Chicago Grains Closing Comments - Thursday

04/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans ended higher as weekly export sales of almost 1.2 MMT trumped expectations of 700-900 TMT. Meal sales of 226,800 MT for 2014/15 were also stronger than anticipated. Actual soybean shipments were also robust and beat 2 MMT again this past week. Cumulative 2014/15 shipments are now 20.3 MMT, with a further 19.3 MMT of outstanding sales, taking total commitments to 39.6 MMT, or 85% of the USDA's target for the season. Stats Canada estimated the Canadian soybean crop at just over 6 MMT, which was a little higher than the 5.9 MMT that the trade was expecting. Canadian canola production came in at 15.56 MMT, which was up 1 MMT on the average trade estimate and also well above the October forecast of little more than 14 MMT. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated that Argentine soybean planted area at 20.6 million hectares, unchanged from their previous figure and up versus 20 million a year ago. They said that planting is now 54.5% complete, which is 3.4% down on a year ago. MDA CropCast were unchanged on their outlook for soybean production in Brazil and Argentina in 2014/15, estimating the former crop at 91.2 MMT and the latter at 56.1 MMT. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.10 1/2, up 12 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.17 1/4, up 12 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $385.70, up $4.60; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.60, down 26 points.

Corn: The corn market closed higher, with weekly export sales of almost 1.2 MT also beating trade forecasts of 600-850 TMT. These were up 24 percent from the previous week and 65 percent above the prior 4-week average. Actual shipments this week were just shy of 750 TMT. Total shipments so far this season are now almost 9.3 MMT, with a further 13.5 MMT of outstanding sales. That takes net commitments to 22.8 MMT, which is just over half of the USDA's forecast for the season. Stats Canada forecast the Canadian corn crop this year at 11.5 MMT, just under the 11.6 MMT that the trade was expecting, although slightly higher than their October estimate. MDA CropCast estimated the Brazilian corn crop at 76.8 MMT, which is down 0.4 MMT on a week ago, although still higher than most other estimates in the hat. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated the Argentine corn crop at 44.5% planted, which is 2.5 points behind last year's pace. "From a technical standpoint, the corn market showed improvement with today’s higher trade. However, it doesn’t have the momentum needed to put in new highs for the move. The close near the high side of the daily range is a positive," said Benson Quinn. South Korea are tendering for 140 TMT of optional origin corn from April delivery. Serbia said that they had exported a record 480 TMT of corn in November. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.76, up 7 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.89 3/4, up 7 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed, up a little in Chicago but down in Kansas and Minneapolis. Weekly export sales of 319,200 MT were down 26 percent from the previous week and 14 percent below the prior 4-week average. Exports themselves were just under 450 TMT. Total shipments so far this season are now 12 MMT, with 4.9 MMT worth of additional outstanding sales. That takes total commitments so far this season to 16.9 MMT, which is 66% of the USDA's target, which is in line with average for this time of year. Stats Canada estimated the Canadian all wheat crop at 29.3 MMT, which was well above the average trade forecast of 27.8 MMT and the October forecast of 27.5 MMT. MDA CropCast cut their forecast for next year's Canadian wheat crop by 1.5 MMT to 27.1 MMT. The USDA's FAS in Indonesia forecast the nation's wheat imports in 2014/15 rising to 7.7 MMT from 7.1 MMT last season. Australia are traditionally their top supplier, although they do also buy significant volumes from the US and Canada. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated the Argentine wheat crop at 41.8% harvested, up 10.8 points on the week. Average yields to date are 2.34 MT/ha, but these are improving as the harvest progresses and expected to average 2.8 MT/ha at the finish. They stood by their forecast for final production this year of 11.5 MMT. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.99 3/4, up 2 3/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.27 1/4, down 4 1/2 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.23 1/4, down 12 1/4 cents.