Chicago Markets Fall - Led By Wheat

26/03/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed mostly a little lower for a third day in a row with generally better than expected yields being reported out of Brazil and Argentina. Weekly export sales of 505,800 MT for 2014/15 were pretty good, being up 48 percent from the previous week and 54 percent above the prior 4-week average. There were also sales of 220,200 MT for 2015/16. Exports of 760,700 MT were also decent, being up 19 percent from the previous week. Total commitments for this season are now 99.5% of the USDA target. Old crop meal sales were strong at 224,300 MT, as too were exports at 304,000 MT. These were up 38 percent from the previous week and 25 percent above the prior 4-week average. The USDA also announced 280,000 MT of US beans sold to unknown for 2015/16 shipment under the daily reporting system. AgroConsult estimated Brazil’s 2014/15 bean crop at 95.8 MMT (record), up from a previous estimate of 94.7 MMT. The IGC trimmed their forecast for the Brazilian soybean crop from 93.5 MMT to 93.3 MMT, and pared Argentina back from 57.0 MMT to 56.5 MMT. That takes world production down by 1 MMT from last month to 314 MMT, although that's still a record crop and one that is 10% higher than last year. On March 31 there will be a national strike comprising of the entire transport sector in Argentina, including truckers. The Argentine Ag Ministry estimated the soybean crop there at 57 MMT, unchanged from their previous figure. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.74 1/2, down 4 1/4 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans finished at $9.78 3/4, down 3 3/4 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal settled at $322.40, down $2.10; May 15 Soybean Oil ended at 31.17, up 13 points.

Corn: The corn market ended around 3-4 cents lower. Weekly export sales came in at 435,000 MT for 2014/15 - down 13 percent from the previous week and 29 percent below the prior 4-week average. Interestingly, China showed up as a buyer of one cargo. "The trade had written off China as a destination for US corn because of contractual issues associated with GMO corn. The market could be witnessing a break in the stalemate between Chinese buyers and US traders. I wouldn’t argue one cargo is enough to build on though," said Benson Quinn's Brian Henry. There were also sales of 29,000 MT for 2015/16. These sales were in line with expectations of 500-700 TMT. Exports themselves were just over 1 MMT, up 54 percent from the previous week and 4 percent higher than the prior 4-week average. Total commitments for the current season are now 81% of the USDA's target. Crude oil settled at its best levels in 3 weeks on news of Saudi-led air strikes against rebels in Yemen. AgroConsult estimated Brazil’s 2014/15 corn crop at 79.4 MMT versus a previous estimate of 79.0 MMT. The IGC trimmed their forecast for the 2014/15 global corn crop by 2 MMT to 990 MMT, and see production falling nearly 5% to 941 MMT in 2015/16. They cut their forecast for the South African corn crop by 3 MMT to 10 MMT, which now puts them in line with other trade forecasts. Ukraine's 2014/15 corn exports were increased by 0.5 MMT to 18.5 MMT, and so too were those of the US which are now pegged at 45.0 MMT. South Korea's KFA cancelled a tender to buy 65,000 MT of optional origin corn. May 15 Corn closed at $3.91 1/4, down 3 3/4 cents; Jul 15 Corn settled at $3.99 1/4, down 3 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed sharply lower. Paltry export sales of only 102,300 MT for delivery in 2014/15 – a marketing-year low – was the catalyst. There were down 74 percent from the previous week and 75 percent below the prior 4-week average. Exports of 498,100 MT were OK, and a little bit above the recent weekly average. The IGC forecast lower wheat usage in animal feed, and therefore increased 2014/15 world wheat ending stocks from 196.6 MMT to 198.3 MMT. Global production in 2015/16 is seen falling 10 MMT from this season to 709 MMT, and ending stocks next season will dip a little to 196 MMT, they predict. Rusagrotrans said that Russia will export 65% less wheat in March than it did a year ago following the recent introduction of their export duty. Exports in Feb fell 45%, they added. SovEcon increased their forecast for the 2015/16 Russian grain crop from 84 MMT to 93 MMT, although that's still 12 MMT down on last year. The US Drought Monitor report said that 28% of the US High Plains was in moderate to extreme drought, up from 25% a week previously. In the South however, moderate-to-exceptional drought fell to 30% from 33% a week ago. "Very dry conditions presently affect an enormous area of the Great Plains and Midwest, threatening not only for hard red winter wheat, but also corn due to be planted this spring," said Martell Crop Projections. A Dow Jones survey put the 2015 US all-wheat planted area at 55.612 million acres, including 40.578 million acres of winter wheat. That's a very similar number to yesterday's Bloomberg survey. All wheat plantings a year ago were 56.822 million acres. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.99 1/4, down 19 3/4 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat finished at $5.43, down 20 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat ended at $5.63 1/4, down 17 1/2 cents.