Second major US winter storm puts wheat on defensive
Beans closed down, although more than 10 cents off session lows, with weekly export inspections of 27.284 million bushels compared to 40.826 million last week seeming to hint at a demand switch to South America.
News Friday that there is to be a mediation period in the Brazilian port workers dispute also eased supply concerns there. Nevertheless there are still major shipping delays out of Brazil. Santos port waiting time is said to be 30-35 days, in Paranagua it is now reckoned to be 48 days. There are rumours doing the rounds that one US crusher last week bought two cargoes of beans from Paraguay for May/June shipment. AgRural estimated Brazil’s 2013 soybean crop at 81.2 MMT, down 1.0 MMT from their previous estimate.
They said that Mato Grosso’s soybean harvest is 47% complete versus 51% a year ago. Celeres estimated Brazil’s 2013 bean crop at 80.1 MMT and said that harvesting is 28% complete vs. 19% a week ago and vs. 29% a year ago. The Rosario Grains Exchange estimated Argentina’s 2013 soybean crop at 48.0 MMT versus a previous estimate of 53.0 MMT. The USDA reported 120 TMT of new crop soybeans sold to China under the daily reporting system. There are rumours that China is planning to start auctioning off soybeans from state reserves.
Fund selling in beans was estimated at 4-6,000 contracts on the day. Mar 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.51 1/4, down 10 cents; May 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.35 1/4, down 8 1/2 cents; Mar 13 Soybean Meal closed at USD425.60, down USD1.30; Mar 13 Soybean Oil closed at 50.07, down 28 points.
Export inspections of 11.567 million bushels were in line with trade expectations, and up a little on last week. Sales still lag, as of February 14th cumulative corn sales stand at 59% of the USDA forecast versus the 5 year average of 70%.
South Korea's FLC bought 50 TMT of Indian origin wheat for June shipment in what looks like corn substitution. South Korea's KFA bought 69 TMT of South American origin corn for July shipment. Neither will help US corn sales. Safras e Mercado said as of Feb 22 Brazil’s main corn crop is 24% harvested versus 19% a year ago. They also said that as of the same date Brazil’s second corn crop is 47% planted versus 42% a year ago. The Rosario Grains Exchange estimated Argentina’s 2013 corn crop at 25.5 MMT versus a previous estimate of 26.5 MMT.
This compares to the February USDA estimate of 27 MMT. Argentina’s Ag Ministry said on Friday that showers in Argentina over the past few days have eased signs of drought damage. China's Jan corn imports were 397 TMT, down 47% on Jan 2012. The USDA reported 127 TMT of US corn sold to unknown: 50,800 MT for 2012-13 and 76,200 MT for 2013-14. Funds were estimated to have been net buyers of 2-3,000 corn contracts on the day. Mar 13 Corn closed at USD6.93 1/2, up 3 1/4 cents; May 13 Corn closed at USD6.85 1/2, up 1 1/4 cents.
The second major winter storm within a week blowing into the US Plain got wheat on the defensive to start the week.
As of this morning, there is a heavy snow warning for the entire western third of Oklahoma with 10-17 inches expected in some areas which will bring welcome moisture relief for the state with an accrued moisture deficit of 3.6 inches in the long period back to early October, according to Martell Crop Projections. India’s MMTC are tendering to sell 75 TMT of wheat for March/April shipment. The UN bought 58 TMT of Indian origin wheat for March/April shipment for donation to East Africa.
The Flour Millers Federation estimated 2013 India’s wheat exports at 5 MMT. Weekly export inspections of 21.167 million bushels were slightly below the 23.718 million reported the previous week. Egypt’s Supply Minister said that he expects the 2012/13 local wheat supply to expand by 500,000 tonnes or more. GASC has only bought about 235,000 MT of wheat on the international tender market since January 1st, which is about a third of what they bought during the same period last year. China's Jan wheat imports were 179 TMT, down 15.6% versus Jan 2012.
Jordan are tendering for 100 TMT of optional origin milling wheat. Fund selling in CBOT wheat was placed at a net 3-5,000 contracts on the day. Mar 13 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.99 1/4, down 15 3/4 cents and an 8-month low for a front month; Mar 13 KCBT Wheat closed at USD7.31 1/2, down 18 1/4 cents; Mar 13 MGEX Wheat closed at USD7.87, down 15 3/4 cents.
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