17/01/14 -- EU grains finished mostly lower, with wheat under pressure as prices in Chicago fell to fresh 3 1/2 year lows.
Jan 14 London wheat finished the day down GBP1.45/tonne at GBP152.85/tonne, whilst new crop Now 14 London wheat ended GBP1.75/tonne lower at GBP144.75/tonne - a new lifetime closing low for the contract.
Mar 14 Paris wheat was EUR0.75/tonne easier at EUR191.75/tonne, Mar 14 corn was down EUR0.25/tonne to EUR172.50/tonne, whilst Feb 14 Paris rapeseed closed EUR0.25/tonne higher at EUR360.50/tonne.
For the week that puts front month London wheat down GBP1.65/tonne, with Paris wheat slipping EUR1.25/tonne, Paris corn gaining EUR1.00/tonne and Paris rapeseed adding EUR4.25/tonne.
Yesterday's Egyptian wheat purchase maybe proved a couple of things. Firstly, French wheat offers needed to be trimmed to compete, having missed out in the previous tender the results of which were announced on Monday. And trimmed they were, to the tune of $6/tonne in only a few days.
Secondly, it appeared to prove that there is still also wheat left for sale in Ukraine, Russia and Romania at competitive prices - albeit only after factoring in a freight advantage.
Indian wheat is not approved for import into Egypt, so they continue to scout the market elsewhere for interest too. Another government backed firm, MMTC, today offered 120 TMT of Indian wheat for tender for Feb/Mar shipment.
There's talk of a decision being due soon on whether or not the Indian government will approve the release of more wheat onto the global market, in addition to the 2 MMT said to be already earmarked for sale in Q1 of 2014, ahead of a potential bin-busting 100 MMT plus crop of their own. Harvesting of that starts in March.
The Indians have been picking up bids around the $275-280/tonne mark, but are said to be prepared to take down to $260/tonne if market conditions dictate it. That's around $20/tonne below the winning French bids in yesterday's Egyptian tender.
Some Asian, African and Middle Eastern destinations are of course less particular about who's wheat they buy than Egypt.
EU-28 wheat exports are on track to be record large in 2013/14, although demand for wheat from the feed sector here is being hit by cheap corn imports which are also flooding in from the likes of Ukraine. There's also the large domestic barley crop to contend with.
Winter wheat crop conditions in Europe and the FSU generally look good. Although a lack of snow cover remains a legitimate concern for some, there's no damage being reported yet.
16/01/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed narrowly mixed with the strong export pace supporting the market despite the notion that another record large South American crop is almost upon us. China seem to now be heavily booking soybeans for 2014/15 as well as 2013/14, and US origin is getting plenty of attention. The USDA today announced net sales of 465,500 of US soybeans sold to China. That comprised of 60,000 MT for 2013/14 shipment and 405,500 tons for 2014/15 shipment. That was announced under the daily reporting system. In addition to that there were weekly export sales of 701,500 MT for 2013/14 (with China taking 678,200 MT) and a further 525,300 MT for 2014/15 (China: 512,000 MT). Trade expectations were for sales of a combined 750 TMT to 1 MMT for both marketing years. Actual physical exports this week were 1,563,200 MT - with over a million tonnes of that heading to you know where. Brazil's 2013/14 soybean harvest is slowly gathering pace. Mato Grosso's bean harvest is said to be around 3-5% complete, with Parana about 2% done. Meanwhile in Argentina they are still wrapping up planting. Hot and dry is the forecast in Argentina through to Saturday, but cooler temperatures and scattered showers are in the prognosis for Sunday – Monday. There's talk that the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is now pegging Argentine soybean plantings at 20.35 million hectares, down from their previous estimate of 20.45 million hectares due to these dryness issues. Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $13.15, down 3 cents; May 14 Soybeans closed at $12.96 1/4, down 1 1/4 cents; Mar 14 Soybean Meal closed at $432.00, down $2.50; Mar 14 Soybean Oil closed at 38.05, up 6 points.
Corn: The corn market closed a couple of cents higher after weekly export sales of 821,000 MT for 2013/14 were up noticeably from the previous week and 26 percent above the previous 4-week average. Trade expectations had been for sales of around 350-550 TMT. The figure included decreases for China (169,800 MT) and unknown destinations (15,800 MT). Weekly shipments of 674,500 MT were up 12 percent from the previous week, but down 23 percent from the prior 4-week average. There was no sign of anything significant heading to China as the dispute over the non-approved MIR 162 variety rumbles on. Separately, the USDA announced 126,000 MT of US corn sold to unknown had been cancelled. This is assumed to be China. South Korea's NOFI bought 70 TMT of US corn for May shipment. Europe reported another robust week of corn imports, with Brussels granting import licences for 646 TMT. The cumulative season to date total is 6.2 MMT versus 6.0 MMT a year ago, but the pace of these imports really has cranked up in recent weeks since Ukraine's corn harvest wrapped up. Strategie Grains estimated the 2014 EU-28 corn crop at 64.8 MMT versus a previous estimate of 64.7 MMT and 64.5 MMT in 2013. MDA CropCast forecast the Brazilian corn crop at 71.8 MMT, up 400 TMT from last week "due to favourable conditions in much of the belt." They timmed 90 TMT off their Argentine crop estimate to 24.09 MMT "due to ongoing dryness and heat." Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.28, up 2 1/4 cents; May 14 Corn closed at $4.35 1/2, up 2 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market reversed yesterdays losses, closing around 5 to 10 cents higher across the three exchanges. Support came from a partial victory for US wheat in the latest GASC tender, although the prize was shared with Ukraine, Russia and France. US wheat was well below the other origins on an FOB basis. MDA CropCast cut their US winter wheat production forecast by 117 million bushels to 1.632 billion "due to acreage adjustments." Adding that "snow cover on the Plains remains very limited." Another very cold spell is forecast to hit the US Midwest next week, with temperatures dropping as low as -18C. Weekly export sales of 319,900 MT for delivery during the 2013/14 marketing year were up noticeably from the previous week, but down 20 percent from the prior 4-week average. There were also sales of 82,000 MT for 2014/15. Trade estimates were for sales of 300-600 TMT. For all the talk that US wheat is far cheaper than other origins these are pretty uninspiring totals. The EU cleared 810,000 MT of soft wheat exports this week, and French wheat was around $15 dearer than US wheat on an FOB basis in Egypt's tender. There's trade talk of logistical issues in transporting and loading vessels in Canada as they try to get their record large wheat crop to market in the depths of a very cold winter. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.72 3/4, up 5 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.29 1/2, up 9 cents; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.24, up 10 cents.
16/01/14 -- EU grains closed mostly weaker in follow through trade after a sharp slump in values across the Atlantic on Wednesday night.
Jan 14 London wheat ended GBP0.45/tonne lower at GBP154.30/tonne, and Nov 14 fell GBP0.60/tonne to GBP146.50/tonne. Mar 14 Paris wheat finished down EUR0.50/tonne to EUR192.50/tonne, Mar 14 Paris corn rose EUR0.25/tonne to EUR172.75/tonne, whilst Feb 14 Paris rapeseed fell EUR2.75/tonne to EUR360.25/tonne.
Strategie Grains trimmed slightly their forecast for the 2014 EU-28 wheat crop from 138.0 MMT to 137.7 MMT, although that's still 2% more than in 2013.
"This reduction mainly corresponds to the UK and stems from a combination of lower planted area and lower trend yield," they said.
The UK crop was estimated at 15.27 MMT, which is 160 TMT down on their previous forecasts but still more than 28% above last year's second disaster in a row.
The French analysts raised their 2014 EU-28 barley production forecast by the same 300 TMT that their wheat estimate was reduced, from 54.5 MMT to 54.8 MMT - although that's still an 8% reduction on last year. They also tweaked slightly higher their 2014 EU-28 corn crop estimate from 64.7 MMT to 64.8 MMT, a marginal increase on production of 64.5 MMT in 2013.
Egypt bought one cargo each of Ukraine, Russian and US SRW wheat, along with two cargoes of French wheat all for Feb 15-28 shipment and all at prices around $301-302/tonne including freight. The cheapest French offers were around $279 FOB, which is some $6 lower than the bids that missed out in GASC's last tender at the weekend.
Brussels announced another bumper week of exports, with soft wheat licences for 810 TMT being granted. That takes the cumulative 2013/14 season to date total now up to 15.9 MMT, up 53% on 10.4 MMT this time a year ago. Whilst it's another impressive weekly total, note that they also issued import licences for 646 TMT of corn too.
Tunisia are tendering for 117,000 MT of soft milling wheat, 109,000 MT of durum wheat and 75,000 MT of feed barley - all of optional origin for Feb-March shipment. France would usually be the favourite supplier for this destination.
On the EU weather front, MDA CropCast said that "snow cover has increased a bit in Poland and Scandinavia, but remains limited elsewhere. Persistent rains across the UK are maintaining some wetness there, whilst rains in Germany and northern Italy have improved moisture. Dryness continues in east central and southeastern areas though."
"A late winter, or virtually no winter at all, is rarely a good thing for yields," one market commentator observed.
15/01/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans jumped following the news that NOPA members crushed a record 165.38 million bushels of soybeans in December, beating trade forecasts for a monthly crush of 163.9 million. The November crush was 160.145 million bushels and the Dec 2012 crush was 159.899 million. The USDA announced 106,000 MT of US beans sold to China for 2014/15 shipment, which was also supportive. The trade is expecting another round of robust export sales in tomorrow's regular weekly report, with estimates for beans in the 750 TMT to 1 MMT range. The US has already hit the USDA's export target for 2013/14. Benson Quinn said "the trade seems to shifting their expectations that China cancellation of US soybean purchases were inevitable to one of show me before I believe it." A private Brazilian firm pegged soybean production there at 91.6 MMT, adding that 39 MMT of that will be harvested by the end of February. Weather conditions in Brazil are generally favourable, but Argentina needs more rain and cooler temperatures. Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $13.18, up 11 cents; May 14 Soybeans closed at $12.97 1/2, up 9 1/4 cents; Mar 14 Soybean Meal closed at $434.50, up $4.40; Mar 14 Soybean Oil closed at 37.99, up 23 points.
Corn: The corn market tumbled on news that the weekly ethanol grind was only 868,000 barrels/day this past week, down 51,000 bpd on the previous week and well below the level required to hit the USDA target for the season. Funds were said to have been net sellers of around 7,000 corn contracts on the day. Abundant US corn stocks weigh on the market. Last Friday’s stocks report indicated that “on farm” corn supplies totalled 6.38 billion bushels, up 39% from a year earlier. The “off-farm” stocks totalled 4.05 billion bushels, up 17% from a year ago and the highest on record. Argentine weather is a threat, particularly for corn pollinating. Some private estimates for the Argentine corn crop are below 20 MMT versus the USDA's 25 MMT. On the other hand the USDA are one of the lowest around on the size of Brazil's corn crop at 70 MMT, with some estimates in the 76-78 MMT region. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 350-550 TMT. A disappointing figure below this range would not be good news for the few remaining bulls. China continues to reject US DDGs shipments. Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.25 3/4, down 5 3/4 cents; May 14 Corn closed at $4.33 1/2, down 6 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market crashed around 7 to 11 cents lower on the day across the three exchanges, unequivocally breaking a rare two up days in a row trend. A sharply higher US dollar an weakening corn offered little in the way of support. A late tender for wheat for Feb shipment from Egypt's GASC will be interesting when the results are announced tomorrow. US wheat won the day in their last tender over the weekend, which way will this one go? US wheat has been competitively priced on the world market for weeks, but has been unable to muster up enough business to trigger much in the way of short covering. Japan are in the market for their regular combo of 180,000 MT of wheat from Canada, the US and Australia. Jordan bought 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat and Bangladesh re-tendered for a similar volume. India are tendering to sell more of their surplus wheat stocks ahead of a harvest that is only a couple of months away. They are now forecasting that to reach a record 100 MMT, which is around 10 MMT more than their projected consumption, further swelling their domestic stockpile. Trade forecasts for tomorrow's weekly export sales report from the USDA are 300-600 TMT. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.67 3/4, down 11 1/2 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.20 1/2, down 11 1/2 cents; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.14, down 7 cents.
15/01/14 -- EU grains were mixed, with Paris wheat falling on a French stocks upgrade from FranceAgriMer.
Jan 14 London wheat closed GBP0.25/tonne firmer at GBP154.750/tonne and new crop Nov 14 ended the day up GBP0.35/tonne at GBP147.10/tonne. Mar 14 Paris wheat fell EUR2.00/tonne to EUR193.00/tonne, Mar 14 Paris corn was unchanged at EUR172.50/tonne and Feb 14 Paris rapeseed rose EUR1.25/tonne to EUR363.00/tonne.
FranceAgriMer reduced their forecast for French wheat exports outside the EU from 11.8 MMT to 11.5 MMT, resulting in a corresponding 300 TMT hike in ending stocks from 2.4 MMT to 2.7 MMT.
The move was due to stiff export competition into the world's leading wheat buyer, Eygpt, they said.
French corn stocks were pegged 200 TMT lower than previously forecast at 2.9 MMT due to increased on-farm use, they added.
The Ukraine Stats Office said that this season's grain harvest came in at just under 63 MMT, including nearly 22.3 MMT of wheat and a record 30.9 MMT of corn.
Russia said that they would resume grain purchasing for the state intervention fund on Jan 21. Buying was halted for Christmas and New Year.
Jordan bought 50 TMT of the 100 TMT of optional origin wheat that they tendered for. Bangladesh are re-tendering for 50 TMT of wheat after the original seller failed to supply the goods on time.
India’s Farm Ministry estimated the 2014 wheat crop at a record high 100 MMT.
Egypt's GASC were said to be back in the market late in the session tendering for wheat for Feb shipment.
Reports of a fire at one of Germany's largest rapeseed crushing plants in Rostock could be negative for rapeseed demand.
14/01/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed around 12 cents higher on renewed concerns over Argentine heat and dryness. Abiove estimated Brazil’s 2013/14 soybean crop at 87.6 MMT, up from a previous estimate of 86.6 MMT, but below the forecasts from the likes of CONAB (90.33 MMT) and the USDA (89 MMT). They now see Brazil's 2013/14 soybean exports at 44.5 MMT versus a previous estimate of 44.0 MMT. Agroconsult estimated Brazil soybean crop at 91.6 MMT versus a previous estimate of 90.7 MMT. Chinese industry analysts estimated the country's Jan soybean imports at 5.39 MMT, falling to 4.5 MMT in February. Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations begin at the end of the month, which normally keeps the first half of February quiet. China's March bean imports are forecast at 4.9 MMT, rising further to 5.2 MMT in April. Tomorrow brings the NOPA crush numbers for December, followed by weekly export sales on Thursday. Friday could see some consolidation and taking of money off the table as there's a long weekend in the US coming up with the markets closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Day. Jan 14 Soybeans closed at $13.39, up 12 1/4 cents; Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $13.06 1/2, up 12 1/4 cents; Jan 14 Soybean Meal closed at $445.10, down $1.80; Jan 14 Soybean Oil closed at 37.40, down 17 points.
Corn: The corn market closed around a couple of cents lower, despite talk that heat and dryness in Argentina was hurting newly planted corn there. Reports that China was continuing to reject US DDGs found to contain traces of the non-approved MIR 162 variety was unsettling. Agroconsult estimated Brazil’s 2013/14 corn crop at 76.2 MMT versus a previous estimate of 76.1 MMT and far higher than the USDA's 70 MMT forecast from Friday night. Dr Cordonnier estimated the Brazilian corn crop at 68.5 MMT, unchanged from his previous estimate. He cut his Argentine corn production forecast by 0.5 MMT to 22.5 MMT. Fund selling was estimated at a net 5,000 corn contracts on the day. Tomorrow brings the regular weekly ethanol production and stocks numbers from the Energy Dept. Last week's US ethanol grind was 919,000 barrels/day. South Korea's NOFI are tendering for 140,000 MT of corn and 70,000 MT of feed wheat for May shipment. Both are optional origin. The Ukraine Ag Ministry increased their 2013/14 grain export forecast to a record 33 MMT, the bulk of which will be corn. Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.32, down 2 1/2 cents; May 14 Corn closed at $4.40, down 2 1/2 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed higher on all three exchanges, with Kansas wheat displaying the most firmness. Most of Kansas and Nebraska are seen unusually dry. Argentina approved 1.5 MMT of wheat for export starting with an immediate shipment of 500 TMT, prompting some to suggest that Brazilian millers may cancel US HRW wheat purchases to buy from Argentina instead. India's PEC tendered to sell a further 100 TMT of wheat for Feb/Mar shipment. There's still talk that suddenly much colder temperatures in Russia and Ukraine might hurt winter wheat crops there unprotected by snow. "Moscow will dip below 20 degrees by Thursday and may see minimum temperatures of 1-10 by the weekend with very limited chances for snowfall. A damaging weather forecast for Black Sea and European crops remains the most threatening thing in the market for the bear camp," one commentator said. The fact that Egypt bought US SRW wheat over the weekend for the first time in almost 12 months, even if it was just one cargo, is supportive. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.79 1/2, up 6 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.32, up 12 1/4 cents; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.19 1/2, up 1 3/4 cents.
14/01/14 -- EU grains finished a choppy session mostly lower, having begun the day on a generally firmer footing.
Jan 14 London wheat finished the day down GBP1.05/tonne at GBP154.50/tonne, whilst new crop Now 14 London wheat ended GBP0.25/tonne lower at GBP146.75/tonne. Mar 14 Paris wheat was unchanged at EUR195.00/tonne, Mar 14 corn was down EUR1.25/tonne to EUR172.50/tonne, whilst Feb 14 Paris rapeseed closed EUR1.50/tonne higher at EUR361.75/tonne.
There are signs that UK wheat imports are finally slowing up. November imports fell to 129,483 MT versus 221,190 MT in October. Even so cumulative imports for the 2013/14 season (Jul/Nov) still totalled 1.18 MMT versus 1.03 MMT a year previously. Bulgaria was the leading supplier in November.
UK barley exports were 177,526 MT in November, taking the 2013/14 marketing year to date total to 635,564 MT, more than double the 280,463 MT exported in the same period in 2012/13.
Defra said that 535.5 TMT of wheat was milled in the UK in the four weeks to 23 Nov 2013, a 3.1% decline on the same period in 2012. Of that total less than 90 TMT was imported, a fall of almost 30% versus 2012.
Ukraine's Ag Ministry upped their estimate for 2013/14 grain exports to a record 33.0 MMT versus 23.5 MMT in 2012/13. They said that Ukraine has already exported 20.0 MMT of grains, mostly corn, this season.
UkrAgroConsult said 92% of Ukraine’s winter grain crops are in good condition.
The Argentine government approved 1.5 MMT of wheat for export, prompting debate that Brazil may now cancel some US purchases and switch back to Argentine wheat.
Oil World said that the Jul-Nov EU rapeseed crush was 10.3 MMT versus 9.9 MMT a year previously.
Belarus said that they aim to produce "at least" 9 MMT of grains in 2014, a rise of 18.4% versus last year.
13/01/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed sharply higher, particularly on front month Jan 14 which goes off the board tomorrow. A hot and dry forecast for Argentina in the week ahead was supportive. The Argentine Ministry said that 86% of the 2013/14 soybean crop is sown versus 90% a year ago. Weekly export inspections continue to indicate that global soybean demand hasn't switched to Brazil just yet. These came in at 59.381 million bushels versus the expected 45-50 million. In addition, the USDA reported the sale of 140,000 MT of US soybeans for delivery to unknown in the 2013/14 marketing year. IMEA said on Friday that in Brazil's Mato Grosso the 2013/14 soybean harvest is 1.9% complete versus 1% a year ago. Oil World estimated Argentina’s Jan – Nov 2013 soybean crush at 35.0 MMT versus 35.2 MMT a year previously. China’s Customs Dept. said that the country imported 7.4 MMT of beans in December versus 6.03 MMT in November. They said that China had therefore imported 63.38 MMT of soybeans in 2013, up 8.6% from 2012. JCI Intelligence estimated China’s 2013/14 bean imports at 66.5 MMT, up 11% from a year ago. Chinese New Year begins at the end of the month, which will curtail imports and purchases. The NOPA December crush report comes out on Wednesday. Jan 14 Soybeans closed at $13.26 3/4, up 23 cents; Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $12.94 1/4, up 15 3/4 cents; Jan 14 Soybean Meal closed at $446.90, up $11.70; Jan 14 Soybean Oil closed at 37.57, down 38 points.
Corn: The corn market posted modest gains in light follow through trade following Friday night's sharp rebound. Argentine weather is supportive, with the Ministry there saying that the 2013/14 corn crop is 82% planted versus 88% a year ago. The Argentine Ministry said that it wouldn't decide on the volume of corn allowed for export in 2013/14 until the crop there was fully planted. Brazilian weather is generally favourable. South Korea's NOFI were reported to have bought 137,000 MT of US corn originally destined for China. China re-approved various GMO corn varieties for import, but crucially the list didn't include Syngenta's currently disputed MIR 162 variety. The Ukraine Ministry said that the country had exported 10.7 MMT of corn so far this marketing year. The French government said that France had exported 1.9 MMT of corn between July – November 2013 versus 2.0 MMT a year previously. Weekly US corn export inspections came in at 20.902 million bushels, a little below the expected 22-27 million. Cumulative US corn export inspections are now 181% of where they were a year ago. China was reported as buying 120 TMT of US sorghum, was this a corn replacement? Friday's surprise news from the USDA that winter wheat plantings were significantly lower than expected may mean that a bit more corn might get planted in the spring in the US than the market is currently expecting. The USDA will report on early thoughts on spring plantings at next month's Outlook Forum. Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.34 1/2, up 1 3/4 cents; May 14 Corn closed at $4.42 1/2, up 1 3/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market was mixed across the three exchanges, with Kansas displaying the most weakness. Egypt booking US wheat, it's first such purchase of the season, over the weekend was supportive. US wheat was priced $20 under French origin on an FOB basis, also beating Russian wheat by more than $28, German origin by $21 and was $30 beneath Romanian wheat. Iran bought 50,000 MT of wheat from Kazakhstan. Jordan is back in the market tendering for 100 TMT of wheat having cancelled a similar tender last week. Agritel said that it's forecast to get much colder in the FSU this week, with temperatures dropping to -10C in Kiev and -18C in Moscow by the weekend. Lack of snow cover here raises talk of winterkill possibilities. The Argentine Ministry said that the wheat harvest was complete, they raised their production estimate from 9.0 MMT to 9.2 MMT. There's talk that a decision on the volume of wheat that they will allow for export will be decided upon within the next 24 hours. Existing sales to Brazil have been held up pending clearance. There's talk that Brazilian millers bought 2-6 cargoes of US wheat within the past few days. The French government said France had exported 5.6 MMT of wheat between July – November 2013 versus 4.9 MMT a year ago. Weekly export inspections for US wheat came in at 25.19 million bushels, which was better than the expected 13-18 million. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.73 1/2, up 4 1/2 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.19 3/4, down 6 1/4 cents; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat is at $6.17 3/4, down 2 3/4 cents.
13/01/14 -- EU grains closed mostly firmer in a rebound from hitting fresh lows on Friday.
Jan 14 London wheat ended GBP1.05/tonne higher at GBP155.55/tonne, and Nov 14 rose GBP1.75/tonne to GBP147.00/tonne. Mar 14 Paris wheat finished was up EUR2.00/tonne to EUR195.00/tonne, Mar 14 Paris corn rose EUR2.25/tonne to EUR173.75/tonne, whilst Feb 14 Paris rapeseed jumped EUR4.00/tonne to EUR360.25/tonne.
Support came from news that Egypt's GASC was back in to buy wheat over the weekend, even if it wasn't EU wheat that they it bought. GASC ended up buying just one 55 TMT US SRW wheat cargo at around USD20/tonne cheaper than the best offered French cargo (although that was only around $6/tonne lower than French wheat when freight was added on).
Ukraine said that it had shipped 19.85 MMT of grains up to the Jan 10 period, a 34% rise on a year ago. That included 6.9 MMT of wheat, 2.05 MMT of barley and 10.7 MMT of corn.
Russia said that it had exported 16.384 MMT of grains in a similar period, up 26% on a year ago.
Worries that the FSU could be hit by suddenly sub-zero temperatures after an unseasonably mild spell have been downplayed by Martell Crop Projections.
"Crop watchers worried that Russia wheat exposed to abnormally mild winter temperatures may be subject to winterkill in a cold outbreak this week. However, the updated forecast is not as threatening for bitter cold this week.
"Moreover, a fresh wave of snow is predicted ahead of the cold wave that would insulate fields. Saratov, a key wheat area in the Volga, is expecting -1 F (-18 C) Saturday morning, at least 5 degrees up from earlier expectations," they say.
The French government said that Dec 1st grain stocks were 20.3 MMT versus 24.8 MMT a year ago, including 10.5 MMT of wheat (from 11.7 MMT a year ago) and 5.0 MMT of corn (versus 6.5 MMT a year ago).
Morocco bought 180 TMT of wheat locally.
Friday's USDA numbers included a 200 TMT downgrade to the UK 2013 wheat crop to 11.9 MMT.
The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that the Argentine wheat harvest is 98% complete versus 84.3% a week ago. The Argentine Ministry said that the harvest is finished.
10/01/14 -- Soycomplex: The eagerly awaited USDA report was relatively neutral for beans. They upped the world crop by almost 2 MMT courtesy of a 1 MMT rise for Brazil to a record 89 MMT, although it could have been more considering that several trade estimates are now above 90 MMT, and that the Brazilian Ag Minister was quoted as saying this week that output could easily top 95 MMT. The USDA also raised US 2013 soybean production by almost 1 MMT to 89.5 MMT. Maybe they just didn't want Brazil to beat the US to the top of the global production table? As recently as 2009/10 US soybean production was 22.5 MMT more than that of Brazil. Chinese import demand in 2013/14 was left unchanged at a record 69 MMT. US soybean exports were tweaked a little higher to 40.7 MMT, although the US have already shipped over 25 MMT this season and have a further 15.7 MMT on the books waiting to go. As you may notice 25 + 15.7 = 40.7, so the new USDA target has already been achieved less than 4 1/2 months into the 2013/14 season. The USDA held their Argentine soybean production estimate steady at 54.5 MMT, which would match the 2009/10 record crop. US 2013/14 soybean ending stocks were seen unchanged at 150 million bushels, or 4 MMT. Separately the USDA also announced the sale of 216,000 MT of US beans to China for 2014/15 shipment. South American weather developments and early Brazilian harvest progress may now dictate market direction next week. Will Chinese demand for US beans hold up, or will the much talked about cancellations soon start to filter through? Fund money trimmed some length heading into this report, but still sit on a net long in excess of 100k contracts. Jan 14 Soybeans closed at $13.03 3/4, up 7 1/2 cents; Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $12.78 1/2, up 4 3/4 cents; Jan 14 Soybean Meal closed at $435.20, up $2.20; Jan 14 Soybean Oil closed at 37.95, up 21 points. For the week Jan 14 beans were up 14 1/2 cents, with Jan 14 meal up $10.70 and Jan 14 oil 39 points lower.
Corn: The corn market jumped 18-20 cents as the USDA surprised the trade by lowering 2013 US production from 13.989 billion bushels last month to 13.925 billion this time round. That's still a record crop, but fell below trade forecasts for an increase to 14.066 billion. Average yields were unexpectedly cut from 160.4 bu/acre to 158.8 bu/acre, contrary to expectations for a rise to 161.2 bu/acre. This was a bushel/acre below even the lowest trade estimate in the market. The USDA left their Brazilian corn production estimate unchanged at 70 MMT, which is far lower than CONAB's forecast of almost 79 MMT released only yesterday. They also trimmed 1 MMT off Argentina's projected corn crop to 25 MMT, which was in line with trade ideas. China's crop was hiked from 211 MMT to 217 MMT, with consumption there coming in at 216 MMT and imports pared back from the previously forecast 7 MMT to 5 MMT. US corn exports were seen holding steady at 37 MMT, which Brazil's were raised 0.5 MMT to 21 MMT and Argentina's cut by 2 MMT to 14 MMT. The bottom line is that US 2013/14 ending stocks were cut by 161 million bushels to 1.631 billion versus trade expectations for a 69 million increase to 1.861 billion. World inventories were cut from the 162.5 MMT estimated last month to 160.2 MMT, which is 3 MMT lower than the average trade guess. Dec 1 US corn stocks were pegged at 10.4 billion bushels versus an average trade forecast of nearly 10.8 billion, suggesting that more corn feeding went on in the period than was expected. The latest Commitment of Traders report shows fund money reducing their net short position a little in the week through to Tuesday night. Nevertheless as of then they were still holding a sizeable short of over 90k contracts. Today's news from the USDA may therefore have spooked them quite a bit, as at the end of the session they were given credit for having finished up as net buyers of around 30,000 lots on the day. In separate news the USDA announced 180,000 MT of US corn sold to unknown for 2013/14 shipment. Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.32 3/4, up 20 3/4 cents; May 14 Corn closed at $4.40 3/4, up 20 1/2 cents. For the week Mar 14 corn finished 9 1/4 cents firmer.
Wheat: The wheat market crashed to fresh lows for the move, with funds estimated to have been net sellers of around 6,000 CBOT wheat contracts on the day. The USDA reports had a bearish slant to them for wheat, although there were one or two bullish elements in there as well. The latter however got largely overlooked as the trade chose to focus on a 1.2 MMT global production hike to new record levels and increased US and world carryout. US 2013/14 wheat ending stocks were forecast at 563 million bushels in the average trade guess, but the USDA put the actual figure at 608 million. World ending stocks were expected by the trade to be little changed from last month at 182.6 MMT, but instead the USDA gave us 185.4 MMT. Essentially it would seem that the sudden large price disparity between corn and wheat that the market has seen since the 2013 US corn harvest began has indeed cut demand for wheat. What the market wasn't expecting however, was the news from the USDA that US farmers have planted just under 41.9 million acres of winter wheat for the 2014 harvest. The average trade guess for that was 43.5 million, and the range of trade forecasts had a floor of 42.5 million, with some estimates as high as nearly 44.6 million. Although all classes of winter wheat saw plantings come in below the average trade estimate, the SRW wheat area in particular was especially different at 8.44 million acres versus the average forecast of over 9.5 million. Elsewhere around the world the USDA cut it's estimate for the Argentine wheat crop from 11 MMT to 10.5 MMT, China's was raised from 121 MMT to 122 MMT and Russia's increased from 51.5 MMT to 52.1 MMT. On the demand side Egypt's wheat imports were raised from 10 MMT to 10.5 MMT, with China's left unchanged at 8.5 MMT. Separately the USDA confirmed the sale of 125,700 MT of US wheat to Venezuela for 2013/14 shipment. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.69, down 15 1/4 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.26, down 13 cents; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.20 1/2, down 8 3/4 cents. For the week CBOT wheat lost 36 3/4 cents, with Kansas down 16 1/2 cents and Minneapolis falling 10 cents.