Chicago Wheat Hits More Than 5- Month Highs

01/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans ended barely changed. Weekly export inspections were large at 1.85 MMT, although figures like this are now almost becoming routine. Cumulative shipments are now 7.35 MMT larger than they were at this time a year ago. AgRural said that Brazil’s 2014/15 soybean crop is 85% planted versus 76% a week ago and now almost in line with 89% a year ago. They estimated production at a record 94.9 MMT. Oil World forecast the global soybean crop at 309.1 MMT in 2014/15, up 8.5% on last season. They said that the EU had processed 3.2 MMT of soybeans in Q1 of 2014/15, up almost 7% on a year previously. Europe also processed 6.7 MMT of rapeseed in the same period, a rise of 11% on the same quarter a year ago. In Argentina, the USDA's attaché estimated the 2014/15 soybean planted area at 21.0 million hectares versus the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange estimate of 20.6 million. They forecast the crop at 57.0 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate, but up 2 MMT compared to the official USDA estimate. Local weather forecasters said that Argentine growing conditions are currently near ideal. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.17, up 1 cent; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.24, up 1 1/2 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $384.40, down $6.70; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.22, up 4 pips.

Corn: The corn market also ended with little change.  A recovery in the crude oil market, which hit 5 year lows for WTI and Brent earlier in the day may have helped corn somewhat in afternoon trade. The USDA announced 126,000 MT of US corn sold to unknown for 2014/15 shipment. China's CNGrain said that their 2014/15 corn ending stocks are likely to reach an enormous 120 MMT. That figure seemed so outrageous when I first saw it that I thought I'd better go and get it verified from another source, but the story is out there. The USDA's current ending stocks estimate is a "mere" 77.7 MMT. If accurate, then the CNGrain figure puts stocks to usage at a record high 60%. The USDA's attaché office in Russia estimated their 2014 corn crop at 11.5 MMT, with is 0.5 MMT below the official figure. They see exports at 2.5 MMT, which is also 0.5 MMT below the official USDA estimate. Russia said that they'd exported 780 TMT of corn in November. Ukraine is now majoring on corn exports, these accounted for 85% of all grain exports via seaports last week, up from 69% the previous week, said APK Inform. Safras e Mercado estimated the Brazilian 2014/15 corn crop at 75.5 MMT, down 2.2% from a year ago. The Brazilian Trade Ministry said that the country exported just under 3 MMT of corn in November, down from 3.9 MMT a year previously. Weekly US corn export inspections came in at just under 744 TMT, which was in line with trade expectations. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.75 1/2, down 1/4 cent; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.89 3/4, up 1 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market jumped to new highs for the move. Chicago wheat closed above $6/bushel for the first time since June. Winterkill concerns in the US, Russia and Ukraine are getting a lot of publicity due to freezing temperatures and a lack of snow cover. Crop conditions in all three countries are also significantly worse than a year ago. UkrAgroConsult said that more than a third of the Ukraine winter barley crop is in poor condition, and just 18.3% of it is in good condition. Meanwhile, the past 6 months have been abnormally dry with only 55% of normal precipitation rainfall in the 4 key southern Russian winter wheat growing areas of Krasnodar, Stavropol, Rostov and Volgograd, said Martell Crop Projections. The USDA attaché in Russia estimated their 2014 wheat crop at 58 MMT which is 1 MMT below the official USDA figure. They see exports at 22 MMT versus 22.5 MMT from the USDA themselves. The US dollar hit an all time high of 52 against the Russian rouble today, up 2 from Friday. The weakness of the domestic currency does seem to be encouraging farmers to hold back on making further sales. India said that it had sown 16.2 million hectares of wheat for the 2015 harvest, up versus 15.9 million ha this time a year ago. Bangladesh announced a tender for 50 TMT of optional origin wheat. ABARES cut 1 MMT off their Australian wheat production estimate to 23.2 MMT. Weekly US wheat export inspections were disappointing at 273,055 MT. YTD shipments lag a year ago by 5.79 MMT. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.06 3/4, up 29 1/2 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.60 1/4, up 23 1/4 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.50, up 29 cents.