13/04/12 -- Soybeans: May 12 Soybeans closed at USD14.36 3/4, down 4 1/4 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.61 3/4, down 11 cents; May 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD395.80, up USD1.20; May 12 Soybean Oil closed at 56.52, down 71 points. On the week as a whole May beans were slightly higher, up 2 3/4 cents although new crop Nov was almost 20 cents weaker. Meal added almost USD4 whilst oil was 12 points lower. Funds were estimated to have sold 4,000 soybean contracts on the day, whilst buying 1,000 on the meal. The USDA has reported the sale of 165,000 MT of new crop soybeans to China. Argentine soybean production estimates keep getting smaller. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange yesterday went 44 MMT for Argentina, the Rosario equivalent now say 43.1 MMT against the USDA's 45 MMT announced on Tuesday.
Corn: May 12 Corn closed at USD6.29 1/4, down 8 1/4 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.37, down 9 3/4 cents. Old crop May corn was 29 cents lower on the week with new crop Dec down 13 1/4 cents. Funds were said to have sold around 10,000 contracts on the day. An ideal start to the early planting season looks set to get the boost of widespread Midwest rains over the weekend. The La Nina weather phenomena that has been in place across the winter, resulting in dry conditions for much of the Midwest, is said to have weakened rapidly. That potentially puts cooler and wetter conditions on the cards for the summer growing season. A drift into the El Nino weather pattern, should it occur, would be seen as being even more beneficial this summer.
Wheat: May 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.23 1/2, down 15 3/4 cents; May 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.43, down 10 cents; May 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.24 1/4, down 12 1/4 cents. Chicago wheat fell 15 cents on the week, with Kansas wheat down 19 cents and Minneapolis wheat losing 21 3/4 cents. Wheat seems to be drifting lower, US stocks are ample and with each week that passes winter wheat harvesting draws ever nearer. Crop conditions are sharply better than a year ago and spring wheat planting is also well advanced. Algeria bought 200,000 MT of what is thought to have been French wheat this week. Egypt stayed out of the market. European weather conditions have improved, potentially drawing a line under talk of crop losses there.
13/04/12 -- EU grains finished mostly lower although May 12 London wheat bucked the trend closing GBP1.00/tonne higher at GBP175.65/tonne, new crop months were GBP0.55/tonne easier. The more liquid May 12 Paris wheat fell EUR0.75/tonne to EUR209.00/tonne.
On the week as a whole that puts front month May 12 London wheat GBP3.90/tonne higher, but new crop Nov 12 GBP3.00/tonne lower. That means that the gap between May 12 and Nov 12 has increased by more than fivefold since the turn of the year.
Clearly something is amiss with front month London wheat which has now appreciated by more than 15% since the turn of the year. Paris wheat meanwhile is only up 3% since then and Chicago wheat is down by almost 5%.
Exactly the same thing happened a year ago. On the first day of May 2011 front month May 11 London wheat was GBP206.00/tonne, by the end of June it was GBP155/tonne. The May/Nov spread saw Nov at a GBP34.00/tonne discount to May on the first trading day of May 2011, by the time May went off the board that gap had fallen to GBP11.50/tonne and before May was out the new front month old crop Jul 11 was trading at a discount to new crop Nov 11.
The much more liquid market that is Paris wheat is clearly a better barometer of what is really going on in the market. May 12 ended the week EUR2.25/tonne lower than it began it and Nov 12 fell EUR3.25/tonne.
Brussels only issued soft wheat export licences for 84 TMT this week, a lower weekly volume than that we have only seen once in the entire marketing year.
UK and EU weather conditions in general have improved significantly over the past week, that will hopefully mean that crop prospects will be enhanced for the 2012 harvest. It should perhaps be noted that this improvement comes a month earlier than it did in 2011.
13/04/12 -- The overnight grains ended barely changed in a "the weekend can't come soon enough" kind of a manner. Beans are around 7 cents higher on the week so far, with corn around 20 cents lower and wheat pretty flat. Crude is slightly easier and the dollar marginally firmer.
Fresh news is extremely thin on the ground. US weather is non-threatening, European weather has improved.
The USDA has reported the sale of 165,000 MT of new crop soybeans to China. They just love it don't they?
Argentine soybean production estimates keep getting smaller. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange yesterday went 44 MMT for Argentina, the Rosario equivalent now say 43.1 MMT.
I have a funny feeling that once the harvest kicks off things could get lower again.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: wheat down 1-2 cents; soybeans down 1-3 cents; old crop corn flat to up 2 cents, new crop down 1-2 cents.
13/04/12 -- Rapemeal prices on the continent are back on the up, with crushers taking downtime meal availiability is extremely tigh and looks set to stay that way at least through until new crop comes along.
Latest guide prices for EU rapemeal today, basis FOB Lower Rhine in euros/metric tonne, with change from previous trading session:
13/04/12 -- The overnight grains are mostly a tad steadier, and the pound showing little change so far.
Last night's Chicago soybean close was the highest for a front month since the last day of August and came within 10 cents of the 2011 highest close of the year. At USD394.60 May 12 meal took out the 2011 highs.
As the South American soybean harvest progresses south production estimates keep dropping. It was southern Brazil and Argentina that bore the brunt of the drought you will recall. Some private estimates now put the Brazilian crop at 63-65 MMT, versus the USDA's 66 MMT from earlier in the week.
Argentina's crop was pegged at 44 MMT by the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange yesterday, 1 MMT below the USDA's Tuesday estimate, others I am hearing are now in the 41-42 MMT region.
Argentina's farmers will soon start winter wheat planting and are expected to reduce sowings by around 15% on last year due to low domestic prices.
Brussels I see weren't exactly rushed off their feet with paperwork this past week being only asked to issue 84 TMT of soft wheat export licences, the second lowest weekly total of the marketing year.
Algeria however bought 200,000 MT of optional origin wheat yesterday with France thought to be the most likely supplier.
With US winter wheat maturity 2-4 weeks ahead of schedule and corn/soybean prices where they are there's plenty of talk of double cropping with no-till corn or soybeans going into the ground immediately after the wheat harvest.
That could help get those soybean acres up a bit.
12/04/12 -- Soybeans: May 12 Soybeans closed at USD14.41, up 19 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.72 3/4, up 13 3/4 cents; May 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD394.60, up USD7.80; May 12 Soybean Oil closed at 57.23, up 78 points. After three days of light consolidation beans were back on the up today. Weekly export sales were disappointing at 460,100 MT of old crop and 176,300 MT of new crop. However the reported sale of 115,000 MT to China and a further 189,000 MT to unknown under the daily reporting system was supportive. So too was the news that the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange cut its forecast for Argentine soybean production from 45 MMT to 44 MMT, trade gossip now suggests that other local estimates are now as low as 41-42 MMT.
Corn: May 12 Corn closed at USD6.37 1/2, up 1 1/2 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.46 3/4, unchanged. Weekly export sales beat expectations falling just short of 1 MMT, heavily stacked in favour of already tight old crop. Unknown took 291,100 MT of that and China was confirmed as having bought one 60,000 MT cargo. WxRisk are forecasting a welcome major rain event for almost all of the Midwest with 75% coverage of 1-3 inches. That may slow corn planting up a little but will be beneficial for new crop overall. Strategie Grains raised their EU-27 corn production estimate by 0.9 MMT from last month to 65.4 MMT.
Wheat: May 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.39 1/4, up 11 1/4 cents; May 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.53, up 9 cents; May 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.36 1/2, down 1 3/4 cents. Wheat export sales of 452,100 MT old crop and 90,400 MT new crop were in line with expectations for combined sales of 400-600 TMT. Strategie Grains cut their EU-27 2012/13 soft wheat crop production forecast by 4.3 MMT to 126.8 MMT citing frost and drought damage. FranceAgriMer cut their 2011/12 French ending stocks estimate from 2.4 MMT to just under 2.1 MMT. US winter wheat crop conditions are well ahead of year ago levels, as are maturity and spring wheat plantings. Weather conditions look largely favourable for now.
12/04/12 -- EU grains finished mixed with May 12 London wheat up GBP2.65/tonne higher to GBP174.65/tonne, whilst new crop months were GBP0.50/tonne lower. May 12 Paris wheat ended EUR1.00/tonne higher at EUR209.75/tonne, Nov 12 was EUR1.50/tonne firmer at EUR203.75/tonne.
Old crop London wheat widened the gap between it and new crop again, with the May12/Nov12 differential now standing at more than GBP20.00/tonne, at the turn of the year ot was less than a fiver.
The only plausable explanation I can give for this is the news today that Vivergo has begun taking in wheat for testing purposes ahead of rolling into production. It now looks as if they may after all begin some kind of meaningful production this side of new crop.
Strategie Grains cut their EU-27 soft wheat production estimate by a sizable 4.3 MMT today to 126.8 MMT citing frost and drought damage. They also cut their barley production estimate by 1.1 MMT from last month to 52.4 MMT and knocked 0.6 MMT off their durum wheat forecast to 7.8 MMT.
Both the wheat estimates bring them into line with forecasts from Coceral which have already been in the marketplace for a fortnight or so. As a consequence of lower wheat production Strategie Grains also lowered EU-27 2012/13 soft wheat export potential by 3 MMT to 13.5 MMT.
Both analysts also agree on a European all wheat crop of 134.6 MMT, a drop of 2.9 MMT on last year. Before the February freeze hit Strategie Grains were forecasting an all wheat crop of 142.2 MMT this year.
Decent rains have however developed for Europe over the past week or so, with more in the forecast, potentially improving new crop prospects.
12/04/12 -- The overnight grains ended with beans 6-9 cents firmer, corn up 1-2 cents and wheat 3-5 cents higher. Crude has gone from being slightly higher to a tad lower, the dollar is also a bit weaker.
The USDA gave us strong weekly export sales for corn of 959,100 MT old crop and 16,700 MT of new crop versus expectations of 400-850 TMT. Unknown took 291,100 MT of that and China was confirmed as having bought one 60,000 MT cargo.
Soybean sales of 460,100 MT of old crop and 176,300 MT of new crop were a bit below expectations of 800 TMT-1.1 MMT.
Wheat sales were 452,100 MT old crop and 90,400 MT new crop, against expectations of 400-600 TMT.
The market may be asking "where exactly is all this old crop corn going to come from?" Let's hope that the USDA knows.
WxRisk are forecasting a welcome major rain event for almost all of the Midwest with 75% coverage of 1-3 inches. That may slow planting up a little but will be beneficial overall.
After a couple of days of consolidation are beans set to move higher again? The overnight market seems to think so, but a disappointing look to the export sales numbers may temper some of that enthusiasm a little.
That said the USDA have just confirmed the sale of 115,000 MT of US soybeans to China and a further 189,000 MT to unknown. Both are split between old and new crop.
Some switching of planting intentions must have gone on since the USDA numbers were collated, but how much? I still think we will have a soybean area closer to 75 million acres than the USDA's 73.9 million, but that doesn't make me bearish on beans, they still have the greatest upside potential for my money.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn up 2-3 cents, wheat up 2-4 cents, soybeans up 5-7 cents
12/04/12 -- Rapemeal prices on the continent are mostly a little lower today in line with weaker soymeal prices in Chicago over the past couple of sessions.
Guide prices, basis FOB Lower Rhine in euros/metric tonne, with change from previous day:
12/04/12 -- The overnight grains are steady with beans up 4-8 cents and corn & wheat up 1-3 cents. The pound is a bit stronger at 1.5930 against the dollar and 1.2140 versus the euro.
FranceAgriMer maintained it's French soft wheat production estimate for last year at 33.9 MMT yesterday. However they cut their 2011/12 ending stocks estimate from 2.4 MMT to just under 2.1 MMT.
Strategie Grains have today cut their EU-27 2012/13 soft wheat crop production forecast by a chunky 4.3 MMT to 126.8 MMT citing frost and drought damage. They say that 2.5 million hectares, or 6%, of the planted area of winter grains will need to be resown. They've also cut their barley production estimate by 1.1 MMT from last month to 52.4 MMT and knocked 0.6 MMT off their durum wheat forecast to 7.8 MMT.
As a consequence of this EU-27 corn production is raised 0.9 MMT from last month to 65.4 MMT. EU-27 2012/13 soft wheat exports are seen 3 MMT lower than in March at 13.5 MMT.
Whilst some of those cuts might sound fairly dramatic on paper they are only actually bringing their wheat estimates into line with Coceral's numbers released at the end of March. Their barley figure is however somewhat lower than Coceral's figure of 54.0 MMT, whilst their corn number is around 3.4 MMT higher than Coceral's March estimate. The reduced soft wheat export figure should also be noted.
What interests me are the implications for EU-27 rapeseed production. Coceral and Strategie Grains now both agree that Europe's wheat crop is likely to come in at 126.8 MMT this year, which is 2% lower than in 2011.
Yet Coceral currently have European rapeseed production rising 1% in 2012 despite a 6% reduction in plantings by virtue of a higher average yield.
Insatiable China will import 5.6 MMT of soybeans in April, according to their Ministry of Commerce. That's 16% up on March's imports and 44% higher than in April 2011.
There's some talk of the Chinese government "encouraging" farmers to plant less soybeans and concentrate their efforts on corn production instead. Soybean planting would normally begin this month.
I think I will stay a bit friendly to oilseeds/proteins relative to the grains for now.
11/04/12 -- Soybeans: May 12 Soybeans closed at USD14.22, down 4 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.59, down 5 3/4 cents; May 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD386.80, down USD3.00; May 12 Soybean Oil closed at 56.45, down 52 points. Funds sold an estimated 6,000 soybean contracts on the day uninspired by a lack of fresh news. That brings fund liquidation to an estimated 16,000 lot over the last three sessions despite Tuesday's USDA report looking bullish for beans. It's expected to have been another busy week on the sales front with estimates for tomorrow’s weekly export sales report at 800 to 1,100 TMT.
Corn: May 12 Corn closed at USD6.36, up 1 1/4 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.46 3/4, up 3 1/4 cents. Funds were said to have bought 6,000 contracts on the day having solf 23,000 in the first couple of days of the week. Today's action could have been due to the unwinding of corn/soybean spreads. Estimates for tomorrow’s weekly export sales report are 400 to 850 thousand MT. If we get another week of 1 MMT plus then, given the general lack of respect for the USDA's 2011/12 ending stocks estimate, we could bump higher tomorrow. Crude oil rebounded from a near two-month low Tuesday to close at USD102.70/barrel.
Wheat: May 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.28, up 2 1/4 cents; May 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.44, up 3 cents; May 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.38 1/4, up 4 1/2 cents. Wheat rebounded a little from a sharply lower close yesterday. Below normal temperatures in the wheat belt have seen night-time temperatures dip low enough to cause a light frost in places, although not too much damage is thought likely to have been done at this stage. Libya bought 50,000 MT of Russian wheat, but US exports have picked up in the past couple of months. Estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales range between 400 and 600 TMT.
11/04/12 -- EU grains finished mixed but mostly lower. May 12 London wheat rose GBP1.50/tonne to GBP172.00/tonne but new crop months were GBP0.30/tonne lower. May 12 Paris wheat was EUR0.25/tonne higher at EUR208.75/tonne, new crop was EUR1.25-1.50/tonne lower.
Fairly decent European rains over the past few days may have helped new crop prospects seems to be the trade's thinking.
"Generous rainfall finally developed last week in dry wheat growing areas of Europe. Moisture was very welcome after a two-month drought, February -March. Growers feared another very severe spring drought may be developing, similar to last year when France and Germany produced a sub-standard wheat harvest," say Martell Crop Projections.
"Generous April rainfall last week, plus a wet forecast ahead suggests back-to-back spring droughts may not be in the cards. The weekend forecast shows the jet stream carving out a deep trough over Western Europe, suggesting more rain may be coming to dry areas.
"Germany and northern Poland received from 0.50 to 1 inch of rainfall from last week's showers. The United Kingdom was much wetter with 1.0 - 1.5 inches of rain. France, the leading wheat country, missed out in the key northern growing area receiving only 0.10 - 0.20 inch of rain in scattered showers. The Mediterranean region suddenly grew stormy as well, causing very heavy rainfall in Spain, Italy and Romania," they add.
The differential between old and new crop London wheat continues to widen, much as it did around this time of year twelve months ago. The May12/Nov12 spread at the end of 2011 was just GBP4.25/tonne, today it has closed at almost four times that.
11/04/12 -- The overnight grains ended with soybeans mixed, corn up 2-3 cents and wheat 5-6 cents higher. Crude is up a bit and the dollar a tad lower.
Fresh news is limited today after yesterday's excitement. Outside markets seem to have stabilised following a bit of a rout yesterday.
Soybeans were lower for much of the morning but the more active months generally managed to post modest gains by the close of the overnight session.
There was a bit of frost about overnight in parts of the Midwest but no crop damage is thought likely to have been done. Now that insurance planting dates are being hit we can expect activity to crank up a notch or two.
I appear to have hit "bloggers block" as I really can't think of anything else to say!
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn up 1-3 cents, soybeans flat to up 2 cents, wheat up 4-6 cents.
11/04/12 -- Rapemeal prices on the continent are a little lower today, in line with losses in Chicago soymeal last night. Old crop levels are unchanged as plant closures, and the subsequent reduced production, look like keeping availability tight across the summer.
Latest guide prices for EU rapemeal today, basis FOB Lower Rhine in euros/metric tonne, with change from previous trading session:
11/04/12 -- An 8.7 magnitude earthquake has struck under the sea near Aceh province in Indonesia, according to the BBC. Reuters say that tremors from the quake were felt in Singapore, Thailand and southern India.
Around 170,000 people were killed in Aceh in 2004 when a 9.2 quake struck. Tsunami warnings have apparently been issued for the region.
11/04/12 -- The overnight grains are narrowly mixed, mostly a cent or two higher. Outside markets aren't lending too much support to the grains sector, WTI crude closed at it's lowest level since Valentines Day last night - USD101.02/barrel.
We have an interesting tug-of-war developing, with the outlook for soybeans remaining bullish, yet we have a bearish slant for corn and wheat, plus whatever outside influences might thrust at us.
World stocks tanked yesterday, which will have weighed on the grains. The FTSE 100 index slumped to its lowest levels of the year, amid signs that the recovery in US employment is running out of steam. Spainish concerns also hang over the market.
If we look at how the three main protagonists have farerd so far this year we see that Chicago corn finished 2011 at USD6.46 1/2, so it has dropped 11 3/4 cents to where we closed last night. Chicago wheat closed 2011 at USD6.52 3/4, so that has fallen 27 cents since then. Soybeans on the other hand are USD2.27 higher than on the last trading day of 2011.
Can they continue to go in opposite directions? Beans appear to have done a pretty good job of paddling their own canoe so far in 2012 although they struggled to do so last night, despite a bullish USDA report for them, eventually succumbing and ending lower.
China, it would seem, will continue to buy soybeans with relish whatever the price. We have their March imports up 38% year-on-year and their 2012 Q1 imports up 22% on last year at 13.33 MMT. And of course they helped themselves to a further 165,000 MT of new crop US soybeans just yesterday.
It's clear that 73.9 million acres isn't enough this year. It's pretty likely I'd say that the eventual US planted area will grow to closer the 75 million mark that everybody was expecting a few weeks ago.
The question is will that be enough, taking into account what the weather may throw at us across the summer? The answer to that is probably 75 million will be adequate IF it is lucky enough to be combined with almost ideal growing conditions. If not, who can tell?
Going forward, Brazilian and Argentine farmers are already talking about planting more beans for next season, and who can blame them with prices where they are? We have a very long wait though until those crops get harvested.
Meanwhile the 2012/13 European rapeseed crop looks like it may now struggle to match last season's total of 19.1 MMT, putting us in a deficit situation once again. Indeed, we have to go back to 2004/05 to find a year in which EU production was higher than domestic consumption. It's unfortunate then that Ukraine's rapeseed crop looks set to disappoint in 2012.
Australia will plant more for the coming season. In fact a report just out from the NSW Department of Primary Industries says that rapeseed plantings in the state are seen "at an all time high of 548,350 ha, in response to good soil moisture profiles and solid oilseed prices." That represents an increase of 39% on last year's harvested area, they say. Once again though, this crop is a very long way off hitting the market.
The oilseed supply and demand situation looks set to remain tight for the rest of the year it would appear.
10/04/12 -- Soybeans: May 12 Soybeans closed at USD14.26, down 5 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.64 3/4, down 17 1/4 cents; May 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD389.80, up USD1.00; May 12 Soybean Oil closed at 56.97, up 26 points. A bullish slant to today's USDA numbers from the soybean perspective initially saw beans push to new 7-month highs. However weakness in corn, where the numbers were seen as bearish, eventually dragged the soy complex lower. The USDA cut Argentine soybean production by 1.5 MMT to 45 MMT and Brazil's output by 2.5 MMT to 66 MMT. Whilst both were in line with other trade estimates around, the latter in particular was a bit more aggressive than the trade expected from the USDA. Brazilian analysts CONAB issued an even lower number - 65.6 MMT today. US soybean ending stocks were cut 25 million bushels to 250 million. Continued demand from China, even with prices where they are, was evidenced by them buying 165,000 MT of new crop US soybeans overnight.
Corn: May 12 Corn closed at USD6.34 3/4, down 14 1/4 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.43 1/2, down 6 3/4 cents. The USDA seemingly can't find it in themselves top cut old crop ending stocks below the 800 million bushel mark, so they left 2011/12 carryout unchanged at 801 million, contrary to trade expectations for a cut to around 720 million. Even so this still represents the tightest stocks/use ratio since 1996. Unimpressed, funds sold an estimated 13,000 corn contracts on the day. Unlike their soybean crop, Brazil's corn potential could be rising due to hopes for a bumper second crop. CONAB upped their estimate from 61.7 MMT in March to 65.1 MMT this time round, that's now 3.1 MMT more than the USDA project. The rapid pace of US spring plantings looks likely to cap any corn rally attempts for the time being, although frost is in the forecast for Illinois, with temperatures seen falling as low as 28C overnight.
Wheat: May 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.25 3/4, down 17 1/4 cents; May 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.41, down 19 cents; May 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.33 3/4, down 13 1/4 cents. The USDA pegged the 2011/12 US wheat carryout of 793 million bushels, down 32 million from last month and in line with expectations. World ending stocks were also reduced to 206.3 MMT, although that is still an historically high number. Funds were said to have sold an estimated 5,000 CBOT wheat contracts on the day. Last night's 61% good/excellent rating for winter wheat and the rapid progress with spring wheat plantings weighed on the market. So too did lower European grains after some decent weekend rains for the UK and France, which are seen continuing for much of the rest of the week.
10/04/12 -- EU grains finished mostly lower with May 12 London wheat down GBP1.25/tonne to GBP170.50/tonne and May 12 Paris wheat falling EUR2.75/tonne to EUR208.50/tonne.
Weekend rains for the UK, France and Germany were viewed as bearish. Even so, FranceAgriMer said that France would harvest the smallest soft wheat planted area since 2033 this year due to winter kill losses.
Only 4.72 million hectares of the planted 5.07 million hectares will make it through to harvest, pegging winter losses at almost 7%, they said. This year's all winter grain area was estimated at 6.55 million hectares versus 7.1 million in March and down 5.7% from 2011.
The USDA raised world wheat consumption by around 3 MMT to 686.8 MMT, lowering ending stocks by a similar amount to 206.3 MMT, although that still ranks as one of the highest levels on record.
They surprised the market by leaving 2011/12 US corn ending stocks unchanged at 20.3 MMT, although world inventories were cut by almost 2 MMT to 122.7 MMT. They noted record high US ethanol stocks and reduced daily ethanol production in recent months since the abolition of the blenders' tax credit but left 2011/12 demand for corn from this sector unchanged at 5 billion bushels.
Last night the USDA increased their weekly spring wheat planting progress from 8% to 21% complete as of Sunday night, compared to just 3% last year and 5% on average. Winter wheat crop conditions also continue to show significant improvement at 61% good/excellent, from 58% a week ago and well ahead of the 36% this time last year.
10/04/12 -- The overnight grains saw beans close 8-10 cents higher, corn flat to up 2 cents and wheat 3-4 cents steadier. WTI crude is around half a dollar lower, Brent is a dollar or so easier.
The USDA numbers are out and are bullish for soybeans, and also a bit friendly for wheat too. For corn, leaving old crop ending stocks unchanged is bearish, even if nobody believes the 801 million number this month any more than they did last month.
Increased feeding of wheat sees US ending stocks cut from 825 million bushels to 793 million. World wheat ending stocks were cut by more than anticipated to 206.3 MMT.
The stand out is probably Brazil's soybean crop cut by 2.5 MMT to 66 MMT, lower than the lowest trade estimate, and before the ink is dry on that one we have just had CONAB chip in with an even lower number - 65.6 MMT. In contrast they've raised their corn production estimate to a record 65.1 MMT - 3.1 MMT above the USDA.
The early start to US corn plantings this year, and the possibility therefore of some acres in the south being harvested in late August, might help alleviate some old crop tightness.
The USDA also note that the "daily ethanol disappearance fell to a 23-month low in January pushing ethanol stocks to a new record high. Weekly EIA ethanol production data suggests average daily ethanol production during February and March has continued to fall."
Soybeans still look like the one with the most upside potential despite prices being at 7-month highs. Corn looks a bit bearish for the time being, and wheat may get dragged down with it, especially given that the USDA upped it's good/excellent rating for winter wheat three points to 61% last night & estimated spring wheat plantings jumped from 8% to 21% complete as of Sunday night, compared to just 3% last year and 5% on average.
Customs data shows that China imported 4.83 MMT of soybeans in March, up 38% from March 2011 and 26% more than in February. That puts Jan-Mar cumulative soybean imports up 22% on last year at 13.33 MMT.
Slap bang in the middle of all that, the USDA have just reported the sale of 165,000 MT of new crop soybeans to guess who under the daily reporting system?
Algeria have bought 125 TMT of optional origin durum wheat for May/Jun shipment. They are also looking for 50 TMT of optional origin milling wheat for Jun shipment.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session are all over the place. I'll go for corn 6-8- cents lower, beans 10-15 cents higher, wheat up 3-5 cents.
10/04/12 -- Here they are folks, the eagerly awaited USDA numbers. They've cut Brazilian soybean production 2.5 MMT from last month to 66.0 MMT, which is a bit more aggressive than the trade was expecting and falls half a million below the lowest trade estimate. Argentina's soybean output is trimmed half a million to 21.5 MMT - in line with the average trade guess.
US ending stocks are cut 25 million bushels for soybeans to 250 million - pretty much bang on what was expected as too is US wheat ending stocks trimmed from 825 million to 793 million. A bit of a bearish surprise is US corn stocks left unchanged at 801 million bushels.
World wheat stocks are cut almost 3.3 MMT to 206.3 MMT, when the trade was only expecting a reduction of 1 MMT. World corn and soybean stocks are in line with trade estimates.
All in all it reinforces the bullish tone for soybeans and could be called a bit bearish for corn given the pace of early plantings.
USDA 2011/12 US Ending Stocks Estimates (Million Bushels):
USDA 2011/12 World Ending Stocks Estimates (MMT):
South American 2011/12 Crop Production:
10/04/12 -- Rapemeal prices on the continent are firmer again today in line with rising rapeseed prices, with front month May 12 Paris futures closing EUR4.00/tonne higher on Thursday night and adding a further EUR2.00/tonne this morning.
Guide prices, basis FOB Lower Rhine in euros/metric tonne, with change from previous day:
09/04/12 -- Soybeans: May 12 Soybeans closed at USD14.31, down 3 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.82, up 1/2 cent; May 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD388.80, down USD3.10; May 12 Soybean Oil closed at 56.71, up 7 points. Beans were mostly a little lower in a bit of consolidation ahead of Tuesday's USDA report. Funds sold an estimated 4,000 soybean contracts on the day in light profit-taking. US 2011/12 soybean ending stocks are seen falling to 246 million bushels from 275 million last month in tomorrow's report. South American production numbers will also be under the microscope with Brazilian soybean output estimated at around 67.0-67.5 MMT and Argentine production of around 45.0-45.5 MMT.
Corn: May 12 Corn closed at USD6.49, down 9 1/4 cents; Dec 12 Corn closed at USD5.50 1/4, unchanged. Funds were said to have sold around 10,000 contracts on the day in nervousness ahead of tomorrow's USDA report. US corn ending stocks are seen falling to around 720 million bushels from 801 million last month in tomorrow's report. Benign weather conditions across much of the Midwest sees 7% of the corn crop planted as of Sunday versus 3% last week and 2% normally. There is widespread talk of some farmers switching around 25% of their intended corn acreage into soybeans given recent price movements since the USFA formulated their estimates on Mar 1st.
Wheat: May 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.43, up 4 1/2 cents; May 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.60, down 2 cents; May 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.47, up 1 cent. Unlike soybeans and corn, funds are short Chicago wheat so profit-taking ahead of tomorrow's USDA report consisted of light buying. US wheat ending stocks are seen falling to 792 million bushels from 825 million last month in tomorrow's report. World stocks are expected to be around 208.6 MMT, almost 1 MMT down on last month. After the close the USDA said that spring wheat plantings in the US shot up from 8% done to 21% complete as of Sunday. That's well ahead of only 3% done this time last year. Good/excellent winter wheat conditions improved from 58% to 61%, again well ahead of the 36% this time a year ago.