Chicago Grains All Lower

26/09/16 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower on harvest pressure and demand worries. Weekly export inspections of only 383,953 MT were the lowest since July and down 30% on last week. The USDA did report the sale of 240,000 MT of US soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2016/2017 marketing year, but that was largely ignored today. A lean spell is likely looming for US sales when China begins a week long holiday beginning October 1st. The USDA will release its quarterly stocks report on Friday with trade ideas for beans around 185 million bushels (as of Sep 1st) versus 195 million previously. After the close the USDA left weekly crop conditions unchanged at 73% good to excellent and said that 10% of this year's crop was now harvested (13% on average). Dropping leaves is 68% of the crop compared to 64% on average. The weather is turning drier this week which should advance harvesting. Seasonal lows are frequently set early October. Nov 16 Soybeans settled at $9.45 1/4, down 9 3/4 cents; Jan 17 Soybeans settled at $9.51 1/2, down 9 1/2 cents; Oct 16 Soybean Meal settled at $297.60, down $5.70; Oct 16 Soybean Oil settled at 33.12, down 19 points,

Corn: The market closed around 7 cents lower despite weekly export inspections of 1.335 MMT. That was nearly 65% larger than the same week a year ago. The forecast for better harvest weather across the next 10 days was however the deciding factor. The USDA said that harvesting of this year's crop was 15% complete as of Sunday night, 4 points behind the 5-year average. Crop conditions were left unchanged at 74% good to excellent. They said that 73% of the crop is mature (64% on average) and that 97% of the crop is dented, one point ahead of the norm. Early French corn yields are "confirming a disappointing season" and the harvest there might now struggle to reach 12 MMT, said Agritel. That would be more than 1 MMT below last year. High temperatures will cut this year's Romanian corn crop to "no more than" 8.75 MMT, according to one analyst. Production last year was 12 MMT. The USDA's FAS in the Philippines said that the country might produce 7.9 MMT of corn this year (7.5 MMT a year ago). Imports in 2016/17 are seen at 0.9 MMT versus only 0.1 MMT in 2015/16. Dec 16 Corn settled at $3.29, down 7 1/2 cents; Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.39, down 7 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed sharply lower. Weekly export inspections of 875,049 MT were impressive (up more than 150% from the previous week) but, as with corn, largely ignored. The USDA reported winter wheat planting at 30% done, in line with the 5-year average and trade expectations. Emergence was placed at 8%, also in line with normal. In Brazil, the state of Parana's wheat harvest is said to be 22% done and quality very good this year. That would be detrimental to US export hopes. The Russian Ag Ministry increased their forecast for wheat production there this year to 71 MMT, estimating a total clean weight grain crop of 113 MMT which easily beats the post-Soviet era record of 108 MMT set in 2008. Planting for the 2017 harvest (mostly wheat) is already nearly 60% complete. Russian grain exports have thus far been slow though at 7.83 MMT to Sep 21, a 9% decline versus the same period in 2015/16. Exports were though much better last week at 747.4 TMT versus a poor 229.4 TMT the previous week. Some 595.3 TMT of that was wheat. Dec 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $3.96, down 8 3/4 cents; Dec 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.14, down 7 1/2 cents; Dec 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $4.94 1/2, down 9 1/4 cents.

EU Grains Mostly Lower To Start The Week

26/09/16 -- EU grains closed mostly lower to start the week. Fresh news was relatively scarce.

At the close Nov 16 London wheat was down GBP1.05/tonne at GBP125.65/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was EUR1.25/tonne weaker to EUR160.00/tonne, Nov 16 Paris corn was down EUR2.25/tonne at EUR160.50/tonne, Nov 16 Paris rapeseed was EUR2.00/tonne lower at EUR373.75/tonne.

Rapeseed remains range-bound, having only closed outside the EUR370-380/tonne area once since Aug 12. That seems more heavily influenced by palm oil and soybean prices than rapeseed S&D fundamentals which are tight.

Early French corn yields are "confirming a disappointing season" and the harvest there might now struggle to reach 12 MMT, said Agritel. That would be more than 1 MMT below last year.

Spain on the other hand is expecting a total grain harvest 28% higher than a year ago at 23.82 MMT, according to the Spanish Co-operatives Association. They see wheat output (excluding durum) at 6.93 MMT versus 5.24 MMT a year ago and are forecasting a barley crop of 9.52 MMT (6.85 MMT in 2015). Corn production will however be lower due to a reduction in acreage (3,73 MMT from 3.98 MMT a year ago).

The Russian Ag Ministry increased their forecast for wheat production there this year to 71 MMT, estimating a total clean weight grain crop of 113 MMT which easily beats the post-Soviet era record of 108 MMT set in 2008. Planting for the 2017 harvest is already nearly 60% complete.

Russian exports have thus far been slow though at 7.83 MMT to Sep 21, a 9% decline versus the same period in 2015/16. How much of this is due to the now rescinded wheat export tax, or a lack of quality, remains to be seen. Certainly some of this could be attributed to Egypt's recent shenanigans re ergot.

Russia's exports via seaports did pick up last week, at 747.4 TMT versus a poor 229.4 TMT the previous week. Some 595.3 TMT of that was wheat.

Ukraine's exports continue unabated, with their seaports shipping out 648.4 TMT of grains last week, according to APK Inform. That's up from 596.1 TMT the previous week and was mostly (575.9 TMT) wheat. Top home was Morocco 145 TMT followed by Saudi Arabia (59.9 TMT).

High temperatures will cut this year's Romanian corn crop to "no more than" 8.75 MMT, according to one analyst. Production last year was 12 MMT.

Chicago Soybeans Stumble On Bumper Yield Reports

23/09/16 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed sharply lower to end the week. Continued anecdotal reports of big yields and the outlook for drier weather ahead weighed on the market. "Yield reports though are trumping any weather delays with 60 and 70 bushels yields being bandied about from MO to IA to western MN," said Benson Quinn. Palm oil was lower, and crude sharply weaker. Add in a firmer US dollar and there was little bullish news to end the week. Brazil's Mato Grosso has started soybean planting, so too has Parana where they are 3% done. Coceral estimated the EU-28 rapeseed crop at under 20 MMT compared to 22.3 MMT a year ago. The USDA are at 20 MMT, with consumption at almost 24 MMT. The weekly Commitment of Traders Report showed managed money increasing their net long position by 11,444 contracts for the week ending Tuesday night. Nov 16 Soybeans settled at $9.55, down 21 1/2 cents; Jan 17 Soybeans settled at $9.61, down 21 cents; Oct 16 Soybean Meal settled at $303.30, down $4.60; Oct 16 Soybean Oil settled at 33.31, down 65 points. Versus last Friday beans were 11 cents lower, meal was down $10.40 and oil was up 133 points.

Corn: Corn closed fractionally lower on the day and for the week. Harvest pressure is a negative, with an estimated 20% of the US crop thought likely to have been cut by Sunday night. Still, unlike beans, anecdotal reports from the field on corn are of lower yields than last year. As well as talk of lower yields there's also trade gossip that the wet weather has cause quite a few disease problems this year. That seems to be limiting downside for now. So too does the size of the short held by managed money, placed at -161,592 net contracts as of Tuesday night. One talking point today was the decision by China to place a 33% anti dumping levy on US DDGS imports as they struggle to dispose of their own domestic government-owned corn mountain. Coceral pegged EU-28 corn output 1 MMT down from June, but 3 MMT above last year, at 61 MMT. In Brazil Parana state is said to be 34% planted on corn. The market is drifting along directionless for now. Next Friday, the USDA release their quarterly stocks report that could provide some direction to the market. Dec 16 Corn settled at $3.36 1/2, down 1/4 cent; Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.46 1/4, down 1/2 cent. For the week Dec 16 was 1/2 cent lower and Mar 17 was down a cent.

Wheat: Wheat closed little changed on the day but higher for the week. The Indian government lowered its wheat import tax to 10% from 25% as part of an effort to curb food price inflation. Some are forecasting that this could trigger imports of up to 5 MMT this season. The USDA are currently at 2 MMT. Australian and Black Sea wheat are likely to be the main beneficiaries. Ukraine wheat has been scoring on price recently. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that Argentine wheat is 49% excellent and 35% good out of a planted area of 4.3 million ha this year. Egypt were reported to have bought 240 TMT of Russian wheat in their latest tender, paying around $179/tonne FOB, or $187/tonne C&F. Coceral estimated the EU-28 soft wheat crop at 134 MMT, some 14 MMT less than their June forecast and 18 MMT below last year's record. Barley production in Europe is now seen at 59 MMT versus 61 MMT last year. That's 4 MMT below their June estimate. Dec 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.04 3/4, down 3/4 cent; Dec 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.21 1/2, up 3/4 cent; Dec 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.03 3/4, up 2 1/2 cents. For the week Chicago wheat was up 1 1/2 cents, Kansas was 4 1/4 cents higher and Minneapolis was up 11 cents.

EU Grains Lower On The Day, But Higher For The Week

23/09/16 -- EU grains finished mostly lower on the day but higher for the week. Sterling weakness has once again come to the aid of London wheat this week.

The day ended with Nov 16 London up GBP0.15/tonne at GBP126.70/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was down EUR0.75/tonne at EUR161.25/tonne, Nov 16 corn was up EUR0.75/tonne at EUR162.75/tonne and Nov 16 rapeseed fell EUR4.00/tonne to EUR375.75/tonne.

For the week nearby London wheat was GBP3.10/tonne firmer, Paris wheat was up EUR2.25/tonne, corn gained EUR2.25/tonne and rapeseed was up EUR3.25/tonne.

Egypt's GASC were confirmed to have bought 240,000 MT of Russian wheat in their tender yesterday, paying around $179/tonne FOB, or circa $187/tonne C&F.

Whether the purchase marks a permanent change of policy on the issue of ergot remains to be seen, hence trader reluctance to participate in this latest tender.

FranceAgriMer pegged French corn crop conditions unchanged from a week ago at 54% good to very good. Harvesting of that crop is said to be 1% complete nationally versus 3% this time a year ago.

This stabilising of crop conditions may mean that he worst is over for the French crop, pegged today by Coceral at just 12.16 MMT, down 1 MMT from a year ago, and that was hardly a vintage crop.

Coceral placed the French total grain harvest at 54.5 MMT, down 24% on 71.7 MMT a year ago. Overall the EU-28 cereal crop was placed at 293 MMT versus 311 MMT in 2015.

The EU-28 soft wheat crop was estimated at 134 MMT, some 14 MMT less than their June forecast and 18 MMT below last year's record. Production in the UK was placed at 14.7 MMT, down nearly 11% on 16.5 MMT a year ago.

Barley production in Europe is now seen at 59 MMT versus 61 MMT last year. That's 4 MMT below their June estimate.

Total EU-28 corn output was forecast 1 MMT down from June, but 3 MMT above last year, at 61 MMT.

Whilst there might be less grain around in Europe this year, that isn't the case everywhere however. Wheat production in 2016/17 is forecast higher in Argentina, Australia, Canada, the US, Russia and Kazakhstan - all big exporting nations. Indeed, the current USDA forecast for the world wheat crop is 10 MMT higher than it was a year ago, and for corn it's up by 68 MMT.

Russia's 2016 grain harvest has now reached the 108 MMT mark with 13.5% of the planted area still left to cut, according to the Ag Ministry there. Wheat production currently stands at 73.2 MMT off 92.5% of the cultivated area. Barley harvesting is 94% complete at 18.5 MMT, and corn is 18.8% cut at 2.9 MMT. Plantings for the 2017 harvest at now past 60% complete on 10.5 million ha.

Kazakhstan said that their harvest is 80% complete at 18.4 MMT, with final production estimated at 22 MMT in bunker weight or 21 MMT in clean weight.

Chicago Grains End Lower

22/09/16 -- Soycomplex: Soybeans closed with small gains. Weekly export sales were at the low end of expectations coming in at 875,700 MT, of which China bought around half (409,900 MT). The USDA also reported 240,000 MT of sales to China (of which half was optional origin) and 151,000 MT to unknown under the daily reporting system. Despite this week's sales disappointing total commitments are still running 6.26 MMT ahead of last year at this time. Early US harvest reports are encouraging. "US field reports of early harvest continue to flow in and they are consistently at or above record," said FCStone. A Bloomberg survey into trader/analyst sentiment found 9 bulls, 16 bears and 6 neutrals on beans. Chinese bean imports for August were 7.671 MMT. Nov 16 Soybeans settled at $9.76 1/2, up 1 cent; Jan 17 Soybeans settled at $9.82, up 1 cent; Oct 16 Soybean Meal settled at $307.90, down $0.80; Oct 16 Soybean Oil settled at 33.96, up 56 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 3 cents lower. The USDA reported weekly export sales of 921,900 MT, in line with trade ideas. Total season so far commitments are running 8.14 MMT ahead of a year ago helped by the lack of availability coming out of Brazil. As the US harvest gathers pace "field reports from producers are mentioning that yields are good, just not great like they were hoping/expecting," said Benson Quinn. China reported DDGS imports of 508 TMT in August, down 36% from a year ago. Corn imports were virtually zero. The Chinese government sold virtually none of the 3.6 MMT of 2013 crop corn offered up at auction today. Russia reported that it's 2016 corn harvest was now 17.7% complete at 2.7 MMT. Average yields are coming in at 5.28 MT/ha versus 5.06 MT/ha a year ago. A crop of around a record 14 MMT is now expected. A Bloomberg survey into trader/analyst sentiment found 3 bulls, 15 bears and 13 neutrals on corn. Dec 16 Corn settled at $3.36 3/4, down 3 1/4 cents; Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.46 3/4, down 3 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed. Weekly export sales came in a little above trade expectations at 561,000 MT. Egypt picked up four sellers in their tender to buy wheat at 0.05% ergot. Sellers still appear reluctant to participate as they are not above re-introducing their zero tolerance stance retrospectively. Offers were above previous levels and appear to have contained a bit of "protection money". Results are not known yet. Brussels issued 452,000 MT worth of EU soft wheat export licences, taking the volume granted so far this season to almost 25% higher than a year ago. Russia said that it's 2016 wheat harvest was now 91.9% done at 73 MMT. Planting of winter grains (mostly wheat) for the 2017 harvest is 59.1% complete on 10.3 million ha. Jordan tendered for 100,000 MT each of hard wheat and feed barley. Chinese wheat imports for the month of August were 347,733 MT. A Bloomberg survey into trader/analyst sentiment found 2 bulls, 9 bears and 18 neutrals on wheat. Dec 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.05 1/2, down 2 1/4 cents; Dec 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.20 3/4, down 1 1/2 cents; Dec 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.01 1/4, up 6 1/2 cents.

EU Grains End Mostly Higher With Egypt Back In The Market

22/09/16 -- EU grains closed mostly higher.

The day ended with Nov 16 London wheat up GBP1.05/tonne at GBP126.55/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was up EUR0.50/tonne at EUR162.00/tonne, Nov 16 corn was unchanged at EUR162.00/tonne and Nov 16 Paris rapeseed was up EUR3.75/tonne to EUR379.75/tonne matching the best close on a front month since Jun 13.

Heavy rain in the past week, following almost three months of dryness, will allow planting of winter rapeseed to begin in France. Even so, hopes of increasing sowings from last year's 1.5 million ha may now be dashed, according to media reports.

Rain has also arrived in Ukraine to aid winter grain plantings there. More rain is in the forecast in the week ahead. "Yesterday, rains hit the north half of the country, even if they were light they are offering some relief to a situation becoming critical," said Agritel.

Back in France, the late summer drought appears to have harmed corn production, with early harvested yields said to be disappointing.

Bulgarian wheat has arrived in Dunkirk this week to feed the French starch producing industry. FranceAgriMer has French wheat imports at 700 TMT this season, although private estimates are 1 MMT or more (433 TMT in 2015/16).

Egypt's GASC are back in the market for wheat. "Doubts over Egypt’s ability to meet requirements for its bread subsidy scheme is potentially behind the change in ergot tolerance levels," said the HGCA.

"Each year Egypt’s import requirements are about 7% of total global imports," they added. Their absence from the market therefore upsets the global balance sheet.

Four sellers emerged with offers prepared to accept Egypt's terms, although it's unclear yet if any were successful.

Ukraine said that it had agreed "informal" limits on grain exports with shippers. These have been set at 16.5 MMT for wheat and 5.6 MMT for barley.

Morocco said that it had bought 310,000 MT of EU soft wheat under a preferential tariff agreement.

Brussels confirmed that they'd released 452,000 MT worth of soft wheat export licences, taking the volume granted so far this season to almost 25% higher than a year ago.

France is unusually only third behind Romania and Germany in the table of countries granted the most exports.

Chicago Grains End Mixed, Beans Weak On Bumper Yield Reports

21/09/16 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower despite the USDA announcing export sales of 364,000 MT of US beans for 2016/17 to a combination of China, Taiwan and Unknown under the daily reporting system. Those sales won’t show up until next weeks Export Sales report. Trade estimates for tomorrow's sales are around 1 MMT for beans. Reports of much better than expected yields coming in from early harvesting US soybean growers overshadowed that. The market is now thinking that the USDA's record 50.6 bu/acre yield projection might actually be too low. Some of today's losses may have been linked to unwinding of long beans/short corn/wheat spreads. Nov 16 Soybeans closed at $9.75 1/2, down 14 1/4 cents; Jan 17 Soybeans closed at $9.81, down 13 3/4 cents; Oct 16 Soybean Meal closed at $308.70, down $4.40; Oct 16 Soybean Oil closed at 33.40, down 43 points.

Corn: The market closed with just nominal losses. Some of the unwinding of spreads may have helped corn today. Weekly US ethanol production was placed at 981,000 barrels/day last week, down from 1,004,000 bpd the previous week. Lanworth estimated US 2016 corn yields at 168.5 bu/acre, well below the USDA's 174.4 bu/acre figure. Corn planting in Brazil's is making rapid progress with Parana state now 19% done versus only 4% complete a week ago. Hungary is on the way to harvesting a record 8 MMT of corn, according to a report on Reuters. Russia's IKAR raised their estimate for this year's corn harvest there from 14.0 MMT to 14.5 MMT (record), based on better than expected early yields. Harvesting of that crop is 17.5% done so far at 2.7 MMT, with yields averaging 5.27 MT/ha versus 5.06 MT/ha a year ago. Trade ideas for tomorrow's weekly export sales report on corn are 750 TMT to 1.1 MMT. Dec 16 Corn closed at $3.40, down 1/2 cent; Mar 17 Corn closed at $3.50, down 3/4 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market closed a touch higher. The USDA reported the sale of 145,000 MT of hard red winter wheat for delivery to Morocco during the 2016/17 marketing year under the daily reporting system. Reuters report that in fact they purchased 235,000 MT under a special quota deal between the two countries. Egypt rescinded their zero tolerance to ergot stance and immediately tendered for wheat for Oct 21-31 shipment under their old terms of 0.05% tolerance. The results are expected tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how may offers get put up. In Russia, wheat harvesting is 91.2% complete at 72.7 MMT. Barley adds a further 18.4 MMT (93.4%) to the mix. "The 5 day forecast has light rains for the southern plains through Saturday with a moderate to heavy system on Sunday. The 6-10 forecast continues the wet pattern for the Southern Plains during planting season," said FCStone. Trade ideas for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are modest at 350-550,000 MT. Dec 16 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.07 3/4, up 1 3/4 cents; Dec 16 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.22 1/4, up 3 3/4 cents; Dec 16 MGEX Wheat closed at $4.94 3/4, up 3 1/2 cents.