Chicago Markets Mixed In Positioning Ahead Of Monday's USDA Reports

27/06/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower, with the largest losses in the deferred months. Stats Canada estimated 2014 canola plantings at 20.2 million acres. That's 0.3 million higher than the average trade estimate, 0.4 million up on their April forecast and a 1.3% increase on the 2013 acreage of 19.9358 million acres. They also forecast the 2014 Canadian soybean area at 5.583 million acres versus an average trade estimate of 5.1 million and their April estimate of 5.2644 million. That's a 23.6% increase versus the 2013 area of 4.5189 million acres. It's not just in the US and South America where current soybean prices are grabbing farmers' attention it would seem. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that the Argentine soybean harvest was 95.2% done, a 3 point rise on a week ago. They held steady with their production forecast of a record 55.5 MMT. In Monday's upcoming USDA planted acreage report the trade is looking at an average figure of 82.154 million (record high) for soybeans. The range of estimates are 80.5-84.0 million, the USDA's March estimate was 81.493 million and the 2013 acreage was 76.533 million. As far as the Jun 1 quarterly stocks report goes, trade estimates for that are in the range of around 340-440 million bushels, with the average guess centred in the region of the 380 million mark. US weather next week is seen turning drier, which will not be a problem after all the recent rains. The USDA will also report on crop progress/conditions on Monday night. The 2014 US soybean crop was 95% planted as of last Sunday night, and 72% of the crop was rated good/excellent - said to be the highest percentage in the top two categories since 1986. Funds were net sellers of an estimated 6,000 soybean contracts on the day. The weekly Commitment of Traders report shows them cutting their long holding in soybeans by 5,403 contracts taking their overall net long position down to 41,221 contracts. Are they gearing up to play beans from the short side for a change? It seems like it's been a very long time since they've done that in beans. Only time will tell. Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $14.32, down 5 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $12.28, down 16 1/4 cents; Jul 14 Soybean Meal closed at $469.80, up $4.30; Jul 14 Soybean Oil closed at 39.98, down 53 points. For the week overall Jul 14 beans were 16 1/4 cents higher, whilst Nov 14 lost 3 1/2 cents. Jul 14 meal was up $10.60 versus last Friday and Jul 14 oil fell 6 points in the course of the week.

Corn: The corn market ended a little higher on the day, but lower for the week. The trading range was narrow, and there may have been some short-covering and profit-taking ahead of Monday's reports. Note that corn has staged a limit/near limit move in 4 of the last 5 years on the day of this report (and 3 of those 4 were downwards moves). The average guess for June 1 US corn stocks is 3.722 billion bushels, from within a range of estimates of 3.046-3.950 billion. That's nearly 35% higher than the June 1, 2013 corn stocks of 2.766 billion. US corn acres in 2014 are expected to come in at around 91.725 million. The range of estimates is 91.0-92.2 million, the USDA's March estimate was 91.691 million and the 2013 corn acreage was 95.365 million. Stats Canada said that the 2014 corn planted area there would total 3.119 million acres. That's below the average trade estimate of 3.3 million and down versus their April estimate of 3.3688 million and also a 15.5% cut versus the 2013 acreage of 3.6893 million. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated that the Argentine 2013/14 corn crop is now 48.6% harvested, a modest increase of only 4.2 percentage points on a week ago, and well behind last year's pace of 76.9% complete. The harvested total so far is said to be around 12 MMT, with a final production figure of 25 MMT still on the cards, that's a 7.4% drop on last season's production of 27 MMT. China sold a little under 1 MMT of the 5 MMT of corn they had on offer at their second auction of the week. That means that they offered up a total of 7.7 MMT of corn for auction this week and found buyers for only 1.4 MMT of it, an 18% success rate. The USDA's attaché office in China estimated the 2014/15 corn harvested area at 36.5 million hectares versus 36.1 million a year ago. They forecast China's 2014/15 corn crop at 220.0 MMT versus 217.7 MMT a year ago. China's 2014/15 corn import requirement is estimated at only around 3-4 MMT in 2014/15 versus 7 MMT this season. The USDA cut their corn good/excellent crop ratings by 2 percentage points last week to 74%, although the previous week's ratings were said to be the highest in 20 years. They are due to revise that estimate on Monday night, with the trade expecting perhaps another 2 point cut. Funds were estimated buyers as being net of 4,000 corn contracts on the day. The weekly Commitment of Traders report shows them cutting their length in corn by 22,104 contracts to give them a net long position of 115,176 contracts. Jul 14 Corn closed at $4.43, up 1/4 cent; Sep 14 Corn closed at $4.42 1/4, up 3 1/4 cents. For the week Jul 14 corn was 10 1/4 cents lower, with Sep 14 down 6 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed around 3-9 cents higher across the three exchanges. As with corn, short-covering and book squaring ahead of Monday's reports may have been a motive behind some of the buying seen today. Trade estimates for Monday's upcoming US all wheat plantings are averaging out at 55.818 million acres, from within a range of estimates of 54.8-57.0 million. The USDA March estimate was 55.815 million and the 2013 final all wheat acreage was 56.156 million. For June 1 stocks, the average trade forecast is 598 million bushels. The range of estimates is 560-633 million and June 1, 2013 wheat stocks were 718 million. Stats Canada estimated the all wheat planted area there at 24.1 million acres, below the average trade estimate of 24.5 million and their April estimate of 24.9363 million. Plantings for last year's record crop were 26.2565 million. They forecast the Canadian 2014 barley planted area at 6.1 million acres versus an average trade estimate of 6.5 million and their April estimate of 6.3106 million. Plantings in 2013 were 7.0825 million, so this is a near 14% cut. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that nationally 48.8% of the planned 4.3 million hectares of winter wheat had now been sown in Argentina. That's up 14.5 percentage points in a week, although still 4 points behind last year's pace. Oman bought 60,000 MT of Russian wheat for October shipment. Brazil were said to have bought two US HRW wheat cargoes for July shipment yesterday. The Russian Ag Minister in Crimea said that their newly acquired asset will produce a grain crop of 1.1 MMT this year, including 650 TMT of wheat. Harvesting in Crimea has already begun, with 18% of the region's early grain area already cut. Average yields are said to be 2.39 MT/ha. They are also harvesting in the Krasnodar, Stavropol and Rostov regions. Yields in the former are said to be averaging 5.3 MT/ha, and coming in at 3.3 MT/ha in the latter two. The USDA said last week that the 2014 US winter wheat crop was 33% harvested, up from 16% a week previously and 2 points more than the 5-year average. Wet weather this week may have stalled that progress a little. Winter wheat good/excellent was unchanged on the prior week at 35% last Monday, I don't expect too much change this time round either. Spring wheat rated good/excellent was 71% last week, down a point from the previous week, but one point more than a year ago. Again little change in that is expected. Funds were estimated buyers as being net of 3,000 wheat contracts on the day. The weekly Commitment of Traders report shows them adding 11,494 contracts to their net short position in CBOT wheat for the week, giving them an overall short of 40,436 lots. Jul 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.85 1/4, up 3 cents; Jul 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.26, up 5 cents; Jul 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.83, up 4 cents. That meant that Chicago wheat finished exactly unchanged on the week, with Kansas up 5 1/4 cents and Minneapolis losing 7 1/2 cents.