Chicago Close -Tuesday

06/12/16 -- Beans closed higher, there was no "Turnaround Tuesday" today even if we did finish well off the intra-day highs. The USDA announced the sale of 198,000 MT of US soybeans for delivery to China during the 2016/17 marketing year, along with 246,000 MT to "unknown" and 132,000 MT to "unknown" for delivery during the 2017/18 marketing year. Stats Canada released a Canadian soybean production estimate of 6.46 MMT against the expected 6.2 MMT. European rapeseed prices are hitting 2 1/2 year highs on tight availability and already early concerns over plantings for 2017. Brazilian weather conditions look very good, Argentina less so. Brazil is 90% planted versus 88% last year and 80% on average at this time. The Argentine weather service is saying there's a high probability of Dec/Jan/Feb being drier than normal in central areas and Buenos Aires province, with temps normal to above normal. Jan 17 Soybeans closed at $10.47 3/4, up 4 1/4 cents; Mar 17 Soybeans closed at $10.57 3/4, up 4 1/2 cents; Dec 16 Soybean Meal closed at $320.20, up $2.50; Dec 16 Soybean Oil closed at 37.62, up 13 points.

Corn: Corn closed with small gains. The USDA reported sales of 276,000 MT of corn for delivery to South Korea during the 2016/17 marketing year under the daily reporting system. Stats Canada came out with a Canadian 2016 corn output estimate of 13.19 MMT versus the expected 13.1 MMT and compared to 13.56 MMT in 2015. Net US ethanol exports set an all-time record for the month of October and were the highest single month net export volume in 5 years at 122 million gallons the month before last. This was led by big sales to Canada and Brazil in the amounts of 35 million gallons and 43 million gallons respectively, reported FCStone. US DDG exports for October were slightly above the volume in September at 1.005 MMT. China continues to be a small customer compared to past years with only 124.7 TMT for the month, they add. Argentine weather remains a concern, although early calls on production are around 25-27% higher due to a sharp increase in plantings. Romania reported that it's 2016 corn harvest was down 5.6% on last year at 8.47 MMT due to a dry summer. In Russia, corn harvesting is 85.8% complete at 14.6 MMT. Dec 16 Corn closed at $3.51, up 1 1/2 cents; Mar 17 Corn closed at $3.60 1/2, up 1 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed. Stats Canada put total Canadian wheat production at 31.7 MMT on a national average yield of 53.2 bu/acre. The trade was only expecting production at 30.7 MMT. This is also now 200,000 MT higher than the USDA's November estimate. ABARES ahev the Australian crop at 32.64 MMT versus the USDA’s 28.3 MMT estimate in November. Ikar cut their Russian wheat export forecast from 29 MMT to 28.5 MMT (USDA: 30.0 MMT) citing unfavourable weather and its impact on logistics, and intensified competition. "When the USDA first posited the export number for Russia it said it was a very aggressive number that required near perfection to achieve," said FCStone. Tunisia were said to have bought 117,000 MT of soft wheat for Jan/Feb shipment in a tender, along with 55,000 MT of feed barley, both of optional origin. Traders surmise that the wheat may have been most likely of Argentine or Russian origin. China only sold 15% of the 2.8 MMT of wheat reserves offered up for sale at auction. Jordan were said to have bought 50,000 MT of milling wheat of optional origin in a tender. Dec 16 CBOT Wheat closed at $3.89 1/2, up 1/4 cent; Dec 16 KCBT Wheat closed at $3.87, down 3 1/4 cents; Dec 16 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.38 3/4, up 1 1/4 cents.

EU Grains Closing Comments - Tuesday

06/12/16 -- EU grains closed mostly mixed. Paris wheat rebounded from yesterday's contract lows and rapeseed marched on to new highs.

At the close Jan 17 London wheat was down GBP0.50/tonne at GBP135.20/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was EUR3.00/tonne higher at EUR159.50/tonne, Jan 17 Paris corn was EUR0.25/tonne firmer at EUR163.00/tonne and Feb 17 Paris rapeseed was up EUR1.50/tonne to EUR414.00/tonne.

Rapeseed continues to hit new highs, with prices currently at their best levels since April 2014, on reduced production and stocks this year and concerns already over the state of autumn plantings in countries like the UK, France and Ukraine.

Strong demand for soybeans is adding support for rapeseed, along with steady global soybean and palm oil prices.

Tunisia were said to have bought 117,000 MT of soft wheat for Jan/Feb shipment in a tender, along with 55,000 MT of feed barley, both of optional origin. Traders surmise that the wheat may have been most likely of Argentine or Russian origin.

Romania reported that it's 2016 corn harvest was down 5.6% on last year at 8.47 MMT due to a dry summer. That's also 25% below the bumper crop achieved in 2014.

Kazakhstan said that they'd produced a 23.68 MMT in bunker weight, or 21 MMT in clean weight, grain crop this year. Wheat production will account for around 16 MMT of that clean weight total (the USDA are currently at 16.5 MMT). The USDA issue revised global S&D estimates on Friday.

Ikar cut their Russian wheat export forecast from 29 MMT to 28.5 MMT (USDA: 30.0 MMT) citing unfavorable weather and its impact on logistics, and intensified competition.

"When the USDA first posited the export number for Russia it said it was a very aggressive number that required near perfection to achieve," said FCStone.

Still, if they don't export it this year it will still be there as carryover stocks running into 2017/18.

The Russian Ag Ministry said that this year's wheat harvest was 98.2% complete at 75.9 MMT. Corn harvesting is 85.8% complete at 14.6 MMT.

Ukraine said that it had exported a record more than 1.35 MMT of corn in October, and has the potential to ship out around 18 MMT in total this season, some 9% more than in 2015/16.

Chicago Beans And Corn Start Week On The Offensive

05/12/16 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with decent gains to start the week, helped out by another set of strong weekly export inspections - 1.91 MMT. Loadings to date are running 4.1 MMT ahead of a year ago vs the 3.1 MMT projected for the full marketing year by the USDA. Adding to the friendly tone was the USDA announcing export sales of 426,000 MT of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2016/17 marketing year under the daily reporting system. ABIOVE raised projected Brazilian production to 101.4 MMT (but still lower than the 102 MMT predicted by the USDA). They also cut old crop soybean production by 500,000 MT to 96.1 MMT (96.5 MMT from the USDA). Informa estimated Argentina's new crop at 56 MMT (USDA: 57 MMT). Jan 17 Soybeans closed at $10.43 1/2, up 16 cents; Mar 17 Soybeans closed at $10.53 1/4, up 16 cents; Dec 16 Soybean Meal closed at $317.70, up $7.00; Dec 16 Soybean Oil closed at 37.49, down 2 points.

Corn: The market closed with strong gains helped by a weaker US dollar and the decent gains posted by crude oil in recent sessions. There also seemed to be an element of "risk on" buying in various commodities maybe associated with the new month. Talk that South Korean buyers have been active buyers of not less than 10 cargoes of US corn in the past few days after global prices hit 2-month lows also leaned friendly. Weekly US export inspections of 1.15 MMT were better than expected too and over 3 times the level a year ago. Loadings to date are running 6.46 MMT over a year ago versus the USDA's projection for full season exports to top last year by 8.32 MMT. Informa was unchanged on Argentine corn production at 36.5 MMT, the same as the USDA. In Russia the corn harvest is 85.8% over at 14.6 MMT. APK Inform said that Ukraine seaports exported 456.4 TMT of corn last week, up from 438.1 TMT the previous week. Dec 16 Corn closed at $3.49 1/2, up 12 cents; Mar 17 Corn closed at $3.59 1/4, up 12 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market mixed, Weekly export inspections came in at 453,633 MT, 85% larger than the previous week but that was a particular poor effort. This week's total was in line with expectations. "Even though this week’s loadings were nearly double a year ago values they are running around where they are normally for this general time period. This creates a situation which will likely cause the year’s total to fall short of the USDA expectations of a yoy increase of 5.44 MMT. So far the year to date numbers is 3 MMT over a year ago," said FCStone. Wheat has been getting some support from cold weather potentially threatening the US winter crop, exposed by little snow cover. ABARES forecast a record Australian wheat harvest of 32.64 MMT this year, up almost 35% on year ago levels due to favourable weather in the east. The Russian Ag Ministry said that their 2016 wheat harvest had now reached 75.9 MMT in bunker weight off 98.2% of the planned area. Dec 16 CBOT Wheat closed at $3.89 1/4, up 1 3/4 cents; Dec 16 KCBT Wheat closed at $3.90 1/4, up 1/4 cent; Dec 16 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.37 1/2, down 5 1/2 cents.

EU Grains Mostly Lower, But Rapeseed Presses On To New Highs

05/12/16 -- EU grains closed mostly lower, save for rapeseed which pressed on to new highs.

The day ended with Jan 17 London wheat down GBP1.25/tonne at GBP135.70/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was EUR3.50/tonne lower at EUR156.50/tonne, Jan 17 Paris corn was down EUR0.75/tonne to EUR162.75/tonne and Feb 17 Paris rapeseed was up EUR2.75/tonne to EUR412.50/tonne.

For rapeseed this was new highest close on the continuous front month chart since April 2014, yet for Dec 16 wheat this was a lifetime contract low!

As the HGCA's Jack Watts said recently, trading London wheat is trading the currency market by proxy. And so it was again today with sterling briefly hitting 1.2040 against the euro, it's best levels since late June after Italy’s Prime Minster conceded defeat in the country’s weekend constitutional referendum.

Sterling also hit an eight-week high against the US dollar today.

Overall though despite recent gains (the pound closed below 1.10 against the single currency as recently as Oct 11), sterling is still 10% lower versus the euro since the Brexit vote. Despite recent falls, Jan 17 London wheat is still up 15% since the UK voted to leave the EU on Ju1 21 - most of that increase being clearly due to currency weakness rather than anything else.

Where the pound goes from here therefore looks like the major contributory factor to the future of London wheat price for the remainder of the season. Further sterling strength will hurt what has so far been a very good start to exports, and will also make newly harvested imported corn cheaper. A return to renewed sterling weakness in 2017 will of course have the opposite effect.

In grain news, Saudi Arabia were said to have bought 945 TMT of feed barley in their tender for 960 TMT, paying from around $178-192/tonne C&F for Jan/Mar shipment.

Australia's ABARES forecast a record wheat harvest of 32.64 MMT this year, up almost 35% on year ago levels due to favourable weather in the east. Barley production will rise 24% despite lower plantings to an also record 10.64 MMT, they said. Canola output was pegged at 3.58 MMT, a 21.6% increase compared to a year ago.

Strategie Grains estimated this year's EU-28 rapeseed crop at 20.08 MMT, down 8.7% on a year ago.

The Russian Ag Ministry said that their 2016 wheat harvest had now reached 75.9 MMT in bunker weight off 98.2% of the planned area. Barley harvesting is 97.3% complete at 19.1 MMT and the corn harvest is 85.8% over at 14.6 MMT.

APK Inform reported that Ukraine seaports increased the volume of their grain exports last week to 922.5 TMT, up from 836.3 TMT the previous week. That included 403.9 TMT of wheat, 456.4 TMT of corn and 62.2 TMT of barley.

Chicago Close - Friday

02/12/16 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed slightly lower on the day and the best part of 20 cents easier for the week. Oil was down, but still posted decent weekly advances. Weakness in the Brazilian real and Argentine peso are bearish. Brazilian weather conditions look mostly ideal, although they are more mixed in Argentina. The latter is 46% planted compared to 54% last year at this time. There were no news US sales to China today under the daily reporting system. Maybe they are finally switching their attention to South America? Jan 17 Soybeans settled at $10.27 1/2, down 2 1/4 cents; Mar 17 Soybeans settled at $10.37 1/4, down 1 3/4 cents; Dec 16 Soybean Meal settled at $310.70, down $0.20; Dec 16 Soybean Oil settled at 37.51, down 13 points. For the week that puts nearby beans 18 1/2 cents easier, with meal down $10.10 and oil up 85 points.

Corn: Corn closed around 4-5 cents higher. Ukraine reported their corn harvest to be 90% complete at 24.2 MMT. The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that the country's total grain exports so far this season total 18.4 MMT, of which 4.5 MMT is corn. Russia's corn harvest is 85% complete at 14.4 MMT and well on the way to setting a new all-time high. Argentine corn planting is said to be 43% complete on 2.12 million ha. That's only up 2 points on the week and 9 points behind average. FranceAgriMer reported that the French corn harvest is virtually done at 99% complete compared to 98% the week prior and in line with the year on year norm. South Korea’s Nonghyup Feed Group are said to be in the market for as much as 276,000 MT of optional origin corn for March 30th through April 30th delivery. Dec 16 Corn settled at $3.37 1/2, up 5 3/4 cents; Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.47 1/4, up 4 3/4 cents. For the week Dec 16 corn was 11 3/4 cents weaker and Mar 17 fell 11 cents.

Wheat: Wheat closed higher, led by the front end in Chicago. Argentine wheat is 11.1% harvested. Stats Canada are due out with their latest production estimates on Tuesday. The average estimate for all-wheat production puts the Canadian crop at 30.7 MMT, which is the largest in three years. Algeria were said to have bought at least 120,000 MT of durum wheat for Jan/Feb shipment in a tender. Tunisia are in the market for 109,000 MT of soft wheat and 50,000 MT of feed barley. FranceAgriMer reported that 22% of the French winter wheat crop is at the early tillering stage, down from 53% this time a year ago. rench winter wheat rated good to very good was 94%, unchanged from a week ago, but 3 points down on this time in 2015. Dec 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $3.87 1/2, up 16 cents; Dec 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $3.90, up 6 cents; Dec 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.43, up 2 cents. For the week nearby Chicago wheat was down 8 1/4 cents, Kansas fell 21 1/4 cents and Minneapolis was up 8 3/4 cents.

EU Grains Mostly Lower On The Day And For The Week

02/12/16 -- EU grains closed mostly lower on the day and for the week, although rapeseed finished the week an overall net gainer.

At the finish Jan 17 London wheat was down GBP0.30/tonne at GBP136.95/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was down EUR0.25/tonne at EUR160.00/tonne, Jan 17 Paris corn ended EUR0.50/tonne lower at EUR163.50/tonne and Feb 17 Paris rapeseed closed EUR1.25/tonne easier at EUR409.75/tonne.

For the week that places London wheat GBP3.80/tonne lower, with Paris wheat down EUR8.25/tonne, corn off EUR3.00/tonne and rapeseed EUR8.00/tonne better.

Sterling was firmer against a weaker US dollar, and a particularly weak euro, pressuring London wheat.

This was the fifth week in a row that the pound has gained on the euro - it's best run in nine months as "hard-Brexit" fears eased a little. The euro is facing an uncertain time ahead, with a variety of European votes, polls and referendums to overcome against the backdrop of the constant fear of a growing "protest vote" in Europe, following the Brexit and Trump surprise successes.

The pound finished the day at a near 3-month euro high and a 2-month peak versus the US dollar.

FranceAgriMer reported that 22% of the French winter wheat crop is at the early tillering stage, down from 53% this time a year ago. Only 35% of their winter barley crop is at the same stage compared to 73% this time last year.

French winter wheat rated good to very good was 94%, unchanged from a week ago, but 3 points down on this time in 2015. Winter barley conditions were also unchanged at 92% (98% a year ago).

In the UK, "About 35% of the planted UK winter wheat area was drilled before the end of September, with the majority of the remaining crops drilled during October, with just small areas (about 5%) drilled during early November," said the HGCA.

"Winter barley crops were drilled in good time, with almost 80% of crops drilled by the end of September and the remainder drilled in early October," they added.

"While winter oilseed rape crops established well in the West of the UK, today’s Crop Development report by ADAS confirms that the same can’t be said for crops in the East. In eastern areas, particularly around Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridge, dry seedbeds meant that crops were often slow to emerge and establish. Oilseed rape crop failures were reported on a number of farms, particularly if cabbage stem flea beetle were active," they warned.

In other news, Ukraine said that their 2016 harvest was now 99% complete at 64.4 MMT. That includes a corn harvest that's 90% complete at 24.2 MMT currently.

Algeria were said to have bought at least 120,000 MT of durum wheat for Jan/Feb shipment in a tender. Tunisia are in the market for 109,000 MT of soft wheat and 50,000 MT of feed barley.

New Highs For EU Rapeseed

01/12/16 -- EU grains closed mostly lower, save for rapeseed which marched on to new highs.

At the close Jan 17 London wheat was down GBP0.75/tonne at GBP137.25/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was EUR1.75/tonne lower at EUR160.75/tonne, Jan 17 Paris corn was EUR0.50/tonne easier at EUR164.00/tonne and Feb 17 Paris rapeseed was up EUR3.00/tonne to EUR411.00/tonne.

Another day of sharply higher crude oil prices helped rapeseed push onto levels last seen in April 2014.

Other than that, fresh news was lacking again. Saudi Arabia tendered for 960,000 MT of feed barley for Jan/Mare shipment and Tunisia are in for feed barley and soft wheat.

EU soft wheat exports only advanced by 247,188 MT this week, according to the latest missive from Brussels. That takes the season to date total to a little over 10 MMT.

The EU Commission forecast full season exports at 24 MMT, down 1 MMT from previously.