Chicago Grains Fall, Corn Fares Best On Opening Day Of 2015

02/01/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans and meal closed with some fairly sizable losses to start the new year. Both also finished the day close to session lows, with nearby beans ending not far off the first sub-$10 close since early December. Weekly soybean export sales came in at 611,000 MT of old crop and zero on new crop. The old crop sales were 6 percent below the previous week, and down 25 percent from the prior 4-week average. Actual shipments were 1,065,900 MT. Accumulated season-to-date exports are now 28 MMT, with a further 14.3 MMT of outstanding sales. That takes total net commitments to 88.3% of the USDA target for the season. The weather outlook for Brazil is mixed for the week ahead. "Mato Grosso (the country's top soybean state) faces a dry forecast along with other tropical states Goias, Minas Gerais, Tocantins and Bahia, all soybean producing areas. The new 7-day forecast is hopeful for rain in Parana, Brazil's second top soybean state. Excessively heavy rainfall is predicted in Rio Grande do Sul. Up to 6 times the normal rainfall is possible, with 250 mm at the high end," said Martell Crop Projections. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.02 1/2, down 16 3/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.07 1/2, down 16 cents; Jan 15 Soybean Meal closed at $356.50, down $8.10; Jan 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.95, down 2 points. For the week, beans shed 40 cents, meal lost $23.20 and oil fell 51 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around a cent or two lower. Increased farmer selling was noted today, an interesting development on the first trading day of the year, especially as prices are now below $4/bushel which has hitherto proven to be the cut off point in producer interest. Weekly export sales came in at 895,100 MT for 2014/15, down 46 percent from the previous week and 20 percent below the prior 4-week average. This was still a respectable total for a holiday week though. Actual shipments came in at 667,800 MT. Total exports for the season to date are now 12.1 MMT, with a further 14.8 MMT of outstanding sales. That takes total net commitments for 2014/15 to 26.9 MMT, which is 60.4% of the USDA target for the season. The USDA also announced 210,000 MT of corn sold to Japan for 2015/16 shipment under the daily reporting system. Whilst the corn market continues to do it's best to ignore the alarming slump in crude oil values, they can hardly be considered to be a supportive factor. Crude began 2015 where it left off 2014, in the red. Tonight's official NYMEX close of $52.69/barrel is the lowest close in more than five and a half years. UkrAgroConsult trimmed their forecast for Russia's 2014/15 corn exports from 3.8 MMT to 3.0 MMT. They also see lower wheat and barley exports than previously expected. US dollar strength remains a negative influence for the entire US grains sector. Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.95 3/4, down 1 1/4 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $4.04 1/2, down 1 1/4 cents. For the week Mar 14 corn lost 19 cents, or 4.6%, in value.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower on the day, and for the week, across all three exchanges. The best that can be said of today's performance is that wheat did at least manage to close reasonably well above session lows. Weekly export sales of 354,100 MT for 2014/15 (there were also sales of 18,000 MT for 2015/16) were fair given the recent performance, but hardly pulled up any trees. Actual shipments of 150,100 MT were however poor, being down 61 percent from the previous week and 62 percent below the prior 4-week average. If we are being kind, we can put this down to it being a holiday week. If we are not, then we can put it down to the strong dollar simply making US wheat too expensive compared to other origins. Total shipments for the season so far are now at 13.3 MMT, with a further 5.2 MMT worth of outstanding sales. That takes net 2014/15 commitments to 18.5 MMT, which is 72.5% of the USDA's target for the season. There's talk of Pakistan looking to enter the world wheat market as a seller. The Ukraine Ministry reported that 18% of winter crops in the country are in poor condition, which is 10 points above a year ago. UkrAgroConsult trimmed their outlook on Russian 2014/15 wheat exports by 2.3 MMT to 20 MMT, and reduced their forecast for barley shipments by 1 MMT to 3.3 MMT. China are due to auction 2 MMT of government owned wheat stocks starting Tuesday next week. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.81 1/4, down 8 1/2 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.17, down 9 1/2 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.11, down 11 cents. For the week Chicago wheat lost 25 1/2 cents, or 4.8%; KCBT wheat was down 27 1/4 cents; MGEX wheat ended 20 1.2 cents lower.