Chicago Market Higher, Despite Shaky Outside Influences

12/04/13 -- Soycomplex: The bean and meal market closed higher supported by continued strong demand for US beans, with the USDA today confirming the sale of 110,000 MT to China for 2013/14. Old crop sales meanwhile are already 99% of the USDA target for the season, with Brazilian dockers set to strike next week. Over 60 vessels are waiting at the Brazilian port of Paranagua and the waiting times to load continue to be around 60 days. US weather remains cold and wet, hampering early planting progress. The NOPA March crush report comes out on Monday. A Reuters survey estimates the crush at 136.8 million bushels, versus 136.3 million in Feb. A Dow Jones survey is a bit more bullish at 140.0 million bushels. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that 24% of the Argentine bean harvest has been completed, versus 9.2% a week ago and 22.7% a year ago. They estimate this year's soybean crop at 48.5 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate and below the USDA's 51.5 MMT. MDA CropCast estimated 2013 US soybean yields at 43 bushels/acre, up only modestly from 41.9 bu/acre in 2012. Funds were judged to have been net buyers of around 5-6,000 soybean contracts on the day. May 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.13, up 11 cents; Jul 13 Soybeans closed at USD13.79 1/4, up 11 cents; May 13 Soybean Meal closed at USD400.20, up USD5.20; May 13 Soybean Oil closed at 49.23, down 54 points. For the week that puts May 13 beans 51 1/4 cents higher, with meal up USD8.30 and oil up 40 points.

Corn: The market closed higher on the day and the week, despite having little help from outside markets nervous over North Korea and the ongoing debt crisis in Europe. Gold slumped to its lowest since July 2011 and NYMEX crude was also down heavily. Adverse weather conditions in the US aren't helping early planting progress. The USDA are thought likely to report corn planting at 4-6% complete in Monday night's crop progress report. There's already some early talk of possible corn acres being switched into beans. Chinese corn plantings are also said to likely be 10-14 days behind normal schedule due to heavy snow in the north of the country, this is also leading to some suggestion of a switch into faster maturing beans. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that the Argentine corn harvest is 28.2% complete, versus 24.3% a week ago and 33.4% a year ago. They estimate Argentina’s corn crop at 25.0 MMT, unchanged from previous their estimate and down 1.5 MMT from the USDA estimate of 26.5 MMT. MDA CropCast forecast potential US corn yields in 2013 at 154 bushels/acre, versus 147.2 bu/acre in 2012. Yesterday's weekly export sales report from the USDA shows that cumulative 2012/13 corn sales stand at 77% of the USDA forecast for the current marketing year versus the 5 year average of 82% at this time. Funds were judged to have been net buyers of 7-9,000 corn contracts on the day. May 13 Corn closed at USD6.58 1/2, up 7 1/4 cents; Jul 13 Corn closed at USD6.41 1/4, up 7 3/4 cents. For the week that puts front month May 13 corn up 29 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with double digit gains, supported by talk of freeze damage to US winter wheat, and planting delays for US and Canadian spring wheat. Agrium said that they expect western Canadian planting delays of 2-4 weeks due to snow cover. Similar conditions prevail in many US spring wheat states, with the added problem of flooding potential once this snow melts. Weather forecasts for the week ahead are not conducive. There's been some talk of wheat output in Oklahoma, possibly the state worst affected by recent freezing conditions, falling to 120 million bushels, down 24% on the 157.7 million produced last year. There's been no further confirmation today of US wheat sales to China, following yesterday's announcement of 360 TMT of SRW wheat sold to them. The trade is confident that more sales will be confirmed in the next few days. Analysts estimate China’s 2013/14 wheat imports at more than 3.5 MMT versus 3.2 MMT in 2012/13 and 2.933 MMT in 2011/12. Kazakhstan's Apr 1 wheat stocks were down 36.6% on year ago levels at 9.5 MMT, say the Ag Ministry there. French winter wheat development is well behind last year, so too are spring corn plantings. Jordan passed again on a tender to import 100 TMT of wheat due to high prices. Bangladesh bought what is thought likely to have been Indian wheat in a tender this week and is back in tendering for more. Taiwan have been buying US wheat this week. Japan bought wheat from the US, Canada and Australia. Fund buying in CBOT wheat was estimated at 4-5,000 lots on the day. May 13 CBOT Wheat closed at USD7.14 3/4, up 17 cents; May 13 KCBT Wheat closed at USD7.53, up 14 1/4 cents; May 13 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.07 3/4, up 18 1/4 cents. For the week CBOT wheat was up 15 3/4 cents, with Kansas adding 27 cents and Minneapolis 20 1/4 cents.