Corn: The corn market shed around a cent, doing its best to ignore what was going on in the soy complex. Weekly export sales of under 500 TMT for the 2014/15 marketing year were less than spectacular and below trade expectations. Fresh inputs were lacking. "Corn found some fund buying, but couldn’t gain much traction through the course of the day session. The poor close, with help from soybeans, indicates the corn market is losing upward momentum," said Benson Quinn. The IGC raised world corn production in 2014/15 by 6 MMT to 980 MMT, now only 3 MMT behind last season's record. Ending stocks were up 3 MMT to 194 MMT. "Despite further upgrades to US and EU crop forecasts, world production is still placed slightly short of last year’s record, due to expected declines in China and South America," they said. The EU corn crop is now seen at 72.9 MMT, up 2.2 MMT from a month ago and an all time high. They also raised the US crop by 5 MMT to a record 365 MMT. China's crop was trimmed from 215 MMT to 213.8 MMT. Separately, German analysts F O Licht raised their estimate for the EU-28 corn crop from the 70.4 MMT forecast a month ago to 74 MMT, a rise of 9.5 MMT versus a year ago. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.74 1/2, down 3/4 cent; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.87 1/2, down 1 cent.
Wheat: The wheat market closed around 2-5 cents lower across the three exchanges. Weekly export sales of 444,900 MT were in line with trade ideas. "US wheat futures continue to trade at a distinct premium to global offers. However, sales, while not great, continue to meet or exceed what needs to be averaged on a weekly basis to meet the USDA’s export estimate of 925 million bushels," said Benson Quinn. The IGC raised world wheat production this season by 1 MMT to a record 718 MMT. Australia's crop was trimmed 1 MMT to 24 MMT, Canada's was reduced by 0.5 MMT to 27 MMT, and Kazakhstan's cut by a similar amount to 13.5 MMT. There were increases for Europe, up 1 MMT to 154.1 MMT and the US, up 400 TMT to 55.4 MMT. Tunisia tendered to buy 142 TMT of durum wheat. In Brazil, the wheat harvest in Parana state is said to be 72% complete versus 60% normally at this time. Quality is said to have improved amongst the later harvested material. Crop conditions in the US winter wheat belt are causing some concern. "The US Drought Monitor continues to show severe drought in Texas, Oklahoma and southern Kansas. These are the 3 top bread wheat states. This is a carryover from a historic drought last winter," said Martell Crop Projections. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.36, down 2 1/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.02, down 4 1/2 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.77 3/4, down 4 3/4 cents.
Corn: The corn market closed with strong gains, aided by spillover sentiment from the soya pit. The US Energy Dept reported weekly ethanol production up to 937,000 barrels/day versus 896,000 barrels/day a week ago, that's the largest weekly grind since mid-August. Ethanol stocks fell to 17 million barrels, down from 17.9 million barrels a week earlier. Increased production, but lower stocks leans bullish for corn. Ukraine said that it's 2014 grain harvest was now 90% complete at almost 55 MMT, including 18.4 MMT of corn to date. Russia said that it's 2014 grain harvest was 95.5% done at 107.7 MMT. The Russian corn harvest is now almost 80% done, producing a crop of 9.6 MMT to date. The Argentine Ag Ministry reported that growers there have sold almost 82% of their 2013/14 corn crop versus 80% a year ago. Delayed soybean planting in Brazil still fosters the belief that plantings/yields of second crop corn could also now be affected. Fund buying in corn was estimated at a net 7,000 contracts on the day. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are in the region of 700-900 TMT. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.75 1/4, up 10 3/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.88 1/2, up 10 1/2 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed higher, with fund money buying an estimated net 3,000 lots in Chicago. The jungle drums continue to suggest that all is not well with wheat prospects in Russia for next year. Their 2015 wheat crop could fall to 46.5 MMT from 58.5 MMT this year, said IKAR - echoing recent comments made by SovEcon that next year's crop could be below 50 MMT due to poor establishment leading to increased winterkill possibilities and reducing yield potential. The Russian Ag Ministry said that the 2014 wheat harvest was now 95.5% done on 23.5 million hectares, producing a crop of 61.4 MMT in bunker weight to date. Jordan bought 100 TMT of optional origin feed barley for April/May shipment in a tender. They are also tendering for a similar quantity of wheat. India announced that it was increasing the price it pays local farmers for wheat by 3.6% for the 2015 harvest to encourage plantings and increase it's food security. They already pay growers well in excess of world prices for wheat. Trade expectations for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are a modest 300-400 TMT. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.38 1/4, up 7 1/2 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.06 1/2, up 4 1/2 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.82 1/2, up 5 3/4 cents.
Corn: The corn market closed with modest gains, but ended closer to the lows of the day than the highs. The soybean and meal markets continue to lead the complex. "It still looks like the trade needs confirmation the soybean market is done going up and the process of putting new capital to work in corn is over," said Benson Quinn Commodities. Dr Cordonnier estimated US 2014 corn yields at a record 175 bu/acre, with production at an all time high 14.49 billion bushels, both unchanged from previously. He now has the Brazilian corn crop estimated at 73.0 MMT versus his previous estimate of 74.0 MMT. He also trimmed his estimate for the Argentine corn crop by 1 MMT to 21 MMT. He said that Argentina’s corn crop is 33% planted. Brazil's full season corn crop is said to be around 45% planted versus 65% normally at this time. The Russian Ag Ministry said that the country had harvested 2.1 million hectares of corn so far, or 78.4% of plan. That's produced a crop of 9.4 MMT to date (in bunker weight), with yields down from 5.29 MT/ha a year ago to 4.54 MT/ha. Russia said that it had exported 234 TMT of corn in Oct 1-22, and 544 TMT in the 2014/15 marketing year so far. Ukraine said that it had harvested 53.8 MMT of grains so far this year, including 17.9 MMT of corn. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.64 1/2, up 1 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.78, up 1 1/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed with decent gains of around 5-8 cents on continued short-covering. Rabobank cut their forecast for the Australian wheat crop from 23.5 MMT to 23 MMT. Other trade estimates are in the 22-23 MMT region versus the official ABARES estimate of 24.23 MMT in September. Taiwan bought 41,250 MT of US wheat for Dec/Jan shipment. Iran bought 60,000 MT of Black Sea origin barley for November shipment. Canada said that it had exported 4.1 MMT of common wheat and 1.1 MMT of durum so far this marketing year, a rise of 10% and 20% respectively compared to a year ago. Despite sharply lower production in 2014, the large carryin left over from last year means that Canadian exports will remain high in 2014/15. These are forecast at 18.5 MMT for common wheat (versus 18.4 MMT a year ago) and 4.7 MMT for durum (versus 5.1 MMT). Russia said that it had exported over 14 MMT of grains so far this season, including 11.62 MMT of wheat and 1.76 MMT of barley. The Ministry there said that the 2014 grain harvest is now 95.3% done on 43 million hectares producing a crop of 107.4 MMT to date. Wheat accounts for 61.3 MMT of that total and barley a further 21 MMT. Russian winter grain plantings are 99% complete. Ukraine said that winter wheat planting there was 98% complete on 6.1 million hectares. Spain forecast their winter soft wheat area at 1.87 million hectares, an increase of 100k ha from a year ago. Algeria bought 300 TMT of durum wheat in a tender. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.30 3/4, up 8 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.02, up 7 1/4 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.76 3/4, up 5 cents.
Corn: The corn market posted double digit gains in spillover support from soaring beans and meal. "Although Friday’s poor close and what appeared to be routine harvest selling offered pressure to the row crop markets overnight, corn and soybeans failed to attract enough follow-through selling to offset support from the soymeal market," said Benson Quinn Commodities. They also noted that "the idea that capital is rotating into the US Ag sector is valid with funds favouring the buy side". This simply appears to be one of those days where the trade was only interested in anything bullish, bearish factors (and there were some) were simply ignored or brushed aside. Weekly export inspections were no more than OK at 702,906 MT. Reuters confirmed last week's reports that UK feed wheat was being shipped into the US south east, competing with corn in the feed ration. MARS estimated 2014 EU corn yields at 7.59 MT/ha versus 6.75 MT/ha a year ago. "Summer crop yields at EU-28 level are high and corn yields in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria are forecast more than 25 % above the five year average," they noted. Record production is expected in Europe as well as the US this year. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that 32.8% of the Argentine corn area is planted versus 30% a week ago and 26.8% a year ago. The USDA said that 46% of the US corn crop has now been harvested versus 31% a week ago and 65% for the 5-year average. Crop condition ratings were left unchanged at 74% good to excellent. They said that 96% of the crop is mature versus 93% a week ago and 97% on average at this time. "A warm ridge of high pressure has dominated the Central United States over the past 7-10 days, warding off showers and promoting strong harvesting. Midwest rainfall last week averaged only 0.20 inch, the smallest weekly amount in 3 months. Temperatures last week were 4-5 F above normal, increasing evaporation and enhancing crop drying. Showers are expected to get under way tonight in the Upper Midwest, Midwest, Illinois and Indiana, spreading south and eastward into the Mid South. Clearing is predicted Thursday. However, a second wave of showers is predicted in the Midwest on the weekend," said Martell Crop Projections. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.63, up 10 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.76 3/4, up 10 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed with relatively modest gains compared to corn and beans. "Wheat is at best a follower," said Benson Quinn. They again noted "talk of capital rotating out of the energies and into the Ag sector". That's certainly plausible, with WTI crude slipping below $80/barrel again at one point yesterday. Weekly export sales of only 212,575 MT offered zero encouragement. Neither did apparent confirmation from Reuters of last week's rumours that the US is importing feed wheat from the UK. The Russian grain harvest now stands at 107.3 MMT off 42.9 million hectares (95% of the anticipated area). Wheat accounts for 61.2 MMT of that total, also off 95% of the planned area. Winter grain planting (mostly wheat) is now 99% complete, say the Ministry. Ukraine's Ag Ministry said that their 2014/15 grain exports now stand at 11.2 MMT, an increase of 31% versus a year ago. That total includes 6.3 MMT of wheat, 3.2 MMT of barley and 1.6 MMT of corn. A year ago exports were 5.1 MMT of wheat, 1.8 MMT of barley and 1.6 MMT of corn. The Ukraine Ag Ministry are still forecasting what looks like an ambitious full season grain export total of a record 33 MMT. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that the Argentine wheat harvest is 2.4% complete versus 1% a year ago. They forecast production this year at 11.5 MMT versus 10.1 MMT a year ago. "Kazakhstan is reportedly buying Russian wheat in response to potentially up to 4 MMT of production in that country that won’t get harvested this fall," said Benson Quinn. Yet the Kazakh Ministry say that this year's grain harvest has reached 16.2 MMT out of an anticipated 17 MMT total. Traders report that wheat quality, especially in the north of Kazakhstan, is quite poor this year. Meanwhile "wheat growing regions of the FSU have tended to be too dry and too cold to foster good early development, which could result in issues next spring," note Benson Quinn. The USDA reported winter wheat planting in the US for the 2015 harvest at 84% complete, up from 76% a week ago, and exactly in line with the 5-year average. Winter wheat emergence is at 67%, up from 56% a week ago, and 5 points ahead of the norm. Crop conditions were placed at 59% good to excellent in the first ratings report of the season. It was 61% a year ago. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.22 3/4, up 5 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.94 3/4, up 1 cent; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.71 3/4, up 4 3/4 cents.
Corn: The corn market closed the best part of 7 cents lower on the day, but still higher for the week. The USDA announced 101,600 MT of US corn sold to unknown for 2014/15 shipment under the daily reporting system. The market is looking for the 2014 US corn harvest to have advanced to around 45% done when the USDA report on that on Monday night. A week ago it stood at only 31% complete. "As producers roll through their soybean crop in the eastern belt and allow the corn crop to dry down in portions of the western belt I am not convinced harvest progress on the corn crop has been all that great this week. Additionally, I am not convinced the producer that has made progress is a willing seller. However, the prospect of better harvest progress next week was a negative factor in today’s trade," said Benson Quinn's Brian Henry. Is this simply deferring the bulk of the harvest pressure, or are the seasonal lows already in, that is the six million dollar question. It is certainly not unusual to see US corn prices remain under pressure right through the last quarter of the calendar year, indeed in two of the last three years the lows haven't been put in until November and December. So Societe General could indeed be right when they this week said that there could still be time for "one last leg down in corn prices". The US corn belt weather forecast retains a friendly outlook for the next 10-14 days. Russia said that their 2014 corn harvest was three quarters of the way through, producing a crop of 9.1 MMT to date. Ukraine said that their corn harvest now stands at 16.4 MMT off 65% of the planned area. The Argentine Ag Ministry forecast corn plantings there this year at 5.5 million hectares, a near 10% decline versus a year ago, and 100k ha below their previous estimate. There's a "too close to call" weekend election looming in Brazil, which Agrimoney say could "prove crucial for the future of world farming". The two contenders are President Dilma Rousseff and Senator Aécio Neves. The Buenos Aires Herald say that this is "a race that combines every conceivable ingredient: a woman vs. a man, a socialist vs. a conservative, a defender of the Mercosur vs. a champion of opening up trade." Essentially a Rousseff victory is seen keeping the Brazilian real under pressure - and thereby making them more competitive in the export market. A Neves win is likely to have the opposite effect. Maybe the uncertainty of this was a factor behind some pre-weekend profit-taking? Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.53, down 6 3/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.66 3/4, down 6 3/4 cents. For the week, Dec 14 corn was up 5 cents, with Mar 15 adding 5 1/2 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed lower, pressured by falling corn and soybeans. Even so Dec 14 Chicago wheat did still manage a fourth consecutive weekly gain, even if it was only by less than a couple of cents. The Argentine Ag Ministry raised their forecast for the 2014/15 wheat planted area there from 4.5 million hectares to 4.6 million. A Bloomberg survey pegged the Australian wheat crop at 23.2 MMT, which is 1 MMT below the current ABARES estimate. There were apparently unconfirmed reports of EU feed wheat trading into the US south east coast at levels below those of rail corn. Iraq are tendering for 50 TMT of hard wheat for Dec-Feb arrival, but frequently buy much more. The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that their 2014 wheat harvest totalled 23.7 MMT in clean weight. Russia said that they'd harvested 61.1 MMT of wheat in bunker weight off 94.5% of the expected area. Early strength in wheat appeared to be tied to reports that Russian analysis firm SovEcon were saying that the 2015 grain crop there could already be in trouble, and serious trouble at that. They suggested that final grain production next year could drop below 90 MMT, and wheat output under 50 MMT. The reasons are a combination of lack of rainfall (at least until very recently), which may have allowed autumn plantings to progress in a timely manner, but have hindered crop development meaning that plants are "extremely week" heading into winter. Russian temperatures are expected to be well below normal (and also well below freezing) across almost the entire country this weekend. The weakness of the Russian rouble, caused by the problems between them and the West over sanctions and Ukraine, also means that spring plantings and the money to purchase inputs next year could be severely impacted. Russian growers are also hoarding wheat rather than selling it, as a hedge against this currency weakness, it is said. Not everybody has thrown in the towel quite yet on Russia's 2015 crop prospects though, with Rusagrotrans issuing a preliminary grain production forecast for next year of 96-104 MMT only yesterday. If Russian growers do continue to sit on their grain as a hedge against the falling rouble, then carryin to 2015/16 will also be higher of course. The weekly commitment of traders report shows fund money reducing their net wheat short by around 9k contracts for the week through to Tuesday night. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.17 3/4, down 9 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.93 3/4, down 11 1/2 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.67, down 4 cents. For the week Chicago wheat still managed a small 1 3/4 cent gain, with Kansas down 8 cents and Minneapolis losing 3 cents.
Corn: The corn market posted decent gains. Weekly export sales of just over 1 MMT beat trade expectations of 650-800 TMT. Exports of 676,700 MT were primarily to Mexico (194,400 MT), Colombia (111,100 MT), Japan (106,900 MT), Venezuela (64,000 MT) and Peru (50,500 MT). Russia said that it had harvested 8.9 MMT of corn off 2 million hectares, or 74.2% of the planned area. Yields are averaging 4.55 MT/ha versus 5.28 MT/ha a year ago. Ukraine said that they'd harvested 16.36 MMT of corn off 65% of the planned area. The Argentine Ag Ministry forecast 2014 corn plantings there down 9.8% at 5.5 million hectares. Plantings are 24% complete versus 19% this time a year ago. "The work is carried out with good soil moisture conditions, which are also suitable for crop emergence," they said. The Argentine government authorised an extra 500 TMT of corn for export yesterday, meaning that they've now issued export licences for almost 15 MMT of corn this season. Delayed full season soybean planting in Brazil is likely to have a knock-on effect for safrinha corn yields next year it is thought. China were said to have imported 539,000 MT of DDGs in September, down 11% from August. Turkey bought 5,000 MT of Russian origin corn. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.59 3/4, up 6 3/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.73 1/2, up 6 1/2 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed mostly a little higher, in sympathy with the other pits. Unlike corn and beans though, weekly export sales of just under 300 TMT failed to impress. Actual shipments of 431,700 MT were also down 11 percent from the previous week and 21 percent below the prior 4-week average. The Argentine Ministry estimated the wheat area there at 4.6 million hectares, up 26% on a year ago. The harvest is now underway in one or two places, they said. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange see Argentine wheat plantings at half a million hectares less than that. They forecast production up 14% this year at 11.5 MMT. They say that the harvest is 2.4% complete. Japan bought 109,715 MT of US/Australian milling wheat for Nov-Dec shipment. Turkey bought 3,000 MT of Russian origin wheat. Israel bought 5,000 MT of Ukraine wheat for November shipment. Taiwan are tendering for 41,250 MT of US milling wheat for December shipment. The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that winter wheat plantings there were now 97% complete on an area of 6 million hectares. Russia said that it's winter grain area was 98.4% complete on 16.2 million hectares. The 2014 Russian wheat harvest is 94.4% done at 61 MMT in bunker weight, they added. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.26 3/4, up 4 1/2 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.05 1/4, unchanged; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.71, up 2 1/4 cents.
Corn: The corn market slipped 2-3 cents lower on a general lack of news. Weekly US ethanol production rose to 896,000 barrels/day from 885,000 barrels/day the previous week. Russia's corn harvest is said to be 73.6% done at 8.9 MMT, with yields at 4.56 MT/ha versus 5.29 MT/ha a year ago. Taiwan's MFIG bought 60,000 MT of Brazilian corn for December shipment. Chinese customs data shows that they only imported a little over 20 TMT of corn in September. Jan-Sep imports now stand at 1.6 MMT, around the same as a year previously. There's talk of China looking to buy 40 MMT of corn on the domestic market for state stocks. US weather forecasts are mostly dry for the next week, which should allow good harvest progress to be made. "Following hot temps and heavy winds light rains in the western belt overnight and into today aren’t going to cause many delays. Look for favourable temps over much of the corn belt. The potentially wetter conditions are advertised in the second week of the forecast," said Benson Quinn Commodities. Full season corn planting in Brazil should resume if and when the advertised delayed start to the rainy season arrives in the next few days. There's already talk though that delays in planting soybeans will lead to a reduction in second crop corn. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 650-800 TMT. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.53, down 3 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.67, down 2 1/2 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed. There's talk of Argentina releasing an extra 400 TMT of old crop and 1 MMT of new crop wheat export licences. Much of that will probably end up in Brazil. Russia's wheat harvest has reached 94% complete at 60.9 MMT. Siberia is 92% done and there's talk that it may not get much higher than that with snow already falling there. There's also a suggestion that some crops in Kazakhstan will go unharvested this year with the sudden arrival of winter. The harvest there is said to be 86.4% done at 15.9 MMT on 13 million hectares. A harsh cold snap is on the cards for Russia this weekend. There are already rumblings that winter crops in Russia are poorly established and that leaves them vulnerable to higher than normal levels of winterkill. It's being suggested that current conditions in Russia are similar to late 2009. Wheat production in the summer of 2010 went on to be only 41.5 MMT on the back of a hard winter followed by a late spring/early summer drought and soaring temperatures. That event sent global wheat prices soaring you will recall. Adverse weather conditions are also having an effect on the Australian wheat crop this year, with some forecasting production as low as 20-21 MMT. China imported 133,647 MT of wheat in September, an 81% fall versus a year previously. Jan-Sep imports are just over 2.8 MMT, which is similar to the same period in 2013. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 400-500 TMT. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.22 1/4, up 3 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.05 1/4, up 3 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.68 3/4, down 1/4 cent.
Corn: The corn market closed around 7-8 cents higher. The same weather problems that are plaguing the US soybean harvest are also leaning supportive for corn. That harvest is even further behind than it is for beans. "Just 31% of corn was harvested up to October 19 compared to a 55% average the past 28 years. Northern Midwest corn has been slow to mature, contributing to harvesting delays. Corn was only 75% ripe in Wisconsin and Michigan in USDA’s most recent crop progress report," said Martell Crop Projections. The lack of progress in Brazil with soybean plantings could have a knock-on, and negative, effect with the size of the safrinha corn crop for 2015 some are saying. Russia said that it had harvested 8.8 MMT of corn off 73% of the planned area. Yields are down at 4.56 MT/ha compared to 5.29 MT/ha a year ago. APK Inform lowered their estimate for this year's Russian corn crop by 5.6% to 11.7 MMT. The Ukraine Ministry reported that the corn harvest there was 60% done on 2.8 million hectares, producing a crop of 14.77 MMT to date. The Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation estimated corn production there at 27 MMT versus 30.9 MMT a year ago. Fund buying was estimated at a net 8,000 lots in Chicago today. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.56, up 7 3/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.69 1/2, up 7 3/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed firmer, but well off session highs. Egypt's GASC bought one cargo each of French, Russian and Romanian wheat. The French offer booked was easily the cheapest at $234.44/tonne FOB. It was noted however that this appeared to be a "one off" particularly aggressive offer, as the next cheapest French material was $10/tonne higher than this. At the end of the day however one 60 TMT cargo of wheat isn't going to make much of a hole in the full up French futures stores in Rouen. Russia said that it had now harvested 94% of its 2014 wheat crop, producing 60.9 MMT in bunker weight so far. Rusagrotrans trimmed their forecast for the 2014 Russian grain harvest from 104 MMT to 103.7 MMT in clean weight due to "extreme weather conditions in the eastern regions" saying that bad weather in the Urals will lead to significant yield losses there. Plantings for the 2015 harvest in Russia are 98% done, according to the Ag Ministry. Rusagrotrans forecast the final winter planted area at 16.3 million hectares versus only 15.2 million a year ago when adverse weather prevented some fields from getting sown until the spring. Crop conditions there currently don't look great, I hear. Things are better in Ukraine though, where winter wheat planting is 96% complete. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.19 1/4, up 5 3/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.02 1/4, up 1 1/4 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.69, up 2 1/4 cents.
Corn: The corn market ended with small gains, and at the upper end of the daily trading range. US farmers appear to be concentrating on the soybean harvest, rather than that of corn. The USDA reported the 2014 US corn harvest at 31% complete, up only 7 points on a week ago and well behind the 5-year average of 53% done at this time. Crop conditions were left unchanged at 74% good to excellent. Maturity was up six points on last week at 93%, in line with the 5-year average of 94% at this time. The forecast for the week ahead is friendly. "Harvesting of corn and soybeans is expected to make excellent gains in the week ahead. While some rain is predicted it would occur in some of the driest areas of the Midwest, the Upper Midwest, while drying dominates elsewhere, allowing the harvest to advance," said Martell Crop Projections. "Many areas continue to report big yields, while there are a few areas reporting disappointment compared to expectations," said Benson Quinn Commodities. Weekly export inspections were a bit disappointing at 717,605 MT, down versus last week and this time a year ago. Dollar weakness today may have added a bit of support to the grains sector. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.48 1/4, up 1/4 cent; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.61 3/4, up 1/2 cent.
Wheat: The wheat market closed lower across the three exchanges. Weekly export inspections were ho hum at 481,878 MT. Cumulative wheat inspections are now only about two thirds of what they were a year ago. The USDA reported US winter wheat plantings at 76% complete, one point behind the 5-year average. Emergence is at 56%, six points ahead of the 5-year average, and up 13 points on a week ago. The Russian Ag Ministry reported the 2014 grain harvest there at 93.5% complete at 105.7 MMT. That includes 93.6% of the wheat area, producing a crop of 60.7 MMT in bunker weight so far. Plantings for the 2015 harvest are approaching 98% done on 16.1 million hectares. "Key winter wheat areas in southern Russia and Ukraine have received beneficial soaking rainfall in the past month, improving field moisture for winter wheat planting. The subsoil remains very dry, however. Summer drought was intense in South Russia's top winter wheat districts, depleting field moisture for wheat planting this fall. Pockets of Krasnodar and Stavropol received only 20% of normal summer rainfall. It would require 60-75 mm of rainfall to fully replenish soil moisture," said Martell Crop Projections. Egypt tendered for wheat for Nov 21-30 shipment late in the day. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.13 1/2, down 2 1/2 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.01, down 3/4 cent; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.66 3/4, down 3 3/4 cents.
Corn: The corn market also closed lower on the day, but higher for the week. Weekly export sales were strong at 1,922,800 MT for 2014/15, and also a marketing-year high. There were also sales of 510,500 MT for 2015/16. Mexico was a featured buyer in both crop years, although the vast majority of this was simply confirmation of a large trade announced last Friday. Exports of 901,700 MT were primarily to Japan (348,200 MT), Colombia (115,800 MT), Mexico (87,400 MT), Peru (83,900 MT) and Egypt (65,500 MT). The USDA also reported sales of 120 TMT of US corn to "unknown" today. "I would not be surprised to see the corn market shift to a sideways to lower trade as harvest expands. It may depend on the macro markets showing more stability and less volatility," said Benson Quinn's Brian Henry. Informa estimated US corn plantings for the 2015 harvest at 87.771 million acres, that's up from their previous forecast of 87.275 million, although 3.4% lower than the USDA's estimate of 90.9 million planted this year. That would be the first time that soybean acres have outstripped corn plantings in as long as I can remember. Commerzbank said that current low corn prices will lead to reduced plantings in both North and South America for the 2015 harvest. They see US prices recovering to around $4/bushel in Q3 of next year. Corn planting in Argentina is 30% complete, favoured by good weather conditions across the last 7 days, according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. They see plantings down 16% this year at 3 million ha. Crop conditions are generally good, they say. Last week the USDA put the 2014 US corn harvest at 24% complete versus 17% a year ago. That was broadly in line with expectations, although it lagged the 5-year average of 43% significantly. Perhaps that will have risen to around 35% or so on Monday night it is thought. The latest commitment of traders report shows fund money adding to their net long in corn for the week through to Tuesday night. India said that it had exported only 2.5 MMT of corn for the 2013/14 marketing year that ended in September. That's down sharply from the 4.7 MMT shipped out the previous season. Strong competition from Black Sea sellers such as Ukraine, Russia, and Romania may have been a contributing factor towards the decline. Russia's 2014 corn harvest now stands at 8.3 MMT off 1.8 million hectares, or 69% of the planned area. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.48, down 4 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.61 1/4, down 4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed mostly lower on the day, but also higher for the week, in what looks like pre-weekend consolidation. Weekly export sales of 454,000 MT for delivery in the 2014/15 marketing year, along with a further 40,000 MT for 2015/16 were deemed to be "routine" and in line with expectations. Actual exports themselves of 485,300 MT were also uninspiring, down 27 percent from the previous week and 21 percent from the prior 4-week average. Nothing to get excited about there. Informa estimated US wheat plantings for the 2015 harvest at 56.428 million acres, down from a previous forecast of 57 million and a bit below the 56.8 million that they USDA says was planted for this year's harvest. Tunisia bought 151,000 MT of optional origin durum wheat in a tender. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that the Argentine wheat harvest is underway, although less than 1% done on a national level. Crop conditions are generally good. They held steady with their planted area estimate at 4.1 million hectares, an increase of more than 13% compared to a year ago. The Rosario Grain Exchange said that 70% of the wheat crop in its area is in good to very good condition. Yields will not reach their full potential, but they will be above average, they said, adding that compared to last year the current climate scenario is "very favourable". Russia said that they had harvested 22.9 million hectares of wheat, or 93% of the planned area, producing a bunker weight crop of 60.5 MMT to date. Ukraine said that it had exported more than 10 MMT of grains so far this marketing year, including almost 6 MMT of wheat. The Ukraine Ministry said that grain exports could hit a record 4.3 MMT this season, up from the existing all time high 32.8 MMT shipped out in 2013/14. The new projection would include 17.9 MMT of corn, 11.7 MMT of wheat and 4.16 MMT of barley, they say. Plantings of winter grains (mostly wheat) in Russia and Ukraine are already nearing completion, with Russia nearly 98% done and Ukraine 90% finished (and 94% done on wheat). Good soaking rains arrived this week for the latter, and are in the 14 day forecast for the former. The latest commitment of traders report shows fund money getting less short in Chicago wheat, and increasing their long position in Kansas wheat for the week through to Tuesday night. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.16, down 1 cent; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.01 3/4, down 3 1/4 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.70, down 6 1/2 cents.