Chicago Reports
24-10-2014 10:19 AM | Chicago Reports
23/10/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed sharply higher, and near the highs of the day, with fund money estimated as being a net buyer of around 15,000 lots during the session. Very strong weekly export sales of 2.17 MMT were around double what the trade was expecting. China took 1.7 MMT of that total. Exports of almost 1.9 MMT were mostly for China (1.3 MMT) too. The USDA also reported the sale of 118 TMT of US soybeans to China under the daily reporting system. The delayed US harvest is keeping the front end tight. "A weak disturbance is tracking across the heartland this morning, expected to produce light rainfall. A stronger storm is predicted Sunday night- Monday producing heavy, soaking rains to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota, 0.75 – 1.2 inches. Unseasonably warm temperatures would continue 7-10 F above normal in the heartland," say Martell Crop Projections. Meanwhile things are finally looking up in Brazil. "The rainy season may be finally beginning in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s top soybean state. October conditions have been unusually dry, increasing the soil moisture deficit to 75 millimeters (3 inches). Recurring showers are predicted for the next several days increasing field moisture for soybean planting. Temperatures would moderate, backing off to 95 F, from 103-105 F previously," they add. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.93 1/4, up 30 1/2 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.00, up 30 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $352.40, up $14.40; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.67, up 53 points.

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.

23-10-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
22/10/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with small losses, despite the USDA reporting the sale of 419 TMT of US soybeans to China, along with 113 TMT to unknown destinations. Talk of meal sales being switched to cheaper South American origin material was bearish. Chinese customs data puts September bean imports at just over 5 MMT, a 7% rise on a year ago. Of that total 3.4 MMT came from Brazil, 980 TMT from Argentina and nothing from the US. They also imported 495 TMT of rapeseed, more than double the volume shipped in in September 2013. Oil World cut 3 MMT off it's Brazilian 2014/15 soybean production estimate to 89 MMT, although that's still a record it's not the huge leap that many had been expecting. Rains are finally on the way for Mato Grosso it would seem. "Mato Grosso is expected to receive very heavy rainfall later this week, 2-4 inches, with a strengthening monsoon circulation. This would be first important rainfall in October. Scattered showers are expected tomorrow in the leading soybean state. Without any significant rainfall, October temperatures have become very hot, Mato Grosso’s Center West area frequently reporting 40 C. Occasionally temperatures have reached 42 C (107 F). Once the rainy season begins in earnest, temperatures would moderate with increased cloudiness and evaporative cooling," said Martell Crop Projections. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report for beans are around 1 MMT. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.62 3/4, down 1 1/2 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.69 3/4, down 2 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $338.00, down $4.90; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.14, up 38 points.

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.

22-10-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
21/10/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed sharply higher on disappointment that the US harvest had only advanced 13 points in the past week to 53% complete as of Sunday night. The weather forecast for the week ahead has now developed a wetter look to it, which was also seen as a bullish factor today. "The weather forecast is warming. The US heartland would experience temperatures that would be 7-12 F above normal. This would indicate mid to upper 60s F for highs and mid-upper 40s F for lows. On the negative side, significant rainfall is predicted that would further disrupt harvesting in a wide swath of the farm belt. Heavy soaking rain would target Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin, up to 1 – 1.25 inches, but locally more. Moderate rainfall 0.50 to 0.75 inch is predicted in northeast Nebraska, southern Minnesota and western Iowa," said Martell Crop Projections. Yesterday's strong weekly export inspections also lean friendly. So too is soybean plantings in Brazil running at the slowest pace in 6 years. It now looks unlikely that they will be active in the new crop export market until February. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.64 1/4, up 20 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.71 3/4, up 19 1/2 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $342.90, up $13.50; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.76, up 6 points.

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.

21-10-2014 09:29 AM | Chicago Reports
20/10/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower, but towards the middle of the day's trading range. The USDA reported that the 2014 US soybean harvest was 53% done, up from 40% a week ago, but perhaps not as much progress has been made this week as the trade expected. The 5-year average for this time is 66% done. Crop condition ratings were unchanged from last week at 73% good to excellent. The forecast for the week ahead is largely friendly for decent progress to be made. Weekly export inspections were very strong at almost 2 MMT. Year to date inspections are now 123% of what they were a year ago. Growers in Brazil are still waiting for rain, particularly in the leading soybean producing state of Mato Grosso. AgRural said that plantings in Brazil are only 10% done, versus 19% a year ago and 20% for the 5-year average. That's the slowest pace in 6 years, they said. It is also only an advancement of 3 points on a week ago. It is also thought that some of what has been sown will fail and need to be replanted. Rains are finally on the way though. "Strong showers and heavy rainfall are predicted this week in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s largest soybean state. The rainy season in the tropics was slow to develop this month, but is predicted to kick into high gear as 1.5-2.5 inches of rain is projected in the next 5 days October 20-25," said Martell Crop Projections. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.44 1/4, down 7 1/2 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.52 1/4, down 7 1/2 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $329.40, down $1.10; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.70, down 32 points.

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.

18-10-2014 16:39 PM | Chicago Reports
17/10/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower on the day, but higher for the week. "The high emotions seen in the macro markets over the past couple sessions seems to have run its course and this allowed beans to get back to trading fundamentals with market settling lower ahead of wide open harvest weekend," noted Benson Quinn Commodities. The "high emotion" to which they refer concerned slumping equities, and NYMEX crude slipping below $80/barrel yesterday for the first time for the fist time since June 2012. This may be responsible for the recent uptick in spec money coming back into the grains market, although there was an element of calm in these outside markets today. It will be interesting to see if this trend resumes again next week, with the Fed stopping printing money this month, or as one commentator put it "weaning the patient off the monetary morphine" - is he about to wake up and not like what he sees? "The 7-day outlook is dry over an enormous area of the United States heartland," according to Martell Crop Projections, which should allow for good harvest progress to be made. The US soybean harvest jumped from 20% to 40% complete last week, could it have advanced another 20 points when the USDA release their latest crop progress report on Monday night? The trade doesn't seem to think so, with the average trade estimate around 52% done, but then again the trade was only looking for 30-33% complete a week ago. Informa estimated US soybean plantings in 2015 at a record high 88.512 million acres, versus a previous forecast of 87.652 million in September. That would be a rise of 5.1% compared to what the USDA says was planted in 2014. Soybean planting in Brazil remains stalled. Dryness in the leading producing state of Mato Grosso is only 9.3% complete, up less than a point on a week ago (8.4% done), and 18 points behind this time last year. Somar say however that some parts of the state could pick up rains of up to 2 inches next week. Weekly export sales for beans came in at 935,000 MT for 2014/15 versus trade expectations of 650-750 TMT, China (709,400 MT) took the lion's share as usual. Actual shipments were 1,528,700 MT - a marketing-year high - and were also mostly to China (1,165,900 MT). Today's commitment of traders report shows fund money reducing their net short in beans for the week through to Tuesday night. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.51 3/4, down 14 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.59 3/4, down 14 1/2 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $330.50, down $4.10; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.02, down 34 points.

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.

17-10-2014 10:19 AM | Chicago Reports
16/10/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed higher on short-covering, although there was a general lack of fresh news to get excited about. US weather leans friendly for decent harvest progress to be made across the weekend. Crude oil dipped below $80/barrel at one point, but rallied later in the day to close at $82.70/barrel, which may have provided late support to beans. The Rosario Grain Exchange estimated Argentine soybean plantings at 20.6-20.9 million acres, up from 20.2 million last year. MDA CropCast left their forecast for the US 2014 soybean crop unchanged at 3.85 billion bushels. The Ukraine Stats Office said that the country had harvested 2.14 MMT of rapeseed, 7.72 MMT of sunseed and 2.47 MMT of soybeans so far this year. Weekly export sales data is due for release tomorrow, delayed a day due to the Columbus Day holiday on Monday. Trade estimates for soybean sales are around 650-750 TMT versus 923,400 MT a week ago. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.66 1/2, up 14 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.74 1/4, up 13 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $334.60, up $7.30; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.36, up 30 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 4-5 cents higher, with fund money seen covering in around 3,000 lots of their short. MDA CropCast held steady with their US 2014 corn production estimate at 14.547 billion bushels, saying that drier Midwest weather this week will have allowed for better harvest progress to be made. The Rosario Grain Exchange estimated corn plantings in Argentina down 16% this year at 3.7 million hectares. Russia said that it had harvested 7.7 MMT of corn so far off 63.9% of the planned area. Ukraine's corn harvest stands at 9.48 MMT to date. Spain said that they'd imported 740 TMT of corn in the first two months of the 2014/15 marketing year (Jul/Aug), a 37% rise year-on-year. Strategie Grains raised their forecast for the EU-28 2014 corn harvest by almost 2 MMT to 73.3 MMT, a 14% hike compared with a year ago. EU corn plantings in 2015 will fall 2%, they predict. The USDA reported the sale of 120 TMT of US corn to "unknown destinations" for 2014/15 delivery. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 1.2-1.5 MMT. The US Energy Dept reported ethanol production at 885k barrels/day, down from 901k a week ago. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.52 1/4, up 4 3/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.65 1/4, up 4 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with double digit gains across the three exchanges. Russia's 2014 wheat harvest now stands at 60.5 MMT off 22.9 million hectares, or 93% of the planted area. Yields are up 12.3% at 2.64 MT/ha. The Ukraine wheat harvest is over at 24.55 MMT, with barley production coming in at 9.3 MMT, said their Stats Office. Russian winter grain plantings are nearing completion at 96% done on 15.8 million ha. Ukraine winter wheat plantings are 93% done on 5.7 million hectares. Good rains are in the 14 day forecast for both. Russia only picked up 28,755 MT of grain at their regular intervention purchase round. The cumulative total to date is only 141,325 MT out of an intended target of 4-5 MMT. The Rosario Grain Exchange forecast the 2014 Argentine wheat harvest at 12 MMT, up 26% from a year ago. Harvesting of that takes place in Dec-Jan. Strategie Grains raised their forecast for the EU-28 soft wheat crop from 146.6 MMT to 147.4 MMT, up 9% on a year ago. They also increased their EU-28 barley production estimate from 59.6 MMT to 59.9 MMT. They said that they expect soft wheat plantings for the 2015 harvest to hold steady at more than 24 million hectares. The 2015 EU barley area will drop 2%, they added. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 400-500 TMT. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.17, up 11 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.05, up 13 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.76 1/2, up 11 3/4 cents.

17-10-2014 09:09 AM | Chicago Reports
16/10/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed higher on short-covering, although there was a general lack of fresh news to get excited about. US weather leans friendly for decent harvest progress to be made across the weekend. Crude oil dipped below $80/barrel at one point, but rallied later in the day to close at $82.70/barrel, which may have provided late support to beans. The Rosario Grain Exchange estimated Argentine soybean plantings at 20.6-20.9 million acres, up from 20.2 million last year. MDA CropCast left their forecast for the US 2014 soybean crop unchanged at 3.85 billion bushels. The Ukraine Stats Office said that the country had harvested 2.14 MMT of rapeseed, 7.72 MMT of sunseed and 2.47 MMT of soybeans so far this year. Weekly export sales data is due for release tomorrow, delayed a day due to the Columbus Day holiday on Monday. Trade estimates for soybean sales are around 650-750 TMT versus 923,400 MT a week ago. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.66 1/2, up 14 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.74 1/4, up 13 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $334.60, up $7.30; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.36, up 30 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 4-5 cents higher, with fund money seen covering in around 3,000 lots of their short. MDA CropCast held steady with their US 2014 corn production estimate at 14.547 billion bushels, saying that drier Midwest weather this week will have allowed for better harvest progress to be made. The Rosario Grain Exchange estimated corn plantings in Argentina down 16% this year at 3.7 million hectares. Russia said that it had harvested 7.7 MMT of corn so far off 63.9% of the planned area. Ukraine's corn harvest stands at 9.48 MMT to date. Spain said that they'd imported 740 TMT of corn in the first two months of the 2014/15 marketing year (Jul/Aug), a 37% rise year-on-year. Strategie Grains raised their forecast for the EU-28 2014 corn harvest by almost 2 MMT to 73.3 MMT, a 14% hike compared with a year ago. EU corn plantings in 2015 will fall 2%, they predict. The USDA reported the sale of 120 TMT of US corn to "unknown destinations" for 2014/15 delivery. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 1.2-1.5 MMT. The US Energy Dept reported ethanol production at 885k barrels/day, down from 901k a week ago. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.52 1/4, up 4 3/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.65 1/4, up 4 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with double digit gains across the three exchanges. Russia's 2014 wheat harvest now stands at 60.5 MMT off 22.9 million hectares, or 93% of the planted area. Yields are up 12.3% at 2.64 MT/ha. The Ukraine wheat harvest is over at 24.55 MMT, with barley production coming in at 9.3 MMT, said their Stats Office. Russian winter grain plantings are nearing completion at 96% done on 15.8 million ha. Ukraine winter wheat plantings are 93% done on 5.7 million hectares. Good rains are in the 14 day forecast for both. Russia only picked up 28,755 MT of grain at their regular intervention purchase round. The cumulative total to date is only 141,325 MT out of an intended target of 4-5 MMT. The Rosario Grain Exchange forecast the 2014 Argentine wheat harvest at 12 MMT, up 26% from a year ago. Harvesting of that takes place in Dec-Jan. Strategie Grains raised their forecast for the EU-28 soft wheat crop from 146.6 MMT to 147.4 MMT, up 9% on a year ago. They also increased their EU-28 barley production estimate from 59.6 MMT to 59.9 MMT. They said that they expect soft wheat plantings for the 2015 harvest to hold steady at around 25 million hectares. The 2015 EU barley area will drop 2%, they added. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 400-500 TMT. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.17, up 11 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.05, up 13 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.76 1/2, up 11 3/4 cents.

16-10-2014 09:59 AM | Chicago Reports
15/10/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower, in line with falling equities and commodities in general. "Fears of slowing global economy and spread of Ebola in the US to a second nurse in Dallas triggered the massive sell off in US equities and broad market with losses in the Dow and S&P at times wiping out all of 2014 market gains," said Benson Quinn Commodities. NYMEX crude is now threatening to fall below $80/barrel for the first time since June 2012. The September NOPA crush came in at 99.97 million bushels, down from 110.6 in August, and below trade estimates. This was said to be the lowest level since Aug 2004, although tightness in availability was almost certainly a contributing factor. News after last night's close that the US 2014 soybean harvest was 40% complete was also bearish. Even though that's behind the 5-year average, it's a lot better than the 30-33% that the trade was expecting. Planting progress in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s largest soybean state with a 30% share of national output, remains slow waiting for rains to arrive. "Dryness is expected to continue in the upcoming week in Mato Grosso, though not as extreme as previously, as a few showers predicted in the Center West. Late October may bring even heavier rain. The outlook for October 22-28, calls for near average moisture in pocket of the farm belt though many soybean farms would continue on the dry side," said Martell Crop Projections. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.52 1/2, down 12 1/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.61, down 12 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $327.30, up $3.30; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.98, down 89 points.

Corn: The corn market ended with losses of the best part of 10 cents. As with beans, macro-economic worries weighed on corn, along with slumping crude oil prices as the US embrace shale gas production. The Ukraine Ag Ministry estimated this year's grain harvest at a record 64.4 MMT, saying that exports would exceed last season's 33 MMT, without giving an exact figure. Much of that will be corn, although these estimates look rather optimistic given the problems that they've had this year. Other, perhaps more realistic, trade estimates have Ukraine's grain crop at around 57-58 MMT, with exports in the region of 26-27 MMT. The Ukraine Ministry say that exports so far this season total just under 10 MMT. The Ukraine government said that they are in negotiations with Europe to obtain further permission to export corn to the bloc on a duty free basis. The existing 800 TMT corn quota has already been fully taken up. The Ukraine's said that they are hoping for the new quota period to commence on Nov 1, immediately after the old one expires. Russia said that it had harvested 7.6 MMT of corn so far this season, off 1.7 million hectares, or 62.3% of the planned area. They said that average yields this year are 4.59 MT/ha versus 5.2 MT/ha a year ago. There will be no weekly export sales figures tomorrow due to Monday's Columbus Day holiday, these will be released on Friday. Last night's US harvest progress figure of 24% from the USDA was in line with expectations, although well behind the norm. There is however talk of an extended period of dryness coming for much of the Corn Belt, which may allow for good advancement to be made. It has been shown in recent years that US farmers can harvest 25% of the entire corn crop in a week, given modern technology and equipment, if the weather is conducive. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.47 1/2, down 9 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.60 1/2, down 9 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed, down in Chicago and up a little in Kansas and Minneapolis. Ukraine said that it had exported 5.9 MMT of wheat so far this season. Rusagrotrans raised their estimate for Russian grain exports (most of which will be wheat) in October from 3.0 MMT to 3.3-3.4 MMT. That would be a modest decline from 3.75 MMT in September, but still a record for the month, beating the previous best October total of 2.88 MMT set in 2011. The President of the Brazilian Millers Association said that wheat imports from the US would decrease sharply in 2015, following record domestic production and a strong recovery in output in neighbouring Argentina, who get a preferential deal in exporting wheat to Brazil as they are part of the Mercosur trade bloc. Brazil imported 6.6 MMT of wheat in 2013, with around half of it coming from the US following poor harvests domestically and in Argentina. They've imported 4.6 MMT of wheat in the first nine months of 2014, with around 2 MMT of that total coming from the US. Pakistan said that they expect growers there to plant 8.91 million hectares of wheat this year, up from 8.83 million a year ago. Production will rise from 25 MMT to 26 MMT in 2015, the Ministry said. Planting takes place October/November, with harvesting April/May. Russia said that it's 2015 wheat harvest was complete on 22.9 million hectares, or 92.9% of plan, producing a crop of 60.4 MMT in bunker weight to date. Average yields are 2.64 MT/ha, up more than 12% from 2.35 MT/ha a year ago. The Russian Grain Union forecast the 2014 wheat crop at 60 MMT in clean weight. The Russian Ministry estimated winter grain plantings at 93.9% complete. Rain is now needed, and fortunately for them that's exactly what is in the forecast, with Agritel predicting the best significant rain even of the autumn in the coming days. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.06, down 3 1/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.92, up 1 3/4 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.64 3/4, up 1/2 cent.

15-10-2014 09:39 AM | Chicago Reports
14/10/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed sharply higher on what looks like fresh speculative buying. The seasonal lows are in, that seems to be what the market is thinking. "The funds are taking technical signals from yesterday and today and have turned buyers with big yields and big crops pretty well priced into the market and downside risk from current levels seems muted. And it seems this fund buying not just short covering but is new money entering the market as yesterday’s rally was accompanied by a 7,411 increase in open interest that at 820,956 lots is now approaching the 2012 record open interest of 833,271 contracts," said Benson Quinn Commodities. They estimated fund buying in beans at around a net 15,000 lots on the day. After the close the USDA said that this year's US soybean harvest was 40% done, which is better than many in the trade were expecting even if it is 13 points behind the 5-year average. Crop condition ratings were unchanged at 73% good to excellent. Weekly export inspections came in at an impressive 1.428 MMT. Plantings in Brazil are slow to get going with only 5.7% of the crop in the ground, according to Safras e Mercado. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.64 3/4, up 19 1/2 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.73 1/4, up 20 cents; Oct 14 Soybean Meal closed at $366.00, up $22.60; Oct 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.44, down 44 points. Both the latter two October contracts went off the board today, so the closes were a bit technical.

Corn: The corn market ended with strong gains for a second session. Funds were featured buyers, picking up an estimated 10-12,000 contracts on the day. South Korea's KOCOPIA bought 55 TMT of optional origin corn form March shipment. Coceral forecast the EU-28 corn crop at a record 72.79 MMT. That's up 15% from the 63.15 MMT produced last year, and also up sharply on their last estimate of 64.6 MMT in June and above the USDA's 71.02 MMT from Friday. They see the French corn crop at 16.66 MMT versus 14.47 MMT a year ago; Romania is at 11.35 MMT from 10.26 MMT in 2013; Hungary is at 8.98 MMT versus 6.72 MMT last year; Germany is at 4.8 MMT versus 4.07 MMT in 2013. After the close the USDA gave us their one day delayed crop progress report. That put the 2014 US corn harvest at 24% complete versus 17% a year ago. That was broadly in line with expectations, although it lags the 5-year average of 43% significantly. It would seem that US farmers have been more intent on harvesting their soybeans this past week, and with front end premiums to be had in beans who can blame them? US corn crop ratings were unchanged from a week ago at an historically high 74% good to excellent. They said that 87% of the crop was mature versus 89% for the 5-year average. Weekly export inspections for last week were decent enough at 933,788 MT. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.57, up 11 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.70, up 11 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher on short-covering and spillover support from corn. Wet weather in southern Brazil is seen delaying the 2014 wheat harvest there, and also potentially harming yields and quality. "Approximately 60% of the wheat in Parana has been harvested and there are reports that the latest harvested wheat in the state is of lower quality. Very little of the wheat in Rio Grande do Sul has been harvested, but parts of the state have received even more rainfall than Parana. Over 90% of Brazil's wheat is produced in these two states," said Dr Cordonnier. "Conab is currently estimating that Brazil will import 5.5 million tons of wheat to meet the domestic demand of 12.2 million tons. If the wheat crop in Rio Grande do Sul turns out to be as poor as some are expecting, Brazil may end up importing a million tons more than the current estimate," he added. Coceral raised their estimate for the EU-28 soft wheat crop from 141.9 MMT to 147.93 MMT, up sharply on 136.45 MMT a year ago. After the close the USDA said that US winter wheat plantings for the 2015 harvest are 68% complete, up from 56% done a week ago and compared to the 5-year average of 67%. Emergence is at 43% versus 28% last week and 37% for the 5-year average. Weekly export inspections weren't great at 432,880 MT, well below both the previous week and a year ago. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.09 1/4, up 4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.90 1/4, up 6 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.64 1/4, up 5 1/2 cents.

14-10-2014 09:49 AM | Chicago Reports
13/10/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans rallied strongly, regaining all of Friday's losses. Harvest delays were the reason, now that the October WASDE report is out of the way. The US dollar was a little lower today, which also added some support. Unfortunately the usual Monday night crop progress report was missing tonight due to the Columbus Day holiday. The USDA will release that tomorrow. Trade talk suggests that the 2014 soybean harvest may be around 30-33% done. Progress last week was 20% complete, up 10 points from the previous week, so 30% or more looks achievable. Export inspection numbers will also be delayed until tomorrow. Are the lows of the year now in? Trade talk suggests that many still expect further US yield increases from the USDA in coming WASDE reports, possibly reaching close to 50 bu/acre by the January report versus the 47.1 bu/acre that they gave us on Friday. That might suggest that we could go lower yet, especially given that record plantings and production are expected from Brazil and Argentina early in 2015. Brazilian plantings are stalled in the north/centre of the country though, waiting for rains. Chinese customs data shows that they imported just over 5 MMT of soybeans in September, down nearly 17% from a little over 6 MMT in August, although a decline at this time of year is normal. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.45 1/4, up 22 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.53 1/4, up 22 3/4 cents; Oct 14 Soybean Meal closed at $343.40, up $4.10; Oct 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.88, up 60 points.

Corn: The corn market also closed with good gains that managed to erase all of Friday's losses. Again harvest delays were the main reason, prompting some short-covering. "The morning radar shows strong showers in the central-southern Great Plains and Mid South. Showers would advance east bringing more unwanted rain to the Midwest. At least 1.25 inch of rain is predicted today and Tuesday in corn and soybeans, but 3-4 inches in the Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes and Eastern Midwest," said Martell Crop Projections. Trade expectations are for the US 2014 corn harvest to be around 25% complete when the USDA release their delayed crop progress report tomorrow. That would be only a modest advancement of 8 points from a week ago, which looks doable. Again the big question everyone is asking is are the lows in? According to a report on Agrimoney the general consensus is no. "Typically, the feeling goes, harvest has to be about 75+% through before a low is formed," they say. Only time will tell. Trade gossip suggests that many are looking for further US corn yield increases to come versus Friday's 174.2 bu/acre, with some suggesting close to 180 bu/acre being nearer to the truth at the end of the day. The USDA noted record ear numbers in corn this year, they didn't mention that these ears are also unusually long this year too - further increasing yield potential. The fact that the harvest is so delayed this year means that the USDA had less information available to them than normal when formulating their October yield estimates, or so the theory goes. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.46, up 12 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.58 1/2, up 11 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher in sympathy with corn and beans, and is now back up above $5/bushel in Chicago. "Even when the wheat market traded firm and challenged the daily highs, I didn’t get the impression there was a big push to cover shorts. I expect the wheat market would have struggled to post higher trade at points during the session if corn and soybeans had not posted higher trade," said Benson Quinn's Brian Henry. Algeria were said to have bought around 600 TMT of wheat last week, although none of it is likely to be US origin. Egypt said that it now has enough wheat bought to last it until the first week of March. That doesn't count them out of keeping coming back in for further tenders between now and then though. They do appear to have a plan to reduce their dependency on wheat imports a little though, with the government saying that they intend to cut their international purchases to 4.0-4.5 MMT next year. Friday's surprisingly low US stocks numbers came courtesy of a rise in exports and an increased domestic feed usage of wheat. Traders are questioning the latter in particular, given the huge domestic corn crop that is on the way. What they now have at 654 million bushels could still end up at 700+ million it is thought. Winter grain plantings in Ukraine and Russia are well advance according to latest Ministry estimates. The Ukraine Ministry say that growers there have planted over 6 million ha (81% of plan), and in Russia 15.2 million (92%) has already been sown. Wheat will account for the vast majority of that in both countries. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.05 1/4, up 6 3/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.84 1/4, up 6 1/2 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.58 3/4, up 5 1/2 cents.

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