Chicago Close - Thursday

12/01/17 -- Soycomplex: Jan 17 Soybeans settled at $10.32, up 29 cents; Mar 17 Soybeans settled at $10.40 1/4, up 28 3/4 cents; Jan 17 Soybean Meal settled at $324.20, up $13.50; Jan 17 Soybean Oil settled at 35.85, up 6 points.

Corn: Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.58 1/4, up 1 cent; May 17 Corn settled at $3.64 3/4, up 3/4 cent.

Wheat: Mar 17 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.26 1/4, up 7 1/2 cents; Mar 17 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.44 3/4, up 13 cents; Mar 17 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.74, up 12 1/2 cents.

EU Grains Get Some Help From USDA Report

12/01/17 -- EU grains closed mostly higher following the late release of the January WASDE numbers from the USDA.

At the close Jan 17 London wheat was up GBP1.50/tonne at GBP145.90/tonne, Mar 17 Paris wheat was EUR0.75/tonne higher at EUR169.75/tonne, Mar 17 Paris corn was down a euro at EUR167.50/tonne and Feb 17 Paris rapeseed was up EUR0.25/tonne to EUR414.50/tonne.

Trade was quiet awaiting the USDA data late in European trading hours.

That put the US HRW wheat area for the 2017 harvest 23.3 million acres, which is 12% lower than a year ago. All wheat acres were estimated at 32.38 million ha, down 3.75 million from last year and at the lower end of the range of trade forecasts. This is the second lowest winter wheat area on record, and the lowest since 1909.

Global wheat production, already at a record, was raised even higher this month mainly on larger crops in Argentina, the EU, and Russia.

Global trade was boosted to a new record with stronger import demand from several Asian countries and Brazil. Larger exports for Australia, Argentina, and the EU were partially offset by a decrease for Canada, they said.

EU 2016/17 production was increased 350 TMT to 144.32 MMT, and exports nudged 500 TMT higher to 25.5 MMT. This year's Russian crop was upped 500 TMT to 72.5 MMT.

World ending stocks for 2016/17 were increased 1.15 MMT to 253.3 MMT. Ending stocks-to-use ratio for 2016/17 is now projected at 34.2% versus 34.1% in December and 33.8% a year previously.

Chicago Grains Close - Pre-USDA

11/01/17 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed slightly lower heading into tomorrow's all important USDA report. Brazilian production estimates keep nudging higher. Celeres raised their estimate to 105 MMT. AgroConsult upped theirs from 102.6 MMT to 104.4 MMT. The Argentine Ag Ministry have production there at 56 MMT, although others are 1-2 MMT lower. It remains to be seen if tensions between the US and China due to the upcoming Trump administration will cause any trade disputes on beans. The US is of course a major supplier to China. Tomorrow will also bring the usual Thursday weekly export sales report, with these estimated at around 500,000 to 800,000 MT for beans. Jan 17 Soybeans settled at $10.03, down 2 1/2 cents; Mar 17 Soybeans settled at $10.11 1/2, down 2 1/4 cents; Jan 17 Soybean Meal settled at $310.70, down $2.70; Jan 17 Soybean Oil settled at 35.79, up 36 points.

Corn: The market closed around a cent or so easier. News that China is to impose an anti-dumping tax on US DDGs has the market uneasy. JCI estimates China's DDGs imports may drop 80-90% from the 6.8 MMT imported in 2015. Friendly was news from the US Energy Dept that weekly US ethanol production beat last week's record at 1,049 billion barrels/day last week. AgroConsult raised their view on Brazilian corn production this year from 92 MMT to 94.9 MMT. The Argentine Ag Ministry projected their 2016/17 corn crop would be 44.51 MMT. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are in the region of 500,000-800,000 MT. Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.57 1/4, down 1 cent; May 17 Corn settled at $3.64, down 1 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mostly lower heading into tomorrow's USDA report. Talk of much-needed rain for the southern plains this weekend leans bearish. CONAB estimated Brazil's wheat imports at 5.95 MMT versus 5.1 MMT a month ago. Argentina will be the main beneficiary of that. Forecasts for tomorrow's weekly export sales for wheat are only around 250,000-450,000 MT for 2016/17, with maybe another 50,000 MT of new crop. The trade will be keep to see what the USDA have to say with regards to US winter wheat plantings. The average trade guess is for all wheat plantings to have dropped 2 million to 34.1 million acres, but some estimates are as low as 31.7 million. Mar 17 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.18 3/4, down 8 cents; Mar 17 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.31 3/4, down 6 1/2 cents; Mar 17 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.61 1/4, up 1/4 cent.

EU Grains Close Mixed

11/01/17 -- EU grains closed mixed on the day, with sterling weakness supporting London wheat.

The day ended with Jan 17 London wheat up GBP1.05/tonne at GBP144.40/tonne, Mar 17 Paris wheat was down EUR0.75/tonne at EUR169.00/tonne, Mar 17 Paris corn was down EUR0.50/tonne to EUR168.50/tonne and Feb 17 Paris rapeseed fell EUR0.25/tonne to EUR414.25/tonne.

The pound fell as low as 1.15 versus the euro, a level last seen two months ago. It was also down to 1.22 against the US dollar.

It's a big day for the grain markets tomorrow, with the USDA due to release their first world supply and demand numbers of the new year.

The figures could be unusually important for US winter wheat plantings. "Analysts expect this figure to show a drop of 2.0m acres year on year to 34.1m acres, the lowest since 1913, but with some ideas that the figure could be lower – substantially," said Agrimoney.

Closer to home, FranceAgriMer revised upwards their estimate for French soft wheat exports to non-EU destinations, up from 4.7 MMT to 4.8 MMT, but that's still massively below last season's 12.6 MMT figure.

Ending stock were cut to 2.365 MMT from the 2.683 MMT seen last month.

Turkey tendered for 230,000 MT of EU high quality milling wheat.

Chicago Grains Falter, But Beans End Higher

10/01/17 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed higher approaching Thursday's WASDE report from the USDA. Trade forecasts for Brazilian production are growing, but shrinking for Argentina. CONAB increased their view on Brazil by 1.33 MMT to 103.78 (USDA: 102). That figure is now up 8.3 MMT from last year. AgRural raises Brazil from 101.8 MMT to 103.1 MMT. Dr Cordonnier lowered Argentina 1 MMT to 55.0 MMT citing heavy rains. More heavy rain is in the forecast. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board reported December stockpiles of palm oil at 1.665 MMT versus 2.633 MMT last year. Jan 17 Soybeans settled at $10.05 1/2, up 9 cents; Mar 17 Soybeans settled at $10.13 3/4, up 8 1/2 cents; Jan 17 Soybean Meal settled at $313.40, up $3.60; Jan 17 Soybean Oil settled at 35.43, up 16 points.

Corn: Corn ended they day around a cent or two easier. The USDA reported 241,600 MT of US corn sold to unknown destinations, 91,300 MT for 2016/17 delivery, and 150,300 MT for 2017/18 delivery, under the daily reporting system. There was also 130,000 MT of old crop sold to Taiwan. CONAB raised its Brazil corn production forecast to 84.5 MMT (USDA: 86.5 MMT, last year 66.57 MMT.). Dr Cordonnier went for 86 MMT in his Brazilian estimate; Argentina was lowered 0.5 MMT to 34.5 MMT. The trade is looking for Thursday's US corn yield figure to come in anywhere between 173.4 to 176.1 bushels per acre versus the December USDA figure of 175.3 bu/acre. Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.58 1/4, down 1 3/4 cents; May 17 Corn settled at $3.65 1/4, down 1 3/4 cents.

Wheat: Wheat closed with little change. Japan are tendering for 162,777 MT of milling wheat from the US and Canada with the results expected Thursday. Low prices relative to other crops continue to put US wheat acres under pressure. The range of trade estimates for US winter wheat acreage in Thursday's report stretches from 31.7 to 36.38 million acres versus last year's 36.13 million acres. Record/near record yields are being reported out of Eastern Australia. China sold 375 TMT of the 2.67 MMT of wheat offered up for auction today. Severe cold weather in Ukraine could offer some threat to winter wheat already rated 17% weak/thinned. Mar 17 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.26 3/4, down 1/2 cent; Mar 17 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.38 1/4, down 1/4 cent; Mar 17 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.61 1/4, up 1 1/2 cents.

EU Grains Slip Mostly Lower Tuesday

10/01/17 -- EU grains closed mostly lower Tuesday. Fresh news was thin on the ground.

At the finish Jan 17 London wheat was down GBP0.80/tonne at GBP143.35/tonne, Mar 17 Paris wheat fell EUR1.25/tonne to EUR169.75/tonne, Mar 17 Paris corn ended EUR0.75/tonne lower at EUR169.00/tonne and Feb 17 Paris rapeseed closed EUR1.75/tonne higher at EUR415.50/tonne.

Ukraine said that it's 2016/17 grain exports had now surpassed 23 MMT, of which 11.5 MMT was wheat ,4.3 MMT barley and 7.1 MMT corn. According to their Ag Ministry exports this full season could total 40 MMT.

The Ukraine weather centre said that 83% of winter crops were in a good to satisfactory condition, and 17% weak/thinned. Current winter snow cover is adequate to protect the bulk of crops against the existing very low temperatures, they said.

Russia experienced a significant slowdown of export pace during December 2016 with 3.3 MMT of cereals shipped which is -0.7 MMT under the November volume or -0.8 MMT below December 2015, noted Agritel.

"More than weather conditions or festivities period, this slowdown is due to the decline of commodities on domestic market implied by the strength of the rouble," they commented.

Chicago Markets Post Modest Gains

09/01/17 -- Soycomplex: Beans settled higher, helped by strong weekly export inspections of 1.457 MMT. That was down 8.2% on last week, but more than 17% larger than the same period a year ago. The trade is positioning itself for a larger Brazilian, but lower Argentine crop than the USDA currently figures in the upcoming WASDE report. The trade expects the USDA to lower the Argentine bean crop 900 TMT to 56.1 MMT and raise Brazil 400 TMT to 102.4 MMT. A Bloomberg survey of analysts has the average guess for US soybean stocks as of December 1 at 2.953 billion bu, up 8.76% from a year earlier. Average US yields are estimated at 52.7 bu/ac and production at 4.37 billion bushels. Jan 17 Soybeans settled at $9.96 1/2, up 10 1/2 cents; Mar 17 Soybeans settled at $10.05 1/4, up 10 1/2 cents; Jan 17 Soybean Meal settled at $309.80, up $2.30; Jan 17 Soybean Oil settled at 35.27, up 50 points.

Corn: The market closed a couple of cents or so higher. Weekly export inspections of 876,562 MT were up 36% from the previous week and 59% larger than the same week a year ago. The USDA also reported an export sale of 112,500 MT of corn to for 2016/17 delivery to an unknown destination. The trade is anticipating A Brazilian corn production number of up 600 TMT to 87.1 MMT, with Argentina down 400 TMT from December to 36.1 MMT in the WASDE report. A Bloomberg survey of trade analysts has the average pre-report estimate for December 1 Corn Stocks in all positions at 12.323 billion bushels. Taiwan's MFG bought 65,000 MT of US/Brazilian/Argentine or South African corn for March/April shipment in a tender. Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.60, up 2 cents; May 17 Corn settled at $3.67, up 2 1/4 cents.

Wheat: Wheat finished firmer, helped by the USDA announcing a flash sale of 120,000 MT of HRS wheat for 2016/17 delivery to an unknown destination. Weekly export inspections of only 260,555 MT weren't impressive though. The trade is looking for US all wheat stocks to average 2.056 billion bu in the Quarterly Grain Stocks report due out on Thursday. Winter wheat plantings of only 34.139 million acres, down from 36.137 million last year and the lowest since 1970 lean supportive in the longer-term. Some are starting to fret over very cold temperatures in Southern Russia and Ukraine. Temperatures fell to -25 C near Moscow overnight. Mar 17 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.27 1/4, up 4 cents; Mar 17 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.38 1/2, up 5 cents; Mar 17 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.59 3/4, up 7 cents.