Chicago Mixed Ahead Of USDA Data

01/11/12 -- Soycomplex: Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD15.58 1/2, up 11 1/2 cents; Jan 13 Soybeans closed at USD15.60, up 11 1/4 cents; Dec 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD484.3, up USD2.10, Dec 12 Soybean Oil closed at 50.43, up 27 points. Funds were said to have been net buyers of around 4,000 soybean contracts on the day. FCStone increased their US soybean production estimate to 2.959 billion bushels, raising yields to 39.1 bu/acre. Last month's USDA report gave us a crop of 2.86 billion bushels, with yields at 37.8 bu/acre. Tomorrow's delayed weekly export sales numbers are expected to be around 500-700 TMT for soybeans. The US has already sold nearly 73% of the USDA's projected 2012/13 marketing year total. "While drought is the main concern in Central Brazil, Argentina farms are too wet to plant. Rainfall has been relentless, accumulating to 4-6 inches over the past 2 weeks, and 4-6 times normal in the grain belt," say Martell Crop Projections. Argentine soybean plantings are said to be only 4% complete versus 13% normally at this time.

Corn: Dec 12 Corn closed at USD7.51, down 4 3/4 cents; Mar 13 Corn closed at USD7.53 1/2, down 3 1/2 cents. Fund selling on corn was estimated at a net 7,000 contracts on the day. US ethanol production increased by around 24,000 barrels/day to 825,000 bpd last week, according to data from the Energy Dept. Brazil shipped a record 3.66 MMT of corn in October, the third month om a row of record exports and well over double last year's level of 1.52 MMT. FCStone pegged the US corn crop at 10.881 billion bushels with yields at 124 bu/acre. That's higher than last month and the USDA's 10.7 billion and 122 bpa estimates. The USDA will issue revised numbers next Friday. Informa will be out with theirs tomorrow. Estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales for corn are a modest 110-400 TMT. Weekly sales of around 430 TMT are needed to achieve the USDA's projected export target of 31 MMT this season. "Argentina producers are striving to get corn planted before focusing on soybeans. The corn seeding usually begins in mid September, finishing up by November 10-15. Only 5% of corn was sown last week, says Dr Michael Cordonnier, pushing total plantings to just 38% complete," say Martell Crop Projections.

Wheat: Dec 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD8.68 1/2, up 4 cents; Dec 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD9.08 1/2, up 4 1/2 cents; Dec 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.43 1/4, up 1 1/4 cents. Funds were said to have been net buyers of around 2,000 Chicago wheat contracts on the day. The same rains that are plaguing Argentine corn and soybean plantings are also stalling the wheat harvest there, and leading to potential yield and quality losses. Confusion remains over whether Ukraine are to introduce a formal wheat export ban or not. There were no Ukraine offers in yesterday's Egyptian tender. Two cargoes of Russian wheat were bought, as well as two from France and one from Romania, despite further downgrades to wheat production there from SovEcon today. Looking ahead "Key winter wheat growing areas in south Russia experienced a very dry October. Since September 1 only 21 millimetres of rainfall has accumulated on average against 57 mm normally in the 4 major winter wheat districts that produce 61% of the harvest," say Martell Crop Projections. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are 300-600 TMT.