US Grains Mostly Lower, But Corn Bucks The Trend

25/03/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed a little lower. A Reuters survey pegged the average trade guess for US soybean plantings in 2015 at a record 85.92 million acres, around 2.2 million up on a year ago. That's very close to the average of a Bloomberg survey which was 85.95 million acres. There's still a fairly wide difference of opinion though, with the range of guesses in the latter being 83.10 to 88.00 million. The quarterly stocks estimates average 1.348 billion bushels – the most since 2012 - with the range of estimates being 1.250 to 1.413 billion. CWB estimated the 2015/16 global soybean crop at 299.0 MMT, down 5.1% versus 315.1 MMT in 2014/15. Dr Cordonnier said that the Brazilian soybean crop is 61% harvested nationally, around 4 points behind this time last year. Mato Grosso, the country's largest producing state, is already 90% complete, and Parana, the second largest is 68% done. In the south progress is slower, with Brazil's third largest state of Rio Grande do Sul only 11% complete. Early yields there are very good, and could possibly set a record this year, he said. Early Argentine soybean yields are "outstanding" he adds. Harvesting there is only 1-2% complete so far however. The new crop soybean:corn ratio is down to 2.29:1 tonight, favouring planting corn, weather permitting. Unfortunately the weather isn't permitting at the moment, favouring later planted beans. Tomorrow's weekly export sales for beans are only expected to be around 200-450 TMT as demand continues to switch to South America. Reports suggest that Brazilian truckers are planning more strike action and road blockages next week. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.78 3/4, down 3 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.82 1/2, down 4 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $324.50, down $1.80; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.04, down 7 points.

Corn: The corn market posted small gains. "Corn posted mixed trade with a firmer bias as new highs for the move posted overnight set the tone. Short covering due to the perception that the funds are still caught a touch too short remains the feature," said Benson Quinn. A Reuters survey estimated 2015 US corn plantings at 88.73 million acres. A Bloomberg survey said 88.83 million, with a range of guesses of 87.0 to 89.9 million. Plantings were 90.6 million last year. The market is conscious that early corn planting in the Deep South is already well behind schedule. A hard cold snap further north offers little prospect for fieldwork to begin in the Midwest either. For quarterly stocks due next Tuesday the average trade guess is just over 7.6 billion bushels from within a range of 7.459-7.800 billion and versus 7.008 billion a year ago. South Africa's CEC estimated the country's corn crop at 9.67 MMT, the smallest since 2007. CWB estimated the 2015/16 global corn crop at 973.5 MMT, down 1.6% versus 989.7 MMT this season. The US Energy Dept reported that weekly ethanol production expanded to 953,000 barrels/day from 947,000 bpd the previous week. The USDA announced 114,000 MT of US corn sold to Mexico for 2014-15 delivery. Prices are now nudging the $4/bushel level. It will be interesting to see if the market can break through this level and hold, it hasn't managed a close above $4/bushel since Jan 12. "There is also a pretty significant short call position at the 400 strike, which may draw some interest between now and Friday afternoon," said Benson Quinn. Weekly export sales for corn tomorrow may come in at around 500-700 TMT. May 15 Corn closed at $3.95, up 1 3/4 cents; Jul 15 Corn closed at $4.03, up 1 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed around 1-4 cents lower spread across the three exchanges. A Bloomberg survey puts the US all wheat acreage at 55.670 million acres, from within a range of estimates of 54.950-56.800 million and 56.822 a year ago. Mar 1 stocks are estimated at 1.141 billion bushels, from within a range of 1.083-1.200 billion and 1.057 billion a year ago. China only sold 5.4% of the imported wheat stocks it offered up at auction today, along with 37% of the domestic wheat reserves. The CWB estimated the 2015/16 global wheat crop at 703.4 MMT, down 2.95% from 724.8 MMT last year. They see Canadian production at 28.7 MMT versus 29.3 MMT in 2014/15. They see US exports expanding 12.65% from 24.5 MMT in 2014/15 to 27.6 MMT in the season ahead. The EU will retain top spot in the global wheat export league table though with shipments up from 31.5 MMT this season to 32.35 MMT, for growth of 2.7%. It would seem that both Europe and the US will benefit from reduced production and exports from Canada, Russia and the Ukraine, according to the CWB. Canada's 2015/16 wheat exports will decline almost 11% to 20.75 MMT, they estimate. Russia's spring plantings are 1.4% complete on 731k ha, say their Ag Ministry. Ukraine's early spring grain planting is said to be 30% compete. Iran bought 80,000 MT of German and Black Sea origin wheat in a tender for April shipment. Japan are tendering for 9,590 MT of feed wheat and 75,000 MT of barley in a tender for June shipment. There are forecasts for some much needed rain in some of the drier US HRW wheat areas, although such forecasts have frequently disappointed of late. Weekly export sales for wheat tomorrow are expected to be around 400-600 TMT. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.19, down 4 1/2 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.63, down 2 1/4 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.80 3/4, down 1 cent.