Corn market recovers most losses; EU barley estimate raises
Beans closed higher, consolidating recent losses - last night's close had been the lowest for a front month since Jan 2012. The USDA announced a 120 TMT sale of old crop US beans to China under the daily reporting system, along with 240,000 MT of US new crop beans sold to unknown. Additional support came from news that in Argentina Rosario port workers will begin striking tonight.
In the US Midwest "unseasonable coolness is expected to persist a few more days, before gradual warming on the weekend," according to Martell Crop Projections. Yet the market seems very relaxed about these cool and wet conditions, at least for the time being, viewing them as non-threatening and better than too hot and dry. "Very favourable crop reports from Midwest producers are surprising given the extremely wet field conditions. June rainfall ranked among the highest on record leading to lowland flooding in corn and soybeans," Martell Crop Projections added. South Korea's MFG are tendering for 55,000 MT of soymeal from the US, South America and/or China for Dec-Jan shipment. APK Inform said that Ukraine would produce a record 3.4 MMT of soybeans this year, up from 3.2 MMT estimated previously and 26% higher than 2.7 MMT a year ago. Aug 14 Soybeans closed at $11.87 1/4, up 6 3/4 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $11.02, up 15 3/4 cents; Aug 14 Soybean Meal closed at $383.70, up $4.60; Aug 14 Soybean Oil closed at 36.83, down 7 points.
The corn market closed around 4-5 cents higher, recovering most of yesterday's losses that took prices down to 4 year lows. There are question marks over exactly how benign/non threatening Midwest cool and wet conditions are for corn.
"A large cool air mass dominates the Midwest. Temperatures this morning bottomed out in the low 40s F in the northern Midwest, threatening to break records. Typical night minimums in mid July would be low 60s F. Corn development would be set back by coolness, most concerning in the northern Midwest where the growing season is short," said Martell Crop Projections. The USDA announced 210,448 MT of US new crop corn sold to unknown. South Korea's Kocopia bought 55,000 MT of optional origin corn for Dec shipment. US ethanol production hit 943,000 barrels per day last week, up 16,000 bpd on the week prior. The EU announced that it was increasing the EU corn import tariff from zero (where it has been since 2010) to EUR5.32/tonne (around $7.20/tonne). Ukraine currently have a duty-free quota to export 400 TMT of corn to Europe that lasts until the end of October. There's some talk that the EU duty increase will trigger some buying of Ukraine corn, although the cheapest new crop offers are for the Nov/Dec shipment period (now down to around $190/tonne FOB). It may be that the EU will grant Ukraine a further duty free quota beyond the existing Oct 31 deadline, or that EU buyers will simply wait for Ukraine prices to fall another $7.20/tonne to absorb the difference. They've already dropped $20/tonne in the past week, according to Agritel. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.78 1/4, up 4 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.86 3/4, up 5 cents.
The wheat market closed narrowly mixed. Jordan passed on a tender for 100 TMT of hard wheat and immediately re-issued another one. Algeria were said to have bought 810 TMT of EU wheat, most if not all of it probably of French origin, for Oct-Nov shipment. They are also now tendering for optional origin barley for Nov shipment. There should be plenty of sellers, Reuters are reporting that Strategie Grains will "significantly raise" its estimate for the 2014 EU barley crop in it's regular monthly production update due out tomorrow. Turkey’s TMO bought 235,000 MT of wheat for Aug-Oct shipment, along with 200,000 MT of barley for Aug-Sep.
Japan seeks 112,709 MT of wheat for Aug–Sep shipment of US and Australian origin. The Russian Ag Minister said that their 2014 grain harvest could exceed the 100 MMT mark, versus 92.4 MMT last year and up from a previous forecast of 97 MMT. Other analysts are not quite so optimistic, although SovEcon and IKAR did both also raise their estimates today as well. SovEcon now go for a figure of 92-93 MMT and IKAR 98 MMT. ProZerno said that 84% of the 2014 wheat harvest in Russia's Krasnodar region is of milling quality, up from 73% a year ago. New crop Russian 11.5% milling wheat FOB the Black Sea is said to be offered around $239/tonne FOB, with 12.5% milling wheat at around $10/tonne more. Ukraine offers are typically a few dollars below those levels, but buyers seem to have more faith in Russian quality for the time being. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.38, up 1/4 cent; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.37 1/4, down 1 3/4 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.28, down 2 1/2 cents.
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