Chicago Grains Rise, Russian Wheat Rumours Persist

11/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed around 10 cents higher. Weekly export sales of 810,300 MT for 2014/2015 were down 31 percent from the previous week and 20 percent below the prior 4-week average. "Soybean sales have reached 84.5% of the new USDA export estimate, which compares to a 5 year average of 76.8%," said Benson Quinn. "Soy meal sales have reached 59% of the current USDA estimate, which compares to a 5 year average of 51.2%," they added. Actual shipments of 2.4 MMT remain very robust, with China alone taking more than 1.5 MMT of that total. The Rosario Grains Exchange, in their first estimate for the season, forecast Argentina’s 2014/15 soybean crop at 55.0 MMT, which is in line with yesterday's USDA figure. IMEA said Mato Grosso farmers have sold 34.1% of their 2014/15 soybean crop versus 48.8% this time a year ago. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.42 1/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.48 3/4, up 10 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $406.10, up $0.90; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.93, up 26 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 4-5 cents higher, save for the expiring Dec 14 which closed up 7 1/2 cents. Weekly export sales of 962,800 MT for 2014/15 were down 18 percent from the previous week, but up 9 percent from the prior 4-week average, and in line with expectations. Exports of 678,300 MT were primarily to Japan (246,400 MT), Peru (103,900 MT), Mexico (95,000 MT), Colombia (77,000 MT), Costa Rica (38,400 MT) and Saudi Arabia (36,300 MT). The Rosario Grains Exchange estimated Argentina’s 2014/15 corn crop at 21.5 MMT, unchanged from previous estimate and 0.5 MMT below the USDA's forecast of yesterday. Ukraine said that their 2014 corn harvest is now 98% complete at 27.52 MMT. They said that 2014/15 grain exports were 16.358 MMT, including 5.172 MMT of corn. Fund money was estimated as being a net buyer of around 3,000 corn contracts on the day. The market continues to do a decent job of ignoring the ongoing slump in crude oil prices. Iran said that crude could hit $40/barrel if OPEC doesn't get itself in order soon. US ethanol production though is running at record levels. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.90, up 7 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.98 1/2, up 4 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with good gains. Weekly export sales of 442,300 MT for delivery in the 2014/15 marketing year were up 39 percent from the previous week and 16 percent above the prior 4-week average. They were also towards the top end of trade estimates for once. Egypt's GASC picked up 180 TMT of wheat in their tender, two cargoes being Russian origin and one of French. The prices paid were significantly cheaper than their last purchase, and it was particularly interesting to see Russian wheat be competitive again. Some are suggesting that this was a "let's get it sold and shipped whilst we still can" move. "News eventually began to trickle out that a Russian ag minister made statements indicating they would attempt to reduce exports and would eventually raise Russian intervention prices to keep the domestic market supplied," said Benson Quinn. That's the first time that there's been anything but a flat denial from Russia that this sort of move could be on the cards, even if it has been widely rumoured. Japan bought 143,317 MT of milling wheat for Jan/Feb shipment in their regular weekly tender. The origin was split between US, Canada and Australia. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.10 1/4, up 17 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.23 1/2, up 8 3/4 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.20, up 22 cents.