Opinion divided over Isaac rains for US soybeans
Sep 12 Soybeans closed at USD17.70 1/4, up 7 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD17.63 1/2, up 10 1/2 cents; Sep 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD548.10, up USD4.80; Sep 12 Soybean Oil closed at 56.59, down 5 points. Sep 12 beans set a new all-time high for a front month, whilst Nov 12 beans posted a fresh contract high. Combined export sales of a net 721,300 MT including 352,000 MT to unknown destinations and 230,000 MT to China, were in line with expectations of 600-800 TMT. Accumulated new crop sales already account for more than half of the USDA's projected 2012/13 total with a week still left to go in the old crop 2011/12 marketing year.
Funds were estimated as net buyers of around 4,000 soybean contracts on the day. Vietnam bought 140 TMT of Argentine origin soymeal for September shipment. China sold all the 400 TMT of soybeans it put up for auction in an effort to cap rising prices. Opinion is divided on how much good, or indeed harm, will "prodigious rains" expected for parts of US Midwest from the remnants of Hurricane Isaac do for soybeans. Beans are around 32-33 cents higher on the week so far, with month end and a three-day weekend looming then we can probably expect some profit-taking in the morning.
Sep 12 Corn closed at USD8.11 1/2, up 1 1/4 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD8.08 1/2, down 5 cents. Funds were estimated to have been net sellers of around 4,000 corn contracts on the day. Weekly export sales were unimpressive at a net 134,700 MT, and below trade expectations of 250-450 TMT. Prices do seem to be rationing demand somewhat.
It seems that unlike soybeans, corn users do have the ability to switch to alternatives. There were reports that Thailand will import 1.5 MMT of feed wheat this season, probably from India, which is five times their normal volume due to rising corn prices. Indonesia's corn imports are seen halving this year, with Black Sea, Indian and/or Australian feed wheat filling the void. Indonesia’s 2012 corn output is estimated at 9-10 MMT this year versus 8-9 MMT in 2011. Unlike beans, Dec 12 corn is flat on the week so far and looking tired, with fund money estimated as having liquidated around 36,000 contracts across the past seven sessions during which time they have only been a net buyer once. The Ukraine Ministry said that the country will export 12.4 MMT of corn in 2012/13, broadly in line with the USDA's 12.5 MMT, and around 2 MMT down on sales in 2011/12. Corn production there is seen at 21.1 MMT, around 7.5% down on last year.
Sep 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD8.83 1/2, down 2 cents; Sep 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD8.89 3/4, down 6 1/2 cents; Sep 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.40, down 1/2 cent. Funds were estimated to be around even on the day. For the week so far CBOT wheat is 16 cents higher. Weekly export sales of 508,400 MT, plus a tiny little 900 MT for 2013/14 delivery, were in line with trade estimates of 450-600 TMT. SovEcon cut their Russian wheat production estimate to 38 MMT, from 39 MMT last week and now 5 MMT below the USDA's 43 MMT. All eyes will be on them tomorrow when Ministers meet to discuss the grain markets, although their Deputy Ag Minister today was reported as saying export restrictions were not currently needed, and would not possibly start before early December.
There seems to be a growing feeling that a repetition of the sudden export ban of 2010 is unlikely and that the Russian market should be left to regulate itself. Saudi Arabia aren't taking any chances though, tendering for 550 TMT of wheat, the results of which should be known tomorrow. World demand for wheat seems to be getting a boost from high corn prices. The market will soon start to focus on crop development in the Southern Hemisphere. MDA CropCast cut their Australian wheat production estimate by 700 TMT to 25.3 MMT this week citing dryness affecting 2/3rds of the wheat belt, stressing the crop as it pushes through jointing.
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