US corn crop in record yields
Beans closed mixed, with strong gains nearby, but the ever present weight of a potentially monster US crop around the corner weighing on the further forwards, capping gains. The USDA announced 113,000 MT of US beans sold to unknown for 2014/15 shipment. Chinese customs data showed that the country imported 7.47 MMT of beans in July, up 17% from June and far more than the Ministry of Commerce estimate of 5.87 MMT. The same source now says that China has imported 41.68 MMT of beans this calendar year, up 20.14% from a year ago.
The Ministry estimate for August bean imports is only 3.84 MMT. Few would bet on that being easily exceeded, although stocks at the ports are again said to be approaching record levels. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that Argentina finished 2013/14 harvesting a record 55.5 MMT of soybeans. The quality there this year is said to be low due to persistent wetness. Weather forecasts for the week ahead look a bit wetter in the US.
Beyond that "Extended fall forecasts are starting to make the rounds with EU model apparently indicating normal temps for September with an active moisture pattern followed by a warm October. If current and extended weather is realized, talks of lofty corn and beans yields look justified," said Benson Quinn Commodities. Aug 14 Soybeans closed at $12.84 3/4, up 34 3/4 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.84 3/4, up 6 3/4 cents; Aug 14 Soybean Meal closed at $397.50, up $6.90; Aug 14 Soybean Oil closed at 35.44, down 18 points.
The corn market closed lower on the day, but little changed for the week. Shanghai JC Intelligence said that China's 2014 corn crop could fall to 200 MMT from 203 MMT last year, the first year-on-year decline in 5 years. Corn is not something that they have a shortage of though, with the government still holding regular weekly auctions with varying degrees of success. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that the Argentine corn harvest is 84% complete versus 79.7% a week ago and 97.8% a year ago. They left their production estimate unchanged at 25 MMT.
US fertiliser giant CF Industries said that US corn plantings in 2015 would come in at "over 90 million acres" - which suggests an area little different to the 91.6 million sown this year. It's a big week next week, with Monday night bringing the latest crop condition report from the USDA, before the WASDE report on Tuesday. Both could indicate a 2014 US corn crop in fine fettle, and with record yields and production only weeks away. The USDA is expected to raise corn yields to above 170 bu/acre on Tuesday versus 165.3 bu/acre in July. Several notable analysts now have yields in the 173-175 bu/acre region. South Korea's KFA bought 55,000 MT of optional origin corn for Jan shipment. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.51 3/4, down 7 3/4 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.63 1/2, down 7 3/4 cents. Sep 14 was 3/4 cents lower for the week.
The wheat market closed lower on the day, but mostly higher for the week, led by gains in the Chicago contract. Profit-taking may have been a factor today, with all sorts of geopolitical balls up in the air over the weekend, not to mention the USDA reports out on Monday and Tuesday. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that wheat planting in Argentina is 94.2% complete versus 91.3% a week ago and 97.9% a year ago.
They left their area estimate unchanged at 4.2 million ha, a sharp rise on a year ago. The USDA attaché in Australia estimated the 2014 wheat crop there at 24.5 MMT, down 9% from a year ago. France are said to have had the wettest July on record this year. Although this persistent wetness may be giving Europe some quality issues, "rain makes grain" is what they say, and production estimates are rising in France. Agritel estimated the French wheat crop at 38.16 MMT versus previous estimate of 37.3 MMT, and very close to the record crop in 1998 of 38.25 MMT. ODA estimated the French wheat crop at 37.8 MMT, up 0.5 MMT from their previous forecast. FranceAgriMer said that the French harvest had advanced to 92% complete as of Monday, so it should be virtually all over by now, just in time to avoid any disruption from the leftovers of Hurricane Bertha. The German wheat harvest is now said to be around 60% complete. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.49 1/4, down 12 1/4 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.29 1/4, down 17 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.18 3/4, down 15 3/4 cents.
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