25 May 2015 | Online since 2003

US winter wheat crop continues to face adverse weather conditions


Beans closed lower, with the current planting delay problems in the Midwest perceived as being more of an issue for corn. Indeed, it could actually mean that we could ultimately see more beans get sown in lieu of corn. Stats Canada reporting March 1st Canadian canola stocks at a record high in excess of 9 MMT, around double those of a year ago, added to the negative tone. So too did continued reports of Brazilian beans being offered into the US market.

Safras e Mercado said that Brazil has harvested 97% of their soybean crop, which is in line with the five year average. Informa FNP estimated Brazil’s 2013/14 bean crop at a record 87.4 MMT versus a previous estimate of 86.75 MMT. CONAB come out on Thursday with their latest Brazilian crop production estimates. They had the crop at 86.08 MMT last month. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that farmers there have sold 24% of their 2013/14 bean crop versus 29% a year ago. The USDA attaché in Ukraine estimated the 2014/15 soybean crop there at 3.2 MMT versus 2.8 MMT a year ago.

The USDA reported the 2014 US soybean crop at 5% planted, up only modestly from 3% a week ago and versus the 5-year average of 11%. Trade estimates had been that plantings would be around 10% done. By the first weekend in May a year ago only 2% of the crop had been sown, so it's too early to start waving the white flag just yet. Weekly export inspections for beans came in at 99,502 MT versus 254,299 MT last week. May 14 Soybeans closed at $14.71 3/4, down 9 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $14.63 1/4, down 7 1/2 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $489.10, down $2.10; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 41.00, down 29 points.


The corn market closed with decent gains, helped by another round of robust weekly export inspections. These came in at 1,239,418 MT. Year to date inspections are now 29.2 MMT versus only 12.4 MMT a year ago at this time. Safras e Mercado said that Brazil has harvested 83.4% of their 2013/14 corn crop versus 78.1% a year ago.

The USDA reported the 2014 US corn crop at 29% planted versus 19% last week and 42% for the 5-year average. Ohio is only 9% done versus 32% normally, with Minnesota at 8% versus 46% on average. Iowa at 23% sown compared to 50% normally is another notable laggard. Note though that, although the trade was expecting plantings to be 35-40% done, this time a year ago only 12% of the crop was in the ground. Is the corn glass half full, or half empty? The USDA put corn emergence at 7% versus the 5-year average of 13%. "The jet stream this spring has frequently carved out a cold trough in the central United States resulting in persistent cold.

Only 3 weeks this spring have been warmer-than-normal in the Midwest. However, this week, most corn farms are expecting above- normal temperatures when a warm ridge of high pressure builds up in the heartland," said Martell Crop Projections. "A few showers are still predicted, but more sunshine and dryness compared to last week. It is not a perfect forecast in the Upper Midwest, as soil temperatures would hover near 52 F this week, barely above the 50 F corn germination threshold. Strong warming is projected in central Illinois, where maximum temperatures in the upper 70s – low 80s F are predicted, with night lows near 60 F," they added. May 14 Corn closed at $5.02 3/4, up 8 3/4 cents; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.07 1/4, up 7 3/4 cents.


The wheat market closed firmer on all three exchanges, as the US winter wheat crop continues to face adverse weather conditions. A freeze on the High Plains last week threatened wheat in western Kansas, eastern Colorado and western Nebraska, said Martell Crop Projections. In complete contrast, weekend temperatures on the southern Plains topped 90F, and could reach 100 F today/tomorrow. Very little moisture relief is in the forecast.

The USDA today cut their estimate for the proportion of the US winter wheat crop rated good/excellent by 2 points from last week to 31%, although that is only 1 point worse than a year ago. Poor/very poor came in at 38% versus 34% a week ago and 39% this time last year. They said that 29% of the crop was headed versus 18% last week and 35% a year ago. Spring wheat plantings were estimated at 26% versus 41% this time last year. They said that 7% of the 2014 spring wheat crop had emerged versus 17% a year ago. Stats Canada estimate March 1st all wheat stocks there at 21.25 MMT, slightly below the average trade guess of 21.5 MMT, but far higher than 14.471 MMT a year previously. Barley stocks were 4.35 MMT versus the average estimate of 4.7 MMT and 3.044 MMT in 2013.

Canadian oat stocks were 2.29 MMT versus the average estimate of 2.1 MMT and 1.429 MMT in 2013. Weekly US export inspections came in at 537,584 MT versus 658,130 MT the previous week. Another increase in deadly violence in Ukraine over the weekend added support. Fund money was estimated as finishing up a net buyer in Chicago wheat of around 5,000 contracts on the day. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $7.26 3/4, up 19 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $8.47, up 15 1/4 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.70, up 7 cents.



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