Chicago Grains Closing Comments - Friday Night

21/11/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans and meal closed with good gains on the day. Although beans were also net winners on the week, meal actually ended a choppy week close to where it began it. "It was an emotionally charged session today with China’s surprise cut in interest rates rallying beans early, while the announcement from the EPA mid-morning that they were delaying a decision on the 2014 renewable fuel mandate to next year rolled the market over and saw it falling into the red," said Benson Quinn Commodities. Beans and meal ultimately closed near the session highs. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange estimated the Argentine 2014/15 soybean planted area at 20.6 million ha, unchanged from their previous estimate and up 0.6 million on a year ago. They said that planting is 30.4% complete versus 16.9% a week ago and 37.7% a year ago. The Argentine Ag Ministry estimated 2014/15 plantings at 20.13 million ha versus their figure of 19.78 million a year ago. They also said that farmers there had still only sold 69% of their 2013/14 soybean crop versus 78% a year ago. Less than 3% of the 2014/15 soybean crop has been sold at this time, they added. The Philippines bought 85,000 MT of US meal for March–April shipment. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.39, up 18 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.46, up 18 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $378.40, up $7.60; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.69, up 2 points. For the week Jan 15 beans were up 16 1/2 cents, with Dec 14 meal down $1.50 and Dec 14 oil up 49 points.

Corn: The corn market closed with little change on the day, but lower for the week. Corn also had a choppy session, trading around 8 cents higher at one stage, but unlike beans ended closer to the lows of the day than the highs. The EPA were due to make an announcement concerning the US ethanol mandate, but in the end they said that they will delay making a final decision until early 2015. "Due to the profitability in ethanol production, I lost interest in the mandate debate months ago," said Benson Quinn's unmoved Brian Henry. The USDA announced 132,000 MT of US corn sold to unknown for 2014/15 delivery. China’s central bank cut benchmark interest rates for the first time in over 2 years. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that Argentine corn planting is 40% complete. They forecast the corn for grain planted area at 3 million ha, unchanged from their previous estimate. The Argentine Ag Ministry forecast the all corn planted area at 5.56 million ha, a near 10% drop on a year ago. Argentine summer growing conditions are very wet, with the developing El Niño potentially boosting yields in both corn and soybeans, said Martell Crop Projections. Corn yields in Argentina in the strong El Niño year of 2009-10 were record high and up 34% compared to the previous year, they note. Ukraine said that their 2014 grain harvest was 97% complete at 62 MMT. They are 93% done with the corn harvest, producing a crop of 25.5 MMT to date. That suggests a final crop of around 27.4 MMT, although it is unclear what volume of that might not get cut due to the continued fighting in the east of the country. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.72 3/4, down 1/2 cent; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.85 1/4, down 1 cent. For the week Dec 14 corn shed 9 cents and Mar 15 similar amount.

Wheat: The wheat market finished the day narrowly mixed across the 3 exchanges, but lower for the week on all. Comments from ECB chief Mario Draghi that he would "step up the pressure" to stimulate Europe's struggling economy sent the euro tumbling. That potentially paves the way for increased EU wheat exports, which are already ahead of last year's record pace, at the expense of US wheat getting a look in. The perpetually strong US dollar is also a negative for US export ambitions. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that the Argentine wheat harvest is 21.4% complete, making good progress from 10.8% done a week ago and ahead of 16% a year ago. They left their estimate for this year's crop unchanged at 11.5 MMT. The Argentine Ag Ministry see production even higher, at 12 MMT, a 30% rise on last year's crop. The Philippines bought 116,500 MT of optional origin feed wheat for March–May shipment. Kazakhstan said that it's 2014 grain harvest was now 97.2% complete on 14.6 million ha, producing a crop of 18.4 MMT to date. A year ago they were 98.6% done on 15.5 million ha, with a crop of 15.5 MMT. The Australian 2014 harvest is underway in WA and NSW. Abares are forecasting a wheat crop of 24.2 MMT (down more than 10% on last year), although most say that this figure is still too high by at least 1 MMT and possibly up to 3 MMT. "October rainfall was severely deficient in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia with 30% of normal rainfall, or less. The El Niño is a known drought maker in Eastern Australia," said Martell Crop Projections. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.47 1/4, unchanged; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.04, up 1 3/4 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.83 1/4, down 1 1/4 cents. For the week Dec 14 Chicago wheat was 13 1/4 cents lower, with Kansas down 1 1/2 cents and Minneapolis falling 6 cents.