Chicago Reports
01-09-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
29/08/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed higher on front end Sep 14, but lower on the rest heading into the 3-day weekend with the market closed on Monday for Labor Day. The USDA announced 123,000 MT of US beans sold to unknown for 2014/15 delivery. The International Grains Council made only a few small changes to their 2014/15 global soybean balance sheet. These included a small rise in production for the US, up from 103.4 MMT to 103.8 MMT. "Abundant rains continued to benefit US soybean crops, with output forecast slightly higher, at a new record. While southern hemisphere fields are yet to be seeded, output is also projected to increase in Brazil and Argentina," they said. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $10.89 1/2, up 15 3/4 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.24 1/4, down 4 1/2 cents; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $439.50, up $6.30; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.04, down 60 points. For the week Sep 14 beans were down 76 1/2 cents, with meal gaining $6.20 and oil losing 32 points.

Corn: The corn market closed lower with fund money estimated as selling around a net 7,000 contracts on the day. The IGC increased their forecast for the 2014/15 global corn crop by 4 MMT from last month to 973 MMT. "Northern hemisphere yield prospects continued to improve in August, including in the US, where crops have benefitted from a prolonged period of benign weather," they said. They increased their production estimate for the US by 2 MMT to a record 355 MMT, with Europe up by 1.4 MMT to 67.8 MMT and Ukraine raised by 1 MMT to 27.5 MMT. China's crop was left unchanged at 220 MMT, with imports also unchanged at 3.5 MMT. World corn ending stocks were raised 3 MMT to 190 MMT, which they said was the largest since 1987/88. South Korea's Kocopia bought 55,000 MT of optional origin corn for Jan shipment. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.59, down 2 3/4 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.64 3/4, down 4 1/2 cents. For the week Sep 14 corn was down 6 1/2 cents, with Dec 14 falling 6 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed, lower in Chicago and Kansas and firmer in Minneapolis. The IGC raised their forecast for the 2014/15 global wheat crop by 11 MMT to 713 MMT, which would now match last season's record output. Ending stocks also got a hike, up 3 MMT to 59 MMT. The main production increases came from Russia (up 5 MMT from last month to 60 MMT) and Europe (up 3.8 MMT to 150.8 MMT). There was also a small rise in the size of the US all wheat crop, up 0.5 MMT to 55 MMT. "The world harvest will include an above average proportion of low/medium grade supplies," they noted. "While market sentiment remained mostly bearish, concerns about crop quality and the conflict in Ukraine provided underpinning," they added. Iraq are tendering for 180 TMT of feed barley and 120 TMT of corn for Sep/Oct shipment. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.50 1/4, down 6 1/4 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.26 1/4, down 8 3/4 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.15, up 3 cents. For the week that puts Chicago wheat down 1 3/4 cents, with Kansas falling 7 1/4 cents and Minneapolis down 11 3/4 cents.

29-08-2014 09:39 AM | Chicago Reports
28/08/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed mixed. Weekly export inspections came in at net reductions of 62,800 MT on old crop and net sales of a healthy 1,290,800 MT on new crop. It will come as no surprise to hear that China was the largest buyer on the new crop taking 655,000 MT. The new crop sales beat expectations of 750 TMT to 1.1 MMT. Other news was generally lacking, MDA CropCast left their forecast for the 2014 US soybean crop unchanged from last week at 3.704 billion bushels. There's talk of Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) popping up in isolated cases in US soybean fields. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $10.73 3/4, down 12 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.28 3/4, up 5 cents; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $433.20, up $16.70; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.64, down 3 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 4-5 cents higher. Weekly export sales came in at net reductions of 32,700 MT on old crop and net sales of 695,600 MT on the new crop. The latter was in line with trade estimates of 450-750 TMT. MDA CropCast left their estimate for the 2014 US corn crop unchanged from last week at 14.427 billion bushels. South Korea's MFG bought 136,000 MT of optional origin corn for Jan–Feb shipment. South Korea's KOCOPIA seek 55,000 MT of optional origin corn for Jan shipment. China sold 151,132 MT of corn at auction. Brazil are said to be attempting to auction 1.75 MMT of corn today. Firmer wheat markets on the back of the Russian "invasion" of Ukraine added support to corn. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.61 3/4, up 5 3/4 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.69 1/4, up 4 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher following the news that Russian forces had crossed the border in Ukraine. Nato released satellite images it said showed Russian forces inside Ukraine. Russia denied the reports. That was enough to encourage some nervous short-covering in wheat though. Weekly export sales were "ho hum" at 403,600 MT. Interestingly Brazil took 94,000 MT of that, despite having recently re-introduced the 10% duty on wheat imports from outside the Mercosur trade bloc. MDA CropCast raised their forecast for the EU-28 wheat crop by 510 TMT to 145.3 MMT, a 4.8% rise year-on-year. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that "torrential" rain in Argentina was putting the 2014/15 wheat crop there at risk. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.56 1/2, up 9 1/4 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.35, up 7 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.12, up 1 3/4 cents.

28-08-2014 09:39 AM | Chicago Reports
27/08/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower save for the increasingly erratic front month Sep 14. Oil World's Thomas Mielke said that soymeal is overpriced and that prices could fall by 10% in the next 3-4 months. He forecast 2014/15 global soymeal production at 199.0 MMT, up 6.4% versus 187.0 MMT a year ago. The US Soybean Export Council estimated the 2014 US soybean crop at 3.8-4.0 billion bushels versus the current USDA estimate of 3.82 billion. Dr Cordonnier increased his estimate for US soybean yields this year to 45.5 bu/acre versus a previous estimate of 45.0 bu/acre. IMEA said that Mato Grosso farmers will begin planting their 2014/15 soybean crop as soon as the government exclusion period (aimed at combating the spread of Asian Rust) ends on Sept 15. They have currently only forward sold 8% of their new crop beans versus 32% a year ago, they added. The Argentina Ag Ministry said that growers there have sold 55.49% of their 2013/14 soybean crop versus 63.77% a year ago. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report for beans are between zero and negative 150 TMT on old crop as the 2013/14 draws to a close. New crop sales are forecast strong at 750 TMT to 1.1 MMT. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $10.85 3/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.23 3/4, down 4 1/4 cents; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $416.80, up $28.10; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.67, down 36 points.

Corn: The corn market closed flat on a general lack of fresh news. "The corn market lacked fresh inputs of either persuasion. The negative factors will continue to limit upside, while supportive factors basically impossible to find. Talk of large yields in the southern plains and southeast continue to be mentioned," said Benson Quinn Commodities. Traders note that we often don't see the bottom of the corn market until October. Taiwan's MFIG are tendering for 60,000 MT of Brazilian or South African corn for Oct-Nov shipment. Ag Resource estimated 2014/15 US corn ending stocks at 2.1 billion bushels, rising to 3 billion by the end of 2015/16. That's up sharply from 1.2 billion bushels at the end of the current season. They see the average 2014/15 US corn price at $3.40/bushel. Dr Cordonnier estimated 2014 US corn yields at a record 170 bu/acre, up from a previous forecast of 169 bu/acre. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that growers there had sold 63.72% of their 2013/14 corn crop versus 73.84% a year ago. South Africa's CEC estimated corn production there at 14.307 MMT, the highest in 30 years. Data from the US Energy Dept showed weekly ethanol production fell to 913k barrels/day last week. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report for corn are around a combined 450-750 TMT, with old crop sales 100 TMT either side of zero. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.56 and Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.65. Both completely unchanged.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed. There was little change to the situation in Russia/Ukraine. Exports out of the region appear to be continuing unhindered. The head of the Russian Grain Union forecast grain production there at 104 MMT, but said that output could rise above the 2008/09 post-Soviet era record of 108 MMT given favourable weather between now and the end of the harvest. That currently stands at 72.9 MMT off 54% of the planned area. Wheat production could come in at 60 MMT, he opined. It's at 46.9 MMT so far off 55.3% of plan. He said that 2014/15 grain exports would be a record 30 MMT. They exported a record for the month in July and are expected to have shipped out a record for any month in August. The USDA's FAS forecast the EU-28 grain crop at 306.1 MMT, a 2.5 MMT increase on their previous estimate and the second highest in history, beaten only by output of 312 MMT in 2008/09. The USDA's FAS in Canada estimated wheat production there this year at just under 28 MMT versus the record crop of 37.5 MMT last year. Exports will only decline relatively modestly though, down 6% to 21.5 MMT in 2014/15, they added. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that farmers there had only sold 67.53% of their 2013/14 wheat crop versus 99.12% a year ago. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are a modest 300-500 TMT. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.47 1/4, up 5 3/4 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.28, up 7 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.10 1/4, down 2 1/2 cents.

27-08-2014 08:29 AM | Chicago Reports
26/08/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed a little lower, save for front month Sep 14 which continued its spectacular fall from grace. That contract has now fallen around 90 cents in the last two sessions, whist Sep 14 meal is down by almost $45 in the same couple of days. The decline follows news that some new crop beans have been harvested in the south, with excellent very early yields being reported out of one particular county in Mississippi - 85-100 bu/acre. That reinforces the view that this season's upcoming harvest has excellent potential to be huge. Yesterday's USDA crop ratings, whist showing a small decline for beans in the good to excellent category, were still the best for 22 years at this time of year. As the 2014 US soybean harvest gets going, some thoughts are already turning to 2015. The current soy:corn price ratio still favours bean plantings. A Farm Futures survey into preliminary planting ideas for next year said that US farmers would increase their soybean plantings by 2.6% to a new record 86.6 million acres next year. That would come on the back of what looks pretty certain to be a record US crop this year, and record plantings in Brazil (and I expect from Argentina too) later this year. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $10.75 1/2, down 50 1/4 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.28, down 1 1/4 cents; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $388.70, down $17.40; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 33.03, up 29 points.

Corn: The corn market closed down, although off the lows. As with soybeans, the conviction that US yields will be record and production will be huge this year, grows with every passing day at the moment. Last night's one point rise in crop conditions from the USDA to 73% good to excellent was said to be the highest rating since 1994. Also as with soybeans, early limited corn harvesting in the south is doing nothing but add to the conviction that this year's US crop is going to be a monster. "Despite the recovery late in the session, the list of items offering resistance is growing with reports the corn harvest in the southern plains and southeast is yielding much better than expected," said Benson Quinn Commodities. The EU-28 corn crop is also looking magnificent, helped by recent plentiful rains. A much larger feed wheat crop in Europe, and also Ukraine, this year also leans bearish for corn. Certainly some of this feed wheat will be/is already finding its way into potentially traditional US corn homes in Asia. The same Farm Futures survey referred to above said that US growers might still plant more than 90 million acres of corn in 2015, despite current low prices. The survey placed the actual number at 90.5 million acres, down a relatively modest 1.2% from the 91.6 million currently said to have been planted this year. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.56, down 4 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.65, down 2 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed, although generally with small losses. Egypt's GASC bought Russian and Romanian wheat, with US material not even offered. They dropped their min hagberg requirement to 200, which encourage four (still unsuccessful) French offers. Persistent rains on the Northern Plains, and into Canada too, are said to be causing potential quality losses to spring wheat in the region. Farm Futures Magazine found that some growers on the Northern Plains might be wooed into giving soybeans a try next year, with 2015 US spring wheat planting intentions seen falling 8.6% to 11.6 million acres. The situation is completely different in Central and Southern Plains winter wheat areas though, due to current good soil moisture profiles. Winter wheat seedings, which are set to begin soon, could be up 3.1% on last year to 43.6 million the survey found. Russia's grain harvest is getting larger every day. The Ag Ministry there now say that the country had harvested 72.3 MMT of grains off 53.3% of the planned area. Wheat accounts for 46.7 MMT of that total off 54.9% of plan, with yields up 17.5% at 3.36 MT/ha. The Russian Ag Ministry today raided their forecast for Russian grain exports in 2014/15 to a potentially record 27.5-30.0 MMT, up from a previous estimate of 25-27 MMT. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.41 1/2, down 1 cent; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.21, down 1 3/4 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.12 3/4, down 4 1/4 cents.

26-08-2014 08:59 AM | Chicago Reports
25/08/14 -- Soycomplex: Was this the day that the front end premium on beans and meal finally started to capitulate? It could be, after both closed a choppy session sharply lower after posting further strong gains earlier in the day. Reports of some early soybeans getting harvested in the Delta to take advantage of the huge nearby premiums, and some processors pulling cash bids, appear to have sent some remaining spec longs scrambling for the exit. Nov 14 beans meanwhile set a new contract low. Global soybean supplies will soon be on the rise, outstripping forecast increases in consumption, taking ending stocks to record levels in the year ahead. Oil World estimated the 2014/15 global soybean crop at 306.7 MMT versus a previous estimate of 305.6 MMT and up 7.8% from 284.6 MMT in 2013/14. World soybean consumption in 2014/15 will be 290.2 MMT, up from a previous estimate of 288.1 MMT and up 3.9% from 274.4 MMT a year previously, they added. They see global soybean ending stocks rising 23.6% to a record 86.4 MMT next season. Argentina said that their July soybean crush was 3.908 MMT, up 7.3% from a year ago. That takes the Jan-Jul crush to 22.237 MMT, up 12.7% from year ago. After the close the USDA trimmed soybean crop condition ratings by one percentage point to 70% good to excellent versus 58% a year ago. They said that 90% of the crop was setting pods, one point ahead of the 5-year average. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $11.25 3/4, down 40 1/4 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.29 1/4, down 12 3/4 cents; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $406.10, down $27.20; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.74, up 38 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 5 cents lower. ProFarmer didn't estimate US 2014 corn yields as high as they might have done on Friday, even if 169.3 bu/acre was almost 2 bu/acre above the USDA and easily a record number. Many still think that we will end up above 170 bu/acre. ProFarmer have underestimated both corn and soybean yields for the past two years in their August crop tour. US weather seems to be doing it's best to make this come true again this year. "Resistance stemmed from a general negative view towards the corn market and beneficial rains falling in areas of NW IA and NW ILL that have tended to be dry over the course of the last month. Additionally, many other key corn and soybean growing regions saw additional rainfall to complement the rains of last week. All in all, the environment looks good for late season development," said Benson Quinn Commodities. The USDA announced 113,673 MT of US corn sold to Costa Rica, along with 120,000 MT to Colombia for 2014/15 shipment under the daily reporting system. After the close the USDA raised good to excellent crop condition by one percentage point to 73% good to excellent versus only 59% this time last year. Illinois is at 82% good to excellent, with Iowa and Ohio at 75% and Indiana 73%. They said that 83% of the crop is at the dough stage versus 78% for the 5-year average, although denting still lags a little at 35% versus 43% for the 5-year norm. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.60, down 5 1/2 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.67 1/2, down 4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower. If Ukraine/Russian tensions maybe didn't improve over the weekend, they didn't seem to get any worse either. Weakness in corn won't have helped wheat's cause today. Malaysia were reported to have bought 5,000 MT of Black Sea origin feed wheat for Sept shipment. Asian buyers are seen increasingly looking to the Black Sea for potentially cheap supplies of feed wheat over the next few months. Concerns that too much rain in spring wheat areas may be harming quality remain. The USDA said that the 2014 US spring wheat harvest was only 27% complete versus 49% normally at this time. Whilst Washington is 91% done compared to only 52% normally, The Dakotas and Minnesota are well behind. ND is only 10% complete versus 43% normally at this time, SD is at 57% compared to 87% on average and MN is 22% done versus 66% normally. Spring wheat crop conditions were cut 2 percentage points to 66% good to excellent, which is now a point behind this time last year. Russia said that it had now harvested 71.5 MMT of grains off 52.3% of the planned area, that includes 46.2 MMT of wheat off 53.8% of plan. Egypt's GASC are tendering for wheat for last-half September shipment overnight. US wheat is unlikely to feature, with Black Sea sellers once again the most likely winners on both price and freight. Traders said that US SRW wheat is probably around $10/tonne too expensive to be competitive. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.42 1/2, down 9 1/2 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.22 3/4, down 10 3/4 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.17, down 9 3/4 cents.

24-08-2014 11:09 AM | Chicago Reports
22/08/14 -- Soycomplex: It was a case of "same story, different day" for soybeans, with the front end surging higher on continuing availability (or rather, lack of availability) problems in the US. There are reports suggesting that various US crushing plants are being forced into taking temporary downtime until new crop becomes available. That's also supporting nearby meal, which also posted strong gains again today. It's a different story on the new crop though, as the market anticipates record US 2014 production waiting in the wings, and knows that price rises will only encourage further increased plantings in South America, with Brazilian growers preparing to begin sowing around a month from now. Even new crop months managed more modest gains in beans and meal today though, although the trade is ever conscious of a deluge of new crop beans to come. The high nearby premiums will also of course encourage US growers in the South to get stuck into their new crop as soon as it is humanly possible to do so. "Once the squeeze on the front end is over, downside risk in the beans looks sizeable with weather forecasts supporting (a) big crop outlook," said Benson Quinn Commodities. The USDA announced 120,000 MT of US new crop beans sold to China. Keep in mind though that this is nothing more than routine business, China needs to buy 1.4 MMT of soybeans each and every week of 2014/15 if they are to match the USDA's prediction that they will import 73 MMT next season. The end results of the ProFarmer Midwest Crop Tour were released after the close. They estimated US soybean yields at 45.3 bu/acre, and production at 3.812 billion bushels. Both were fractionally under the USDA's current estimates of 45.4 bu/acre and 3.816 billion bushels. It may be worth noting that the 2013 ProFarmer tour put yields at 41.8 bu/acre versus the final USDA estimate of 43.3 bu/acre. They had production at 3.158 billion bushels a year ago versus the USDA's final 3.289 billion. Managed money was reported to have net short in beans of 16,698 contracts, their second largest short position since October 2006. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $11.66, up 29 3/4 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.42, up 3 3/4 cents; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $433.30, up $19.50; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.36, down 42 points. For the week that puts Sep 14 beans up 63 1/2 cents, and Nov 14 down 10 cents. Front end meal gained $45 during the course of the week and oil fell 51 points to new 5-year lows.

Corn: The corn market closed around 2-3 cents firmer, aided by spill over support from wheat which posted some decent gains early in the session on renewed tensions between Russia and Ukraine as Moscow sent it's "aid" convoy across the border without permission from anybody but itself. The final day of the ProFarmer crop tour estimated Iowa corn yields at 178.75 bu/acre versus 171.94 bu/acre a year ago and the 3-year average of 157.94 bu/acre. In Minnesota they pegged the average corn yield at 170.76 bu/acre versus 181.09 bu/acre a year ago and the 3 year average of 171.07 bu/acre. On a national level they placed 2014 yields at 169.3 bu/acre, up on the USDA's current 167.4 bu/acre estimate, but maybe not as high as some would have thought - even if that is a record number. ProFarmer put production at 14.093 billion bushels, higher than the USDA's 14.032 billion, but again not as high as it might have been. Lanworth today estimated US corn yields at 174.5 bu/acre. For what it's worth, this time last year ProFarmer forecast US corn yields at 154.1 bu/acre versus a final USDA estimate of 158.8 bu/acre. It would seem that whilst there is still some upside potential on final 2014 US corn and soybean yields then, the market has maybe found its place for now until more accurate final yield figures can be given. That will only happen once the harvest starts. On the weather front: "Hotter temperatures are developing this week in the Midwest. A warm ridge of high pressure – the Bermuda High – is expanding northward taking control of the eastern third of the United States. Midwest temperatures are expected to heat up into the high 80s F – low 90s F. With extreme heat comes high evaporation. Rainfall is expected to be heavy on most Midwest farms. These would be recurring showers, heavy some days, light on others, over the next 7 days. The best rainfall, 2.5 – 4 inches, is predicted in a wide swath of Nebraska and Iowa. Very substantial rainfall, 1.5 – 2 inches, is projected in southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Elsewhere in the Midwest, lighter amounts of rainfall are predicted. The message is that corn and soybeans that miss heavy rainfall would be stressed by the extreme heat and high evaporation," said Martell Crop Projections. Managed money is tonight reported to be net long 64,719 contracts in corn as of Tuesday night. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.65 1/2, up 3 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.71 1/2, up 2 1/2 cents. Sep 14 was virtually unchanged - down 1/4 cent - for the week.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher across the three exchanges, although ultimately finishing well off the highs of the day. Chicago wheat performed the least well of the three, ending around 8-10 cents below the intra-day highs. Kansas and Minneapolis wheat finished the session around 4-6 cents off the highs of the day. Once more, any sign of an increase in tension between Russia and Ukraine/the West sends the wheat market into a short-covering tizz. As well as sending it's "aid" convoy into Ukraine without permission, Russia is also again said to be building air and ground forces close to the border. Kiev is now said to be lining up a "show of strength" over the weekend, as it marks its independence day with a military parade in Kiev. The BBC report that pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk say that they will stage their own parade, including displaying captured soldiers. "As has been the case (recently), renewed tensions in the Black Sea region come to light on a Friday. They have helped, if not caused higher trade on Fridays. Through the last couple of late week dealings, news from this region over the weekend has been benign. Only time will tell, if issues escalate this weekend," noted Benson Quinn. This may be encouraging some to think that sitting out of the wheat market might be the best course of action at the moment, even if few seem to want to play it from the long side. Managed money was reported to have reduced their net short position in Chicago wheat by more than 10k lots for the week through to Tuesday night, although they still remain short in excess of 50k contracts. The wetter upper Midwest and northern US Plains might be welcome news for corn and soybeans, but there's some talk of it causing damage to spring wheat. The USDA cut the proportion of the crop rated good to excellent by 2 percentage points this week, and a further reduction could be on the cards on Monday night. These conditions will also be holding up the harvest, which was only 17% done a week ago, around half the pace of normal. Reports also suggest that newly harvested wheat in North Dakota and Canada is testing high in vomitoxin after a wet growing season. Quality problems remain an issue in Europe too, where Strategie Grains say only 59% of the crop will make milling standard versus 71% a year ago. Egypt might be back in the market next week it is thought. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, gets offered out of France and/or Germany. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.52, up 5 3/4 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.33 1/2, up 11 1/2 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.26 3/4, up 11 cents. For the week that puts the Chicago market little changed, up 3/4 of a cent with Kansas 13 3/4 cents higher and Minneapolis up 14 3/4 cents.

22-08-2014 09:39 AM | Chicago Reports
21/08/14 -- Weather, from Martell Crop Projections: Corn and soybeans will benefit from heavy soaking rain this week but delayed crop development is still a worry. Strong thunderstorms were rolling across the Upper Midwest this morning causing heavy rain in Minnesota and northern Iowa. Yesterday a rash of thunderstorms moved through central Iowa improving soil moisture. Heavy soaking rain was needed after a 30-day stretch of dryness previously. Soybeans especially need soaking rain to boost pod filling, as August rainfall is the key indicator for the yield. The highest soybean yields on record were achieved from very heavy August rainfall. The Midwest forecast remains wet with expectations for 1.75–3 inches of rainfall the next several days. These would be recurring showers in a trough of low pressure from central Nebraska to northwest Wisconsin. Some farms may receive 4-5 inches of rainfall with strong thunderstorms, more than the August monthly rainfall allotment.

Soycomplex: Beans remain trading in a "game of two halves" as a football pundit might say. Old crop tightness due to strong demand for both beans and meal continues to support the front-end. The promise of a huge US harvest to come, likely followed up by record South American plantings weighs on the deferred positions. Reuters reported that members of Brazil's largest co-operative plan to increase their soybean planted area by 8.4% this year. New crop Nov 14 beans made a fresh contract low. Day three of the ProFarmer crop tour hit Illinois, finding an average bean pod count of 1,299.17 versus 1,115.97 a year ago and the 3 year average of 1,085.35 pods. In Western Iowa the pod count was 1,091-1,224 versus 802.98-1,101.49 a year ago and the 3 year average of 962-1,091 pods. The final day of the tour concludes in Minnesota and the rest of Iowa today. Final data from the tour is due out on Friday. Chinese customs data showed that the country imported almost 7.5 MMT of soybeans in July, taking Jan/Jul imports to 41.7 MMT, a 20% hike compared to the same period in 2013. Of that total almost 21 MMT came from Brazil, and a further 17.3 MMT from the US. Weekly export sales came in at negative 89,600 MT on old crop and a net 1,420,600 MT on new crop, the latter being primarily for China (947,900 MT). Meal sales were 99,800 MT on old crop and 78,600 MT on new crop. The 2013/14 marketing year finishes at the end of August. The US has now shipped 44.2 MMT of soybeans this season, with outstanding sales of a further 1.85 MMT. The current USDA forecast is for net exports of 44.6 MMT in 2013/14. Lanworth estimated US 2014 soybean yields at a record 46.7 bu/acre versus a previous estimate of 46.4 bu/acre, and 1.3 bu/acre more than the where the USDA currently sit. Lanworth now put the US 2014 soybean crop at 3.855 billion bushels versus a previous estimate of 3.806 billion and the USDA's 3.816 billion. Stats Canada estimated the 2014 canola crop there ar 13.9 MMT versus the average trade guess of 14.5 MMT and production of nearly 18 MMT a year ago. They see the Canadian soybean crop at 5.9 MMT versus the average trade estimate of 6.1 MMT, although still significantly higher than 5.2 MMT a year ago. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $11.36 1/4, up 16 1/2 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.38 1/4, up 1/4 cent; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $413.80, up $11.20; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.78, down 8 points.

Corn: The corn market closed a cent or two higher. Despite new crop soybeans setting contract lows, the pull to plant beans instead of corn or wheat is still quite strong. The same Brazilian co-op that said they'd be increasing their soybean plantings for 2014/15 also said that they'd reduce the area given over to corn by around 9%. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange also said that Argentine farmers would reduce their corn area later this year by around 10% to 3.2 million hectares. They estimated that the 2013/14 Argentine corn harvest was now 94.2% complete at close to 24 MMT, leaving their final production forecast unchanged at 25 MMT. Day three of the ProFarmer crop tour entered Illinois, where the average corn yield this year was estimated at a record 196.96 bu/acre versus 170.48 bu/acre a year ago and the 3 year average of 149.36 bu/acre. In Western Iowa they found an average corn yield of 177.48-180.90 bu/acre versus 160.12–175.65 bu/acre a year ago and the 3 year average of 146.77-170.72 bu/acre. The Chinese insatiable appetite for soybean imports doesn't extend to corn. They only imported 86,369 MT of that last month, soybean imports were more than 86 times higher than that! China's Jan/Jul corn import total is now 1.46 MMT, down more than 8% versus the same period in 2013. America's corn exports to China are down 37% so far this year. Weekly export sales came in at just under 100 TMT of old crop, along with 719,300 MT of new crop. Old crop shipments to date are just under 44.9 MMT, with a further 3.85 MMT of outstanding sales. The USDA forecast for the season is for exports of 49 MMT, which now clearly looks unlikely, leaving a larger than anticipated ending stocks situation to carry over into what looks like being a huge 2014/15 production year. Lanworth estimated US 2014 corn yields at a record large 174.5 bu/acre, even if that is down a little on their previous estimate of 174.8 bu/acre. The USDA are more than 7 bu/acre lower than that at 167.4 bu/acre. Lanworth put production this year at 14.734 billion bushels versus a previous estimate of 14.766 billion and the USDA's 14.032 billion. Commodity Weather Group estimated US corn yields at 171.5 bu/acre versus a previous estimate of 171.0 bu/acre. Stats Canada estimated the corn crop there this year at 11.43 MMT, just below the average trade guess of 11.5 MMT and up slightly on 11.3 MMT a year ago. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.62, up 2 1/2 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.68 3/4, up 1 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher. Stats Canada pegged the Canadian all wheat crop below expectations of 28.5 MMT at 27.7 MMT, and a 26% reduction on last year's record. Weekly export sales weren't great at 209,200 MT, being down 38 percent from the previous week and 62 percent below the prior 4-week average. That was the smallest weekly figure of the marketing year so far. That began on June 1. Significantly Brazil cancelled 58,800 MT now that they've re-introduced the 10% import duty on wheat shipped in from outside the Mercosur trade group. Japan bought 146,858 MT of milling wheat for Sept-Nov shipment. The breakdown was: 37,885 MT of western white US wheat; 20,480 MT of HRW US wheat; 31,421 MT of dark northern spring US wheat; 26,657 MT of Canadian western red spring wheat; 30,415 MT of Australian white wheat. China said that it had imported 116,718 MT of wheat in July, down 62.2% from a year ago. Jan/Jul imports are now 2.67 MMT, which is up 56.6% from a year ago. Of that total 782,527MT has come from the US, up 38% from a year ago. They are also importing large volumes of barley, with the Jan/Jun total at 3.2 MMT, up 167% from a year ago. The Argentine Ag Ministry estimated the 2014/15 Argentina wheat area at 4.5 million hectares, unchanged from their previous estimate and versus the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimate of 4.1 million. Plantings last year were only 3.65 million ha. The Ukraine Ag Ministry estimated their 2014/15 exportable grain surplus at 30.0 MMT or more, saying that there was no need to restrict milling wheat exports, effectively because the market would regulate itself. Russia said that they'd now harvested 68.5 MMT of grain so far this year off less than 49% of the planned area. That total includes 45.1 MMT of wheat off barely more than 50% of plan, plus a further 14.7 MMT of barley off 58.5% of plan. Russian grain exports are flying, with those in July being a record for that particular month, and those in August now forecast to be the highest for any month ever. Reuters reported that France are importing milling wheat from Lithuania and the UK. Strategie Grains increased their estimate for the proportion of French crop wheat crop that will cut the milling wheat mustard to 64% from 62% previously, although still well behind 88% a year ago. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.46 1/4, up 6 3/4 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.22, up 3 1/4 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.16, up 5 3/4 cents.

21-08-2014 10:29 AM | Chicago Reports
20/08/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower, with funds selling an estimated net 5,000 contracts on the day on the outlook for a bin busting US crop this year. Today is the third day of the ProFarmer US Midwest crop tour, where they will be in Illinois and Western Iowa, with some decent pod counts expected. On day two they were in Indiana where the average bean count was estimated at 1,220.79 pods per square yard versus 1,185.14 a year ago and the 3 year average of 1,118.65 pods. They were also in Nebraska where the average bean count was estimated at 1,103.26 pods versus 1,138.94 a year ago and the 3 year average of 1,106.62 pods. Hear that Dr Cordonnier estimated 2014 US bean yields at 45.0 bu/acre, unchanged from his previous estimate. The USDA announced today 110,000 MT of US beans sold to Vietnam for 2014/15 shipment under the daily reporting system. Soybean prices remain relatively buoyant compared to those of corn and wheat, which is expected to encourage record plantings in South America again later this year. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report for beans are around 50-60 TMT of old crop and 750-950 TMT of new crop. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $11.19 3/4, down 1/2 cent; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.38, down 14 3/4 cents; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $402.60, up $2.80; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.86, up 20 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 3-5 cents lower as the trade anticipates a huge US corn crop to be on the way again this year. Day two of the ProFarmer crop tour reported Indiana corn yields estimated at a record 185.03 bu/acre versus 167.36 bu/acre a year ago and far higher than the 3 year average of 141.24 bu/acre. In Nebraska corn yields were estimated at 163.77 bu/acre versus 154.93 bu/acre a year ago and the 3 year average of only 146.81 bu/acre. Allendale said the tour will likely find even bigger crop yields when it moves into the top producing states of Iowa and Illinois today. Hear that Dr Cordonnier estimated 2014 national US corn yields at a record 169.0 bu/acre, unchanged from his previous estimate. The early 2014 Russian corn harvest is now underway in the south of the country. Ukraine are a little further away from the beginning of their harvest. Both are expected to be eager sellers as soon as they get their new crop in. Ukraine new crop corn is reportedly offered around $182/tonne FOB the Black Sea. On the US weather front "The forecast continues very wet, though rainfall to date has been disappointing. A swath of very heavy rainfall, 3-4 inches, is predicted in eastern Nebraska, Iowa, southern Minnesota and Wisconsin this week," said Martell Crop Projections. Trade expectations for tomorrow's weekly export sales for corn are around 750 TMT to 1.1 MMT. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.59 1/2, down 3 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.67 1/2, down 4 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed around 6 cents lower across all three exchanges. Taiwan is tendering for 99,410 MT of US milling wheat for Oct-Nov shipment. Japan are tendering for 146,858 MT of milling wheat for Sept-Nov shipment in their regular combo of US, Canadian and Australian origin. The Russian grain harvest tonight stands at 67.2 MMT, according to the Ag Ministry, with average yields of 3.04 MT/ha representing a 19.2% rise on this time last year. Wheat accounts for 44.9 MMT of that total, with barley adding a further 14.3 MMT. Kazakhstan said that it could export as much as 8 MMT of grain this season, despite a fall in production, due to it having fairly large carryover stocks from last year's harvest. Exports in 2013/14 were 8.7 MMT, according to the Ag Ministry. Stats Canada are out tomorrow with their latest crop production estimates. The average trade guess for the Canadian all wheat crop is around 28.5 MMT, although the range of estimates is quite wide at 26.2-34.5 MMT. Production last year was a record 37.5 MMT. There's much talk about the quality of this year's Ukraine wheat crop, and their relative recent absence from the milling wheat export market. Now we hear that Ukraine flour millers have asked for a temporary halt on milling wheat exports until a proper assessment of the quality of this year's crop can be done. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 500-600 TMT. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.39 1/2, down 6 1/2 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.18 3/4, down 5 3/4 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.10 1/4, down 6 1/2 cents.

20-08-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
19/08/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed mostly lower save for the front end, as too did meal. The one point improvement in last night's crop ratings was seen as a bit bearish for new crop. Oil World said that they expect "very large" Brazilian soybean crushings and exports to cut the country's Sep 1 soybean stocks to only 17.7 MMT. That's not much considering that they harvested a record 87.5 MMT crop this year, according to the USDA. It also doesn't leave much to go round for the remaining 4 months of the calendar year. Brazil of course won't start harvesting new crop beans until January, and traditionally doesn't get going again on the export front until Feb/Mar time. That potentially means big demand for US beans in the Sep/Dec period, especially if Argentine export volumes and farmer selling remains subdued. ProFarmer are mid-way through their 4-day crop tour, although they don't issue soybean yield estimates,they do pod counts instead. Yesterday's findings revealed an Ohio average bean pod count of 1,342.42 pods per square yard plot versus 1,283.61 pods a year ago and the 3 year average of 1,190.18 pods. In South Dakota the average bean pod count was 1,057.80 pods versus 1,016.68 pods a year ago and the 3 year average of 902.76 pods. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $11.20 1/4, up 4 3/4 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.52 3/4, down 5 cents; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $399.80, up $7.70; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.66, down 30 points.

Corn: The corn market closed slightly higher. Yesterday's one point drop in crop condition ratings from the USDA was a little supportive, although 72% good/excellent is still a high number. There was a bit of support from a firmer wheat market. The vibe coming back from the ProFarmer crop tour is mixed. Yesterday's results threw up a potential Ohio corn yield estimate of 182.11 bu/acre versus 171.64 bu/acre a year ago and far higher than the 3 year average of 146.13 bu/acre. In South Dakota the 2014 corn yield was estimated at 152.71 bu/acre versus 161.75 bu/acre a year ago and the 3 year average of 125.70 bu/acre. Today the tour moved on to Nebraska, where they estimated the average corn yield at 163.77 bu/acre versus the 154.93 bu/acre estimated by the tour last year and the group's three-year average of 146.81 bu/acre. Things look even better in Indiana where they forecast a 2014 corn yield of 185.03 bu/acre, up from last year’s 167.36 bu/acre and much better than the three-year tour average of 141.24 bu/acre. That figure, if achieved, would be a record for the state. US weather forecasts remain mostly favourable, with rain moving through Illinois into Indiana today. The market still believes that average 2014 US yields will end up around the 170 bu/acre mark. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.62 1/2, up 1 3/4 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.72 1/4, up 3/4 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market closed firmer, although well off the day's highs. A news report that suggested that the Ukraine PM had said that the country could lose 15% of it's grain crop this year due to the ongoing fighting in the east was probably to blame. That would indeed be a bullish factor, should it be true. Consider though that the Ukraine Ministry have already said this week that the early grain harvest is already 98% complete on a national level. A spokesman for the PM later said that this referred to 15% of the crop in the regions where the fighting is taking place, Donetsk and Luhansk, where last year's grain harvest was 2.2 MMT and 1.3 MMT respectively. That equates to around a combined (or in this case not combined, if you get the pun) 525 TMT of grain lost. That's hardly a market-moving volume in the overall scheme of things, and the vast majority of that tonnage is likely to be corn. Exports from the country appear to be continuing as normal. The Ukraine Ministry said that the country had exported 3.578 MMT of grains so far this season, including 1.739 MMT of wheat, 1.428 MMT of barley and 368 TMT of corn. Germany's DBV raised their forecast for the country's 2014 grain harvest to 50 MMT, including 26.2 MMT of wheat. The latter is up from a previous forecast of 24.6 MMT and compares to 25 MMT a year ago. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.46, up 3 1/2 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.24 1/2, up 6 3/4 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.16 3/4, up 8 1/2 cents.

19-08-2014 08:59 AM | Chicago Reports
18/08/14 -- Weather: "A fundamental shift in weather in the weather is expected this week with increasing heat and humidity in the Midwest and Great Plains. Heavy soaking rain is anticipated in corn and soybeans, but further north than originally predicted, affecting the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. Increasing heat and humidity would come from the “Bermuda High” a large ridge of high pressure that normally resides over the western Atlantic Ocean. This week, high pressure would expand up into the United States, dominating the eastern third of the nation. Humid unstable air circulating clockwise around high pressure would fuel showers across the northern Midwest. Dryness would worsen over the south-central United States. The GFS model predicts little if any rainfall this week in Kansas, Missouri, most of Illinois and the lower Mississippi Valley where stable high pressure takes control. Midwest temperatures this week are predicted to rise above normal, ending a 6-8 week stretch of exceptional coolness. Highs in the low 90s F are predicted this week in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois, and mid-upper 80s F in the balance of the corn belt. July temperatures were the 3rd coolest on record in Midwest corn, according to the National Climatic Data Centre. This helped corn and soybeans to conserve ground moisture, though crop development was also delayed. Warming temperatures would spur corn development," say Martell Crop Projections.

Soycomplex: Beans closed higher, with the largest gains at the front end. Today was the first day of the ProFarmer US Midwest crop tour. Reports back from that suggest lower pod counts that last year in some parts of Ohio and South Dakota. The tour concludes on Thursday, with the results expected to be released on Friday. Brazil Abiove estimated the country's 2014 bean exports at 45.0 MMT versus a previous estimate of 44.0 MMT and compared to 2013 exports of 42.8 MMT. Oil World estimated this year's Canadian canola crop at 14.7 MMT, up from a previous estimate of 14.5 MMT but down 18% versus last year's record crop of 18.0 MMT. They estimated Canada’s 2014/15 canola exports at 7.8 MMT versus 9.3 MMT in 2013/14. Stats Canada release their estimates on Thursday. Weekly export inspections for beans today were 56,210 MT, which was in line with expectations. After the close the USDA reported that 71% of this year's US soybean crop was in good to excellent condition, up a point on a week ago. They said that 83% of the crop was setting pods versus 72% a week ago and 79% for the 5-year average. China are to to auction 338,700 MT of beans from reserves overnight. Sep 14 Soybeans closed at $11.15 1/2, up 13 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.57 3/4, up 5 3/4 cents; Sep 14 Soybean Meal closed at $392.10, up $3.80; Sep 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.96, up 9 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 5 cents lower. Reports from day one of the ProFarmer crop tour suggest significantly better yield potential than a year ago. In Ohio, through 9 stops, the average corn yield was estimated at 178.5 bu/acre versus 159.5 bu/acre a year ago and 141.0 bu/acre for the 3-year average. The hot and humid weather forecast could speed up corn development if it verifies. The USDA cut their corn good to excellent ratings by one percentage point to 72% after the close. A year ago 61% of the crop was rated in the top two categories. You may recall that last week's report said that 11% of the crop had dented versus the 5-year average of 16%, the first hint that crop development this year may have been a little retarded by the persistent cool Midwest conditions. That number was up this week to 22%, although that's still 5 points behind the 5-year average. Weekly export inspections came in at 970,874 MT, which was at the top end of trade expectations. Reports of a much higher volume of feed wheat being expected from this year's crop in Europe, Ukraine and possibly Russia too leans bearish for corn demand. FranceAgriMer said on Friday that 85% of the French corn crop is in good to very good condition, up a point on a week ago and fully 31 points ahead of last year. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.60 3/4, down 5 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.71 1/2, down 5 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower. News that Brazil was to re-instate the 10% tariff on wheat imports from outside the Mercosur trade bloc was bearish for US wheat. The duty was suspended in 2013, and the US quickly took advantage providing Brazil with almost half (3.47 MMT) of its wheat imports that year. They've also been a regular buyer of US wheat during 2014 so far. The reintroduction of this duty starts immediately. Brazil will begin its 2014 wheat harvest in the state of Parana within the next few weeks. A sharp rise in output is expected this year, as it also is in neighbouring Argentina - traditionally Brazil's main wheat supplier. Production in both countries has been poor for the last 2 years, providing US wheat with a window of opportunity that now looks like closing. FCStone upped their EU-28 wheat production estimate by 3.1 MMT to 149.9 MMT. Dry areas of Eastern Australia were said to have picked up the decent rains that were in the forecast over the weekend, boosting wheat production potential there. India tweaked higher their 2013/14 wheat production estimate to a record 95.91 MMT. Ukraine said that it's wheat and barley harvests were 98% complete at 24.1 MMT and 9.3 MMT respectively. Weekly export inspections were friendly at 596,675 MT. The USDA said that spring wheat crop conditions were down 2 points on last week to 68% good/excellent. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.42 1/2, down 8 3/4 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.17 3/4, down 2 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.08 1/4, down 3 3/4 cents.

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