Tunisia bought 100 TMT of durum wheat in a tender. Algeria are said to have bought 400 TMT of milling wheat this week. The wheat is of optional origin, but thought unlikely to be French or Black Sea material due to various quality issues with those origins. There's talk of possible frost damage to wheat in Canada and isolated parts of the Northern US Plains where crop development is behind schedule. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.98 1/4, down 4 3/4 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.72 1/4, down 23 1/2 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.68 1/4, down 30 3/4 cents. For the week Chicago wheat was down 32 3/4 cents, with Kansas down 46 1/2 cents and Minneapolis dumping 58 cents.

12-09-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
11/09/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower across the board as the USDA came out with a higher US 2014 yield and production estimate than the trade expected, along with larger US and world ending stocks for 2014/15. Yields this year were pegged at 46.6 bu/acre, up from 45.4 bu/acre in August and versus the average trade guess of 46.3 bu/acre. Production was forecast at 3.913 billion bushels compared to the average trade estimate of 3.883 billion. "The US season-average soybean price is projected at $9.00 to $11.00 per bushel, down 35 cents on both ends of the range. Soybean meal prices are projected at $330 to $370 per short ton, down $10.00 on both ends of the range," they said. They estimated 2014/15 soybean production in Brazil up 3 MMT from a month ago to a record 94 MMT, with Argentina's crop raised 1 MMT to 55 MMT. World soybean ending stocks in 2014/15 were raised from 85.6 MMT to 90.2 MMT, a record high and well above the 87.24 MMT that the trade was expecting. Chinese imports were increased 1 MMT to a new record 74 MMT. All this data overshadowed the weekly export sales numbers for the new 2014/15 marketing year, which began September 1, which came in at 984,300 MT, with China (658,200 MT) and unknown destinations (105,000 MT) the largest buyers. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $10.61 1/2, down 9 1/2 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.81 1/2, down 12 1/4 cents; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $426.70, down $16.10; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.44, down 14 points.

Corn: The corn market slumped to new lows as the USDA raised their 2014 US yield estimate to a record 171.7 bu/acre. Whist this is not the highest estimate in the market, it was a bushel/acre higher than the trade expected. US production is now forecast at an all time high 14.395 billion bushels versus trade expectations of 14.288 billion. The market is now expecting even further yield and production increases could be in the pipeline next month. China's 2014/15 corn crop estimate was cut 5 MMT to 217 MMT, and Argentina's was trimmed 3 MMT to 23 MMT, whilst Brazil's was raised 1 MMT to 75 MMT. Even so, global ending stocks were still forecast up 2 MMT from their prior estimate to 189.9 MMT. Weekly export sales for the 2014/2015 marketing year, which began September 1, came in at 563,200 MT. "As long as the market continues to put in new lows for the move the technicals have little chance of offering much support. On the cusp of harvest expanding at a much quicker pace and with these numbers and the trade’s future expectations, it’s tough to make much of a bullish case," said Benson Quinn Commodities. The long term historic trend for US corn futures to put in their yearly lows in October is well known. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.31 3/4, down 7 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.41, down 4 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed sharply lower as the USDA hiked global production to a record 720 MMT, driven mainly by larger crops in the EU and Ukraine. Lower US exports and increased ending stocks were a feature. US exports were lowered 0.5 MMT to 25 MMT "as competition intensifies with other major exporters". US ending stocks were raised 35 million bushes to 698 million versus 663 million a month ago and the average analysts guess of only a slight increase to 667 million. "Russia’s investment in deep water port capacity and improvements in logistics management are boosting its ability to ship larger quantities of grain. Modernization of grain loading equipment, storage, and rail transportation have eased bottlenecks that caused shipping delays in the past," they noted. "Investments in ports and logistics management have contributed to record shipments. In a typical year, nearly 40 percent of wheat exports are shipped during July-September, immediately following harvest. This year, exports in August were a record 4.2 million tons (20 percent of the total export forecast), up 40 percent from the same month last year. Russia’s wheat and barley exports are both projected at record levels." they added. Weekly export sales came in at a respectable 690,200 MT. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.03, down 15 3/4 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.95 3/4, down 9 1/2 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.99, down 15 cents.

11-09-2014 09:19 AM | Chicago Reports
10/09/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed mixed ahead of tomorrow's upcoming USDA report. It looks like most have positioned themselves where they want to be heading into that, as there wasn't a great deal of change in prices at the end of the day and the day's trading range was relatively narrow, on beans at least. Meal was a bit more volatile, especially on the soon to expire Sep 14 contract. The new crop benchmark Nov 14 soybean contract managed to trade as high as $9.99/bushel, but couldn't break through the $10/bu barrier, which could be significant the longer it holds below that mark. "News today remained bearish with yield reports coming out of the south monstrous and weather threats seen nominal at best," said Benson Quinn Commodities. They predict a cautious increase in US soybean yields tomorrow, up from 45.4 bu/acre in August to around 46.3 bu/acre this time round, with the real "meat in the sandwich" saved up for the October WASDE report when the USDA will have much more actual harvest data to go on. Yields could eventually end up around the 47-48 bu/acre mark it is thought. The average trade estimate for US soybean production tomorrow is 3.883 billion bushels, with US ending stocks rising from 136 million bu in 2013/14 to 453 million in 2014/15. World carryout in 2014/15 is seen at a record 87.24 MMT. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $10.71, down 5 1/2 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.93 3/4, up 1 cent; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $442.80, down $10.90; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.58, down 1 point.

Corn: The corn market closed around 1-2 cents firmer heading into tomorrow's WASDE report. As with beans, it looks like the trade has already sorted out where it wants to position itself for this event. Last week's excitement over the possibility of a yield damaging freeze proved to be short lived. "The potential for a significant frost/freeze event tends to be relegated to areas not considered key corn and soybean producing regions in extreme NW regions of the corn belt," said Benson Quinn Commodities. The average trade guess for tomorrow's USDA report sees US corn yields at 170.74 bu/acre, with production at 14.29 billion bushels. The USDA's August estimates were 167.4 bu/acre and 14.032 billion bushels. US corn ending stocks are seen rising from 1.19 billion bushels in 2013/14 to just over 2 billion in 2014/15. World corn carryout at the end of 2014/15 is forecast at an average of 190.34 MMT versus the USDA's August estimate of 187.82 MMT. AGPM today estimated the 2014 French corn crop at a record 17.25 MMT. FranceAgriMer estimated French 2014/15 corn ending stocks at 3.9 MMT, the highest in 18 seasons and up 68.4% versus 2013/14. The Rosario Grains Exchange estimated Argentina's 2014/15 corn plantings at 3.7 million hectares, down 700,000 hectares versus 2013/14. China's Ag Ministry said that rain in the last 10 days of August had ended drought in northern and northeast China, which may ultimately boost corn yields there. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.38 3/4, up 2 1/2 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.45 3/4, up 1 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed sharply lower. Tomorrow's USDA report is thought likely to be more about corn and soybeans than it is for wheat, although we've said that before and been wrong! The average trade estimate for US wheat ending stocks in 2014/15 is 667 million bushels, little different to last month's 663 million. World 2014/15 ending stocks are seen at 193.75 MMT, from within a range of estimates of 189.42-203.00 MMT, and again little changed from the USDA's August estimate of 192.96 MMT. Russia's harvest juggernaut rumbles on, they've now produced 83.6 MMT of grains this year off barely more than two thirds of the combinable area. They continue to be very active in the export market. Rusagrotrans said that the country exported a record 4.7 MMT of grains in August. Local wheat prices in Russia are said to be holding up quite well on the back of strong demand, from both the export and domestic market, and the weak rouble. Russian feed wheat prices are said to be being supported by good interest from the expanding domestic livestock sector following the introduction of sanctions by the West. Russia's Ag Ministry estimated the country's 2014/15 grain exports at 30.0 MMT, up 18.6% versus 2013/14 exports of 25.3 MMT. FranceAgriMer said that French wheat exports to non-EU destinations would drop by more than a third to only 8 MMT in 2014/15. They see French wheat ending stocks rising to a 12 year high of 3.9 MMT, an increase of two thirds versus 2013/14. Portions of Canada saw killing frost overnight, according to Benson Quinn Commodities. How much damage has been done remains to be seen. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.18 3/4, down 8 3/4 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.05 1/4, down 7 3/4 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.14, down 10 1/4 cents.

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