Chicago Grains Market Report - 16th April 2013
Outside market weakness dragged the entire grains complex lower, with gold posting its largest 2-day loss on record and crude oil also falling heavily. Weekly soybean export inspections were poor at 4.813 million bushels versus the expected 12-17 million.
In China, bird flu now has 63 human cases reported with 14 human deaths. A Bloomberg survey estimated 2013 Chinese soybean imports may fall to 58.0 MMT due to bird flu. The March NOPA crush came in at 137.08 million bushels, versus 136.3 million in Feb and trade estimates of 136.8-140.0 million.
Safras e Mercado said that the Brazilian soybean harvest is 82% complete versus 76% a week ago, 85% a year ago and the 5 year average of 78%. Trade estimates have the funds down as net sellers of around 7-10,000 soybean contracts on the day. May 13 Soybeans closed at USD13.95, down 18 cents; Jul 13 Soybeans closed at USD13.56, down 23 1/4 cents; May 13 Soybean Meal closed at USD393.30, down USD6.90; May 13 Soybean Oil closed at 48.18, down 105 points.
Outside influences also had corn under pressure, closing close to session lows. Weekly export inspections of 14.701 million bushels were in line with the expected 10-16 million, but still lag the pace needed to hit USDA targets for the season.
The Chinese Stats Bureau said that corn plantings there are expected to rise 4.1% this year. Some had been saying that heavy snow in northern corn areas might cause a shift in plantings to beans, they clearly don't see it that way forecasting the bean area down 8.5%. "Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang, averaged 35-36 F last week, abnormal cold is expected to persist another 3-4 days before temperatures gradually moderate," say Martell Crop Projections. Argentina's Ag Ministry say that corn harvesting there is 36% compete versus 34% a year ago.
After the close the USDA said that corn planting in the US is only 2% complete as of Sunday night, compared to 16% last year and the 5-year average of 7%. Illinois has only 1% planted whilst in Indiana and Iowa there's nothing at all in the ground yet. The NOAA said that US March temperatures were the coldest in 11 years, restricting fieldwork. Fund selling was estimated at a net 10-15,000 corn contracts on the day. May 13 Corn closed at USD6.46 3/4, down 11 3/4 cents; Jul 13 Corn closed at USD6.28, down 13 1/4 cents.
With corn and soybeans succumbing to weakness in outside markets, it's perhaps of no surprise that wheat wasn't strong enough to resist the downwards pull either, despite the USDA reporting 480 TMT of US SRW wheat sold to China for 2013/14 as part of last week's widely rumoured business.
China are also said to have booked 400 TMT of Australia wheat for June shipment in the past few weeks. Trade analysts suggest that China will buy 3-5 MMT of wheat from Canada, Australia and the US for June–Dec shipment.
The Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange estimated Argentina’s 2013/14 wheat area at 3.9 million ha versus 3.6 million a year ago, but still down 7% from the 5-year average. Russia’s Ag Ministry said Russia exported 14.2 MMT of grain between July 1 – April 10th, down 36.8% from a year ago, and that full season exports may only be 14.8 MMT. After the close the USDA reported US winter wheat crop conditions at 36% good to excellent, unchanged from a week ago but well down on 64% a year ago. Poor/very poor was up one point to 31% and versus 11% a year ago. Weekly export inspections were 23.476 million bushels. Fund selling was estimated at 5-6,000 in Chicago wheat. May 13 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.93 3/4, down 21 cents; May 13 KCBT Wheat closed at USD7.32 1/2, down 20 1/2 cents; May 13 MGEX Wheat closed at USD7.98, down 9 3/4 cents.
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