Ukraine tensions keep adding support to wheat market
Beans closed mostly up, but off the highs. Weekly export inspections of 254,299 MT were better than 153,963 MT last week. That takes the cumulative 2013/14 total to date to 41.35 MMT versus a USDA target for the entire season of 43 MMT, and well ahead of less than 34 MMT this time a year ago. Safras e Mercado said that Brazil has now harvested 94% of their 2013/14 soybean crop.
Oil World estimated production there at a record 86.2 MMT versus 81.5 MMT a year ago. Bunge's CEO was quoted as saying that poor crushing margins in China are a short term problem and that things should improve in the next 2-3 months. Dry weather in Argentina is seen aiding the soybean harvest there this week - estimated at 42.5% done last week by the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange.
Production there is forecast in the region of 54 MMT versus 49.3 MMT a year ago. The USDA gave it's first estimate of the season for US 2014 soybean plantings, saying that 3% of the crop was in the ground nationally as of Sunday night, versus 4% for the 5-year average. That's in line with trade expectations. The southern states of LA, MS and AR are the most advanced as you might expect at 55%, 24% and 16% done respectively. May 14 Soybeans closed at $15.08 1/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $15.00, up 5 3/4 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $496.90, up $6.30; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 42.62, down 30 points.
The market ended around a cent or so higher. Weekly export inspections of 1,156,332 MT today were down on 1,633,180 MT last week, but still respectable. The marketing year to date now stands at 28 MMT versus 12.2 MMT a year ago and the USDA forecast of 45 MMT for the full season. Prospects for Brazil's safrinha, or second crop, corn continue to look promising. Safras e Mercado estimated Brazil’s 2013/14 total corn crop at 73.9 MMT, up from a previous estimate of 71.2 MMT, although still down on the record 2012/13 crop of 82.1 MMT.
The Safras estimate is also significantly higher than the USDA's current 72 MMT forecast. The USDA said that 19% of the US 2014 corn crop was planted as of Sunday night. That was below the average trade guess of 21%, but within the range of trade estimates. Again, it's the southern states that are generally the most advanced, although they still lag, with TX on 64% complete (versus the 5-year average of 69%), NC is 60% done (versus 79% normally) and TN is 53% planted (versus 59% on average).
Despite all the talk of notable planting delays in the Midwest, IL is 32% done, up from on 5% a week ago and almost in line with the 33% "norm". Indiana, Iowa and Ohio however all lag the 5-year average pace by 18 points each. The USDA put corn emergence at 3% against 6% on average at this time. The Midwest weather outlook for the rest of the week isn't friendly - generally wet and cold. May 14 Corn closed at $5.07 3/4, up 3/4 cent; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.13 3/4, up 1 cent.
The market closed mostly a little firmer, having traded both sides in the overnight session. Weekly export inspections of 631,021 MT, up from 508,128 MT last week were supportive. The 2013/14 year to date total is now 28.4 MMT versus 24.6 MMT a year ago and a USDA forecast for full season exports of 31.5 MMT. Note though that the US wheat marketing year finishes at the end of May.
Increased tensions once again in Ukraine over the weekend keep adding support to the wheat market, as to do deteriorating US crop conditions. The USDA placed the US winter wheat crop at 33% good/excellent, down a point on a week ago, and the same as this time last year. The top producing state of Kansas is now only 21% good/excellent versus 24% a week ago. Oklahoma is 9% good/excellent against 11% last week. On a national level 34% of the crop is rated poor/very poor, up a point on last week.
Kansas poor/very poor is up 5 points from last week to 37%, Oklahoma is up 4 points in these bottom two categories to 65%. The USDA said that 18% of the crop is headed versus 9% last week and 26% on average. Spring wheat meanwhile is 18% planted, up from 10% a week ago but down on 26% normally. Spring wheat emergence is at 5% versus 9% for the 5-year average. A US wheat crop tour starts next week in the US Plains. The Philippines are in the market for 90,000 MT of optional origin feed wheat for July shipment. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $7.00 1/4, unchanged; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.83 1/4, up 7 1/2 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.50 1/2, up 3 cents.
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