Argentine unions begin strike; Brazil suffers port delays
Jan 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.12 3/4, up 18 cents; Mar 13 Soybeans closed at USD13.96 1/4, up 14 1/4 cents; Dec 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD429.60, up USD5.00; Dec 12 Soybean Oil closed at 48.32, up 43 points.
Funds were said to have bought 6,000 soybean contracts on the day as beans climbed back above USD14/bu. In a sign of things to come Argentine unions began a 24-hour strike.
The port of Rosario, which would normally handle around 3,000 trucks/day, was said to have had traffic of only a tenth of that. Oil World said that South American soybean exports from the combined might of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay would only total 0.5-0.6 MMT this month as supplies turn to a trickle.
They also cut their estimate for Argentine soybean production from 56 MMT to 54 MMT, which is now 1 MMT lower than the USDA and would no longer be a record, although its still nearly 32% up on last year's drought-decimated crop. They placed Brazil's crop 1 MMT lower than previously at a record 81 MMT - in line with the USDA's ideas. Private analyst Michael Cordonnier estimated the Brazilian bean crop at 80.0 MMT and Argentine production at 55 MMT.
Dec 12 Corn closed at USD7.43 1/4, up 4 1/2 cents; Mar 13 Corn closed at USD7.47 1/4, up 4 3/4 cents.
Funds were estimated as net buyers of around 5,000 corn contracts on the day. Vietnam are said to be looking for January corn, with offers out of South America around USD20-25/tonne cheaper than US corn. Argentina is strike happy though and Brazil is suffering significant port delays. It will therefore be interesting to see which way Vietnam go. Michael Cordonnier estimated the Brazilian corn crop at 72.0 MMT and the Argentine crop at 22.5 MMT versus 70 MMT and 28 MMT respectively from the USDA.
Egypt are said to have bought Argentine corn for May delivery. The US markets are closed Thursday for Thanksgiving Day, delaying the normal weekly export sales report until Friday. These need to come in at around 430,000 MT/week to match USDA projected exports for 2012/13. Last week's 2012/13 sales were only 103,900 MT.
Dec 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD8.45, up 3 1/4 cents; Dec 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD8.77 1/2, up 1 1/2 cents; Dec 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.12 3/4, up 2 1/2 cents.
Fund buying was estimated at around 1,000 CBOT wheat contracts on the day. This was a pretty disappointing performance from wheat considering the USDA last night cut good/excellent crop ratings by a further 2 points to just 34% - the lowest score on record for this week heading into dormancy. Iraq are tendering for wheat, and US origin material is said to be the most expensive on offer, although there may be one or two question marks over the reliability as suppliers of some, and quality issues over others.
Even so, EU, Canadian and Australian wheat are also all said to be offered at around USD15-20/tonne cheaper than US material. Ukraine are widely expected to be out of the wheat export market by the end of the month, whether restrictions are introduced formally or not. Rosstat said that Russian grain stocks as at Nov 1 were 32.9 MMT, down 29% from 46.3 MMT a year ago.
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