16/10/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans and meal closed lower on the day but higher for the week. Weekly export sales were pretty robust at almost 1.5 MMMT, and predictably were primarily for China (1,143,400 MT) and were also towards the top end of trade expectations. Exports of 1,627,600 MT were up 74 percent from the previous week, and also pretty good., with the primary destination being China (1,327,700 MT). In addition to that the USDA announced 270,000 MT of US beans sold to unknown for 2015/16 shipment. That lot underlines the "strong demand" story that's been a feature supportive factor for soybeans this week. Another is the slow planting progress being made in Brazil's leading soybean state of Mato Grosso, where sowings are only 6.1% done, according to IMEA. "The near term forecast is only calling for widely isolated afternoon showers with improved chances of rainfall arriving next week," says Dr Cordonnier. However, "as long as the soybean planting in the state gets underway by the end of October, the soybean crop could still achieve normal yields if the weather cooperates during the growing season," he adds. Informa estimated US 2016 soybean plantings at 83.9 million acres, down 300,000 from previously, but still up 700,000 on this year. The Argentine presidential elections take place a week on Sunday, with both leading candidates promising farm groups that they will lower export taxes on grains. Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $8.98 1/4, down 7 cents; Jan 16 Soybeans closed at $9.02, down 7 cents; Dec 15 Soybean Meal closed at $312.00, down $2.00; Dec 15 Soybean Oil closed at 28.60, up 2 pips. For the week front month beans gained 12 1/2 cents, meal added $5.10 and oil rose 43 points.
Corn: The corn market closed higher on the day, but lower for the week, on what looks like pre-weekend consolidation. Weekly export sales of 598,400 MT for 2015/16 were up 15 percent from the previous week, and in line with trade forecasts. There were also sales of 60,000 MT for 2016/17 reported for Mexico. Exports of 606,900 MT were up 24 percent from the previous week. Marketing year sales thus far for 2015/16 are down 32% from the previous year’s pace. Exporters would typically have 38% of final corn shipments on the books by this point, currently they have only sold 25% of USDA’s target for the season so far. Ukraine's 2015 corn crop keeps shrinking. The USDA's Ag Attache there now estimates the Ukrainian corn crop at only 21.5 MMT this year. The USDA themselves were at 25 MMT last Friday. Informa projected the 2016 US corn area at 90.8 million acres, up 100,000 on their previous forecast and 2.4 million more than this year. South Korea's KOCOPIA bought 55,000 MT of South American corn for Feb shipment. Dr Cordonnier said that the current delays in planting beans in Mato Grosso could be more of an issue for second crop corn early next year. If the soybean harvest is delayed then "safrinha" corn acreage could be reduced. Russia said that their 2015 corn harvest is 58.1% complete on 1.6 million ha for a crop of 8.1 MMT so far. That leaves them well on target for a record crop this year. FranceAgriMer said that the 2015 corn harvest there was 38% complete versus 21% done a week ago and 15% done a year ago. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that corn planting in Argentina was 27.5% complete. Reuters said that heavy rain in southern Brazil is disrupting corn shipments from the region and that Asian buyers may soon consider switching to other origins - notably Ukraine - as an alternative. Dec 15 Corn closed at $3.76 3/4, up 1 1/4 cents; Mar 16 Corn closed at $3.87 3/4, up 1 1/4 cents. For the week, Dec 15 was still 6 cents lower, and Mar 16 was down 5 3/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market finished the day with double digit losses. It says something that weekly export sales of a relatively modest 460,400 MT for delivery in marketing year 2015/16 were up 60 percent from the previous week and 80 percent above the prior 4-week average. Marketing year sales to date are down 18% from the previous year’s pace. Cumulative sales thus far are just 51% of USDA’s target for the year versus 62% this time last season. Note too that this season's target is the lowest total of the past 44 years. That highlights the trouble that US wheat is in. Russia's 2015 wheat harvest is said to be 98.9% complete at 63.5 MMT in bunker weight, with the barley harvest 98.8% done at 18.1 MMT. Russian winter grains for the 2016 harvest are said to be planted on 15.0 million ha, down from 15.8 million this time a year ago. Ukraine's winter wheat plantings are also delayed by dryness. APK Inform said that these were down 12% on a year ago as of Oct 9. Ukraine winter wheat plantings this year might only total 5.5 million ha versus 6.7 million a year ago, they said. South Korea's CJ Cheiljedang Corp are tendering for 31,000 MT of US wheat. The country's Daehan Flour Mill are in for 50,000 MT of Australian and 30,000 MT of US wheat. Korea Flour Mills are looking for 31,000 MT of Australian and 20,200 MT of US wheat. A wetter outlook for next week in the US central Plains added a bit of bearishness today. As well as updating us in plantings, the USDA are expected to release the first US winter wheat crop conditions of the year on Monday. Informa estimated the 2016 US all wheat acreage at 54 million acres today versus 54.7 million previously and compared to the 2015/16 acreage of 54.644 million. FranceAgriMer put French winter wheat plantings at 39% complete as of Monday versus 23% a week previously and 8 points ahead of this time last year. Dec 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.92 1/4, down 10 1/4 cents; Dec 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.83 1/2, down 12 3/4 cents; Dec 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.12 1/4, down 11 1/4 cents. For the week Chicago wheat shed 17 cents, Kansas was 16 3/4 cents lower and Minneapolis lost 17 1/4 cents.
16/10/15 -- EU grains closed mostly lower on the day and for the week, save for rapeseed which made nominal gains versus last Friday, and set a 9-week high earlier in the week.
At the close, Nov 15 London wheat was down GBP0.75/tonne at GBP114.25/tonne. In Paris, Dec 15 wheat fell EUR1.25/tonne to EUR176.25/tonne, Nov 15 corn was unchanged at EUR161.25/tonne and Nov 15 rapeseed was EUR0.25/tonne higher at EUR377.00/tonne.
For the week that puts London wheat GBP2.75/tonne lower, with Paris wheat down EUR3.25/tonne, corn shedding EUR5.50/tonne and rapeseed clawing its way EUR0.25/tonne higher.
Paris rapeseed prices set the largest premium over Chicago soybeans that's been seen since April 2012 this week, the HGCA noted.
"The relative global supply situation of rapeseed and soybeans this season is the main driver behind the diverging price spread; on the whole, rapeseed supplies are tighter this year whereas soybean supplies remain comfortable," they said.
The predicted outlook for firmer plan oil prices for the remainder of the year and into the first half of 2016 on the back of El Nino-related reduced output in Indonesia/Malaysia may also be helping to support rapeseed.
If there's a relative shortage of rapeseed however, there certainly isn't one of wheat, with the world harvesting its third record crop in a row this year.
Europe's soft wheat crop is now seen at all-time highs, by Strategie Grains at least, but exports are lagging last year's pace by some considerable distance.
Brussels confirmed last night that they'd issued 416,000 MT worth of soft wheat export licences this past week, down by almost a third from the previous week. That takes the season to date total to 6.2 MMT, 26% lower when compared to 8.4 MMT this time last year.
EU barley exports are doing better however, with 170,000 MT worth of export licences this week taking the season to date total to 3.8 MMT, some 40.7% more than 2.7 MMT this time a year ago.
EU corn import licences of 185,000 MT take the 2015/16 cumulative total to 2.0 MMT versus 2.4 MMT at this point in 2014/15.
The fact that French wheat was beaten fair and square in yesterday's Egyptian tender, having only narrowly missed out in the previous one, was another bearish factor today.
It is to be hoped that EU wheat exports pick up as the season progresses, let's not forget that the Black Sea are always a thorn in the side at this time of year - whether their harvest has been good, bad or indifferent. It seems to be that this year's wheat harvest there has been good though, and when you add in the fact that Russia's early season sales have been somewhat retarded by the previous export tax (reduced on Oct 1), then we could expect to see them remain a bit more active for longer this campaign.
Russia's 2015 wheat harvest is said to be 98.9% complete at 63.5 MMT in bunker weight, with the barley harvest 98.8% done at 18.1 MMT.
Russian winter grains for the 2016 harvest are said to be planted on 15.0 million ha, down from 15.8 million this time a year ago, and representing 87.9% of the government target.
There's currently a fairly wide divergence between the different weather models as to whether the forecast for the main winter grain belt in Russia is set to be drier or wetter than normal across the next 15 days. Certainly though the past 30 days have been significantly drier than normal in the region. The last 7-14 days has also seen lower to much lower than normal temperatures.
This is one of the main factors providing some degree of support for wheat at the moment, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record this is all very reminiscent of 12 months ago, and yet look at where we are now.
Talking of 12 months ago, Nov 15 London wheat was trading at a GBP15.15/tonne premium (GBP131.60/tonne versus GBP116.45/tonne) to the front month Nov 14 a year ago today. The differential now between the near and long Nov position is almost exactly the same at GBP14.75/tonne. Paris wheat was offering a EUR22.50/tonne premium for the long Dec position over the front month 12 months ago versus only EUR12.75/tonne tonight. That's an interesting fact don't you think?
In other news FranceAgriMer said that the 2015 corn harvest across the Channel was 38% complete versus 21% done a week ago and 15% done a year ago. Winter wheat plantings were put at 39% complete as of Monday versus 23% a week previously and 8 points ahead of this time last year. Emergence is at 14%, similar to 12 months ago. Good progress has been made with sowing of the French winter barley crop, which now stands at 61% planted versus only 37% a week ago and 50% this time last year.
15/10/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed around 4-5 cents lower. The September NOPA crush came in at 126.7 million bushels. In a Reuters survey the average trade estimate for that was 129.4 million bu, with a range of estimates of 125.0-132.74 million bu. Even so, that was still the largest September crush since 2007 and was also well above the September 2014 crush of 99.97 million bu. The Rosario Grain Exchange estimated 2015/16 Argentine soybean plantings at 20.5 million ha. That's 0.5 million more than the USDA and up 6% versus 19.3 million a year ago. There's talk that a Communist Party meeting in China later this month has raised expectations of fresh stimulus measures being introduced to aid their ailing economic growth. Chinese industry analysts forecast the nation's October soybean imports at 6 MMT, rising to 7 MMT each in Nov and Dec. Somar said that Brazilian bean and corn planting is being held up due to dryness in centre-west and excess rain in the southernmost grain state of Rio Grande do Sul. In the centre-west, the leading state of Mato Grosso is said to be only 12-15% planted versus 25% a year ago and 23.5% on average at this time. "There still are worries about the weather in the Brazil tropics. The rainy monsoon season is off to a slow start. Usually, strong showers begin developing by mid October, but conditions have been hot and dry," said Martell Crop Projections. MDA CropCast raised their forecast for this year's US soybean crop by 37 million bu from a week ago to 3.863 billion bu. They cut their outlook on Argentina by 1.83 MMT to 59.57 MMT and raised Brazil by 1.53 MMT to 100.33 MMT. In line with other analyst's expectations, Oil World said that global palm oil supplies will tighten in 2016 raising prices and reducing palm's discount to other vegoils. Malaysian palm oil is said to currently be running at $66/tonne discount to Argentine soybean oil versus an average of $77/tonne in September and an average of $96/tonne in August. Trade estimates for tomorrow's one day delayed weekly export sales report for beans are around 1.0-1.8 MMT. Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $9.05 1/4, down 5 1/4 cents; Jan 16 Soybeans closed at $9.09, down 5 1/4 cents; Dec 15 Soybean Meal closed at $314.00, down $1.80; Dec 15 Soybean Oil closed at 28.58, down 25 points.
Corn: The corn market closed around 3-4 cents lower. The US Energy Dept reported weekly US ethanol production at 949,000 barrels/day last week, down slightly from the previous week. Crude fell on the news that stocks rose 7.6 million to 468.6 million barrels last week - around the highest levels in 80 years for this time of year. The Rosario Grain Exchange estimated Argentine corn for grain plantings at 3.3 million ha, which is 300,000 more than the USDA's current prediction who say that plantings last year were 3.2 million ha. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange are less optimistic, estimating 2015/16 Argentine corn plantings at 2.7 million ha. MDA CropCast added 0.63 MMT to their forecast for the global corn crop, with US production raised 44 million bushels to 13.695 billion bu. They cut Ukraine by 1.7 MMT from a week ago to 21.3 MMT. The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that the country has harvested 53% of it's corn area for a crop of only 11.157 MMT so far - things need to improve quickly and markedly to hit the USDA's current 25 MMT target. Russia said that it's corn harvest was 56.8% complete at 7.9 MMT, leaving them on track for a record output this year. Strategie Grains estimated the 2015 EU corn crop at 57.6 MMT versus a previous estimate of 57.4 MMT, but still down 24% from 75.9 MMT in 2014. FranceAgriMer said that the French corn harvest is 38% complete versus 15% done a year ago. China are said to be attempting to auction off a total of 5.4 MMT of corn from reserves today and tomorrow. Some reports say that Brazil’s October corn exports could beat the August record corn exports of 4.6 MMT. Other reports say that the excess rains currently being seen in southern Brazil could now be starting to have an adverse effect on shipping out of Paranagua port, with rain delaying loading of vessels. Waiting times for vessels at Paranagua port have apparently now climbed to 40 days. South Korea KOCOPIA are shopping for 165,000 MT of optional origin corn for Feb shipment. Vietnam are said to have bought around 500,000 MT of optional origin corn for Oct-Dec shipment. Bangladesh are said to have bought 150,000 MT of Brazilian corn. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are 450,000 MT to 800,000 MT. Dec 15 Corn closed at $3.75 1/2, down 3 1/2 cents; Mar 16 Corn closed at $3.86 1/2, down 3 1/4 cents.
Wheat: The market closed around 3-6 cents lower across the three exchanges. Egypt bought Russian and Romanian wheat again for Nov 21-30 shipment. The average price paid was said to be $212.16/tonne C&F, up from the $208.93/tonne paid over the weekend, albeit that the latter was for a slightly early shipping period. French wheat again missed out at a best-priced $216.49/tonne C&F. This time round it was also priced out on an FOB basis too, regardless of the more expensive freight costs. Japan bought 116,800 MT of wheat for Dec shipment split 64,100 MT of US origin, 31,000 MT from Canada and 21,700 MT from Australia. Morocco bought 108,500 MT of local soft wheat. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange estimated the 2015/16 Argentine wheat planted area at 3.7 million ha, unchanged from their previous estimate. The USDA are at 3.5 million and plantings last year were 4.2 million. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that the harvest had just about begun in very small areas in the northern tip of the country. MDA CropCast added 2.91 MMT to their global wheat production forecast. Canadian spring wheat output is now seen 0.85 MMT higher than last week, with EU output up 1.82 MMT, Australia raised 0.34 MMT, but Argentina dropped 0.44 MMT. Russia said that their 2015 wheat harvest was now 98.7% complete on 25.3 million ha for a crop of 63.5 MMT in bunker weight. The Russian Ag Ministry said the country should have no less than 3.5 MMT of grain in reserves. Current grain stocks are said to be only 1.9 MMT. They are reported to have raised the price that they will pay local growers by RUB1,000/tonne in an attempt to encourage more sales to the intervention fund. Ukraine’s State Statistics Service said that the country's grain stocks as of October 1st were at 25.8 MMT, up 10% from a year ago. The Ukraine Ag Ministry are confident that the country can export a record volume of grain this year, despite a significantly lower corn crop, with wheat taking up the slack. FranceAgriMer said that French soft wheat plantings were 39% complete versus 31% a year ago as of Monday. Strategie Grains again raised their forecast for this year's EU-28 soft wheat crop, now pegging that at a record 149.5 MMT versus a previous estimate of 147.5 MMT and a touch higher than last year's 149.1 MMT. They now see EU-28 barley output at 60.6 MMT versus a previous estimate of 60.4 MMT and also compared to 60.4 MMT in 2014. The EU-28 soft wheat area for the 2016 harvest is estimated at 24.0 million ha, little changed from the 24.1 million sown for this year's harvest. China only sold 4,000 MT of wheat at auction out of the offered volume of 851,000 MT. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are 250-500,000 MT. Dec 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.02 1/2, down 5 3/4 cents; Dec 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.96 1/4, down 4 1/2 cents; Dec 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.23 1/2, down 2 1/2 cents.
15/10/15 -- EU grains traded mostly lower, catching up with losses at the close in Chicago last night.
At close, Nov 15 London wheat was down GBP1.00/tonne to GBP115.00/tonne, Dec 15 Paris wheat was unchanged at EUR177.50/tonne (although other months were lower), Nov 15 Paris corn was EUR2.25/tonne easier at EUR161.25/tonne, whilst Nov 15 Paris rapeseed was EUR2.75/tonne weaker at EUR376.75/tonne.
Defra were due to release updated UK yield and production and final planted area estimates today but instead "have stated that additional quality assurance checks are required to ensure the robustness of yield and production estimates, which has delayed their release. This has caused some uncertainty around the accuracy of the provisional wheat and barley production numbers which were published last week," say the HGCA.
You will recall that they last week estimated the UK 2015 wheat crop at 16.13 MMT, just 24 hours after the normally cautious NFU pegged the crop at 16.68 MMT, with record 9.1 MT/ha average yields.
Defra also had this year's UK barley crop at 7.28 MMT last week - the largest since 1997.
It's interesting that whilst we in the UK are stuttering along unsure of what got planted here 12 months ago, the Russians are updating us with the size of their 2015 harvest on a daily basis. OK, they could be simply making the numbers up in Moscow of course (shock horror), but that's not the point. The point is that they lie to us on a daily basis, so we know exactly where we are (or aren't more to the point). Defra don't even let us know where we aren't until well after the event of us not being there!
The Russian Ag Ministry say that their 2015 grain harvest is now 96.2% complete on 42.7 million ha, producing a crop of 102.4 MMT to date.
Wheat accounts for 63.5 MMT of that total (off 98.7% of the expected area) and barley an additional 18.1 MMT (off 98.8% of plan). They also cut 56.8% of this year's corn crop for a harvest of 7.9 MMT to date.
As far as plantings go, they say that winter grain sowings are now 87.5 % complete on 15 million ha, around half a million less than this time last year.
On a global level, MDA CropCast today raised their forecast for the world wheat crop by 2.91 MMT from a week ago. Europe was the biggest gainer, up 1.82 MMT. Ukraine was also increased by 0.34 MMT to 26.2 MMT for a near 10% rise compared with a year ago.
Ukraine's potential 2015 corn crop was however lowered by 1.7 MMT from a week ago to 21.3 MMT, a slump of 25% versus last year. The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that the country has harvested 53% of it's corn area for a crop of only 11.157 MMT so far - things need to improve quickly to hit the USDA's 25 MMT target.
They also said that winter grains (excluding OSR) plantings there are mow 75% complete on 5.5 million ha, including 4.9 million ha of wheat.
Strategie Grains raised their forecast for this year's EU soft wheat crop by 2 MMT to a new record 149.5 MMT today.
And so the more wheat, less corn scenario continues to be played out this year.
The French analysts also released a few tentative planting estimates for the EU 2016 harvest. The total cereals area is seen rising by some 200,000 hectares to 57.4 million ha. Soft wheat sowings will fall ever so slightly, down from 24.1 to 24.0 million ha, but plantings of both winter and spring barley and durum wheat will increase, they predict.
Egypt's GASC bought 240,000 MT of Russian/Romanian wheat for Nov 21-30 shipment today, in their second such purchase in a week. The split was three cargoes of Russian and one of Romanian.
The average price paid was said to be $212.16/tonne C&F, up from the $208.93/tonne paid over the weekend, albeit that the latter was for a slightly early shipping period. French wheat again missed out at a best-priced $216.49/tonne C&F. This time round it was also priced out on an FOB basis too, regardless of the more expensive freight costs.
14/10/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed a bit lower, in what was ultimately only a light reversal of yesterday's sharp gains. Strong demand for beans was what the market chose to focus on yesterday, with large weekly export inspections, fresh sales to China and the latter also importing a record volume of beans in the month of September. The USDA backed that argument up a little again today by announcing another 235,000 MT of US beans sold to China for 2015/16 shipment. Good progress was made with the US harvest for the week through to Sunday night, as the US heartland remains dry. The forecast offers more of the same, although turning much cooler by the end of the week, with the first frosts of the season on the cards for the northeastern two thirds of the corn belt Fri/Sat. The forecast in Brazil also offers more of the recent same, wet in the south and dry further north. Argentina gets rain today, but then nothing until this time next week. The NOPA September crush report comes out tomorrow. In a Reuters survey the average trade estimate for that is 129.4 million bu, with a range of estimates of 125.0-132.74 million. The August crush was 135.304 million and the September 2014 crush was 99.970 million. The Argentine Ag Ministry reported that growers there are 71% sold on their 2014/15 soybeans versus 62% a year ago. On new crop they are 1% sold, the same as a year ago. The FSA reported the 2015 US "prevent plant" area at 2.227 million acres versus their September estimate of 2.219 million. Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $9.10 1/2, down 3 1/2 cents; Jan 16 Soybeans closed at $9.14 1/4, down 4 cents; Oct 15 Soybean Meal closed at $317.80, down $2.90; Oct 15 Soybean Oil closed at 28.77, up 17 points.
Corn: The corn market closed around 5-6 cents lower, giving up yesterday's gains and then some. Corn hasn't got the "strong demand" story to hang it's hat on that soybeans have. Yesterday's weekly export inspections were disappointing, and China isn't buying large quantities of corn from the US or anybody else at the moment. In fact they have their own very large domestic stockpile to shift. Production problems in Europe and Ukraine, where output is seen sharply lower this year is the best bull story that corn has at the moment. The US harvest is moving along well, and 94% of the crop is mature and this "safe from frost" it would seem. I think that the market still believes that current USDA yield estimates are too high, but wholesale revisions to the downside aren't the norm once we get past the October WASDE report. "The largest yield reduction that the USDA made after the October report was 4.4 bushels in 2006, followed by a 4.0 bushel reduction the following year. Otherwise, yield losses after October have tended to be more in the 2 to 3 bushel range, if they occurred at all," noted Arlan Suderman of Water Street Solutions in an online report. The FSA reported us 2015 "prevent plant" corn acres at 2.362 million versus their September estimate of 2.352 million. The Argentine Ag Ministry says that growers there are 77% sold on their 2014/15 corn crop versus 79% a year ago. On new crop corn they are 1.4% sold against 2.3% a year ago. Russia said that their 2015 corn harvest, seemingly unaffected by the dryness that has beset the Ukraine crop, was 54% done at 7.5 MMT. That leaves them on track for a record crop this year. Dec 15 Corn closed at $3.79, down 5 1/2 cents; Mar 16 Corn closed at $3.89 3/4, down 5 3/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed with double digit losses, more or less entirely reversing yesterday's gains. Dryness in Russia, Ukraine, the US heartland and Australia are the stories that have been supporting the market of late. "Australia has fallen victim to drought over the past several weeks. El Niño is a known drought-maker in Eastern Australia. The wheat states most vulnerable to drought are New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia all of which currently are dry," said Martell Crop Projections. "Very little rainfall has developed in October in Australia’s top wheat growing areas. Mostly, less than 20% of average rainfall has developed in the top wheat states, though isolated areas have received 20-40% of normal rainfall. The problem is a very dry atmosphere, not conducive to showers. This is manifested by extreme differences between the daily maximum and minimum temperatures. One example, October 6, shows New South Wales with maximum temperatures of 36-39 C, compared to night-time lows of 9-12 C. That’s a daily spread of approximately 27 C degrees (48 F)," they add. Whilst El Niño is usually associated with below-average spring rainfall in eastern Australia, it isn't normally a drought-maker in WA. Dryness here is being blamed on a different climate anomaly, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) - currently in its positive phase, they add. The FSA reported "prevent plant" wheat acres at 697k, almost identical to their September estimate of 696k. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that growers there are fully sold on their old crop wheat versus only 73% sold this time a year ago. New crop commitments are running at 2.5% versus 6.6% a year ago. Dec 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.08 1/4, down 10 3/4 cents; Dec 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.00 3/4, down 10 1/4 cents; Dec 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.26, down 10 1/4 cents.
14/10/15 -- EU grains traded little changed, but generally a bit higher in the morning. That failed to hold in afternoon business however once US market awoke, and things slowly sank into the red. Fresh news was again pretty thin on the ground, with just the old chestnuts of Russian/Ukraine and US/Australian dryness getting debated.
At the close, Nov 15 London wheat was down GBP1.00/tonne at GBP116.00/tonne. In Paris, Dec 15 wheat was EUR2.50/tonne easier at EUR177.50/tonne, Nov 15 corn was down EUR1.00/tonne to EUR163.50/tonne and Nov 15 rapeseed was off yesterday's 9-week high, down EUR1.25/tonne to EUR379.50/tonne.
An increased chance of rain arriving to southern Russia was one of the reasons being cited for the afternoon weakness in wheat, although the various forecasts I am looking at are far from being all in agreement on that. The GFS model offers above average rains for only the extreme south west of Russian winter wheat areas around the Caspian Sea. The central and eastern two thirds of Ukraine is set to get below average rainfall during this time too, according to that model.
The GFS model has below normal temperatures for the region for the next few days, giving way to closer to "normal" readings after that. The CMC model on the other hand has things turning much colder than normal a week from now, generally 6-8F below the average for this time of year, which would mean minimum temperatures well below freezing in the 20's Fahrenheit.
A report on Reuters said that soil moisture conditions in Ukraine are around 20% below the 20-year average, which is far worse than a year ago when moisture reserves were 11% deficient.
Current conditions are reminiscent of winter sowings in 2009 (for the 2010 harvest) and 2011 (for the 2012 harvest), they said.
Ukraine wheat yields ultimately fell at least 15% on both of those years, they noted.
Rapeseed, being the earliest planted winter crop, is likely to be a biggest casualty again this year it would seem (very little spring rapeseed is planted in Ukraine). Sowings last winter dropped 17% to 685,000 ha, and as of Oct 8 last week only 611,000 ha had been sown so far this year.
With the optimum planting window for rapeseed long since passed, then 611,000 ha could be pretty much as good as it gets. That would be a near 11% drop again this year, or for a decline in area of more than a quarter over the last two years.
Winter wheat and barley plantings in Ukraine are also well behind, leading the nation's state weather service to predict that overall winter grain plantings could decline 30% this year.
These "lost" acres can of course be planted in the spring, but are more likely to be switched into corn, soybeans or sunflowers than they are to be sown with rapeseed, wheat or barley.
Russian plantings aren't so tardy, but soil moisture levels in western Russia are still "well below average" report Reuters.
That potentially leaves winter-sown crops relatively under-developed and poorly established heading into the depths of the Russian winter. It's not a disaster yet, similar conditions prevailed a year ago too but timely and abundant spring rains ultimately saved the crop. What we don't currently know is will Russian growers be so lucky again in 2016?
The Russian Ag Ministry say that winter grain plantings there have now been completed on 14.8 million ha, or 86.8% of the government target. A year ago that figure was 15.2 million ha.
Harvesting of the 2015 wheat crop is 98.6% complete on 25.2 million ha for a crop of 63.4 MMT in bunker weight, they say.
The Russian barley harvest is 96.5% harvested at 18.1 MMT, and this year's corn crop is 54% done at 7.5 MMT.
13/10/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed sharply higher on strong demand. For all the talk of China's economy being under pressure, their appetite for soybeans appears to be undiminished. Customs data has them importing 7.26 MMT of beans last month, a record for the month of September and up 44% year-on-year. September concludes the 2014/15 marketing year. So the full total imports for that is now a record 78.3 MMT, up 11.3% versus the 70.36 MMT imported in 2013/14. Calendar year imports (Jan/Sep) are up 13% versus the same period in 2014 at almost 60 MMT. To back up the "strong demand" story, the USDA today announced 240,000 MT of US beans sold to China for 2015/16 shipment. Rumours overnight that China is looking at replenishing their domestic edible oil stocks also leans friendly, especially at a time when palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia is under question and prices for that are rising. The one day delayed weekly export inspections numbers added further support today, coming in at over 1.8 MMT, up more than 50% on last week and easily beating trade expectations of 1.0-1.2 MMT. We need to consider though that any rise in prices will only encourage South American growers to increase plantings. Dr Cordonnier estimated Brazil’s 2015/16 soybean planted area at 33.3 million ha versus a previous estimate of 33.0 million. He increased his production forecast from 99 MMT to 100 MMT. He sees Argentina’s 2015/16 soybean crop at 60.0 MMT, unchanged from previous his estimate. After the close the USDA left US crop ratings unchanged at 64% good to excellent. They said that 92% of the crop is dropping leaves, one point ahead of the 5-year average, and that this year's harvest is 62% done, up 20 points on last week and 8 points ahead of the recent norm. Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $9.14, up 26 1/2 cents; Jan 16 Soybeans closed at $9.18 1/4, up 25 3/4 cents; Oct 15 Soybean Meal closed at $320.70, up $11.40; Oct 15 Soybean Oil closed at 28.60, up 59 points.
Corn: The corn market closed higher in Turnaround Tuesday style, helped by surging soybeans. The move came despite weekly export inspections of 573,298 MT falling short of the expected 625-750,000 MT. Marketing year corn shipments for the season so far are down 24% versus 2014/15. EU and Black Sea corn production is seen significantly lower this year. UkrAgroConsult today estimated the 2015 Black Sea corn crop at 47.0 MMT, down 9% from 2014 due to hot and dry weather. Ukraine's crop appears to have been particularly badly affected. They estimate that at 23 MMT, down 11% on last year and 2 MMT below the current USDA forecast. Agritel have the crop a fraction lower than that at 22.98 MMT. UkrAgroConsult have the Romanian corn crop estimated at 9.0 MMT versus 11.4 MMT in 2014, and the Bulgarian corn crop at 2.5 MMT versus 3.14 MMT last year. Meanwhile on Friday the French Farm Ministry estimated this year's corn crop in Europe's largest producing nation at only 13.1 MMT, down from 13.5 MMT previously and almost 28% below last year. Production prospects also seem to be in decline in South America too. Dr Cordonnier estimated South America’s total 2015/16 corn crop at 107.1 MMT versus a previous estimate of 110.2 MMT and down nearly 7% from the 2014/15 crop of 115.1 MMT. He estimated Brazil’s 2015/16 total corn crop at 81.2 MMT versus a previous estimate 84.3 MMT versus 85.4 MMT in 2014/15. In the US he was said to have pegged 2015 corn yields at 167.5 bu/acre, slightly below the USDA's figure of 168.0 bu/acre but up from his previous estimate of 165.0 bu/acre. South Korea's NOFI are said to be tendering for up to 207,000 MT of optional origin corn for Mar–Apr shipment. After the close the USDA left US corn crop ratings unchanged from a week ago at 68% good to excellent. They said that 94% of the crop is mature, up 3 points versus the 5-year average. They put this year's harvest at 42% complete, up from 27% a week ago but still slightly behind the 5-year average of 43% done. Dec 15 Corn closed at $3.84 1/2, up 3 3/4 cents; Mar 16 Corn closed at $3.95 1/2, up 3 3/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market finished the day with decent gains. As with corn, these came despite weekly export inspections disappointing. These came in at 290,717 MT versus the expected 500-625,000 MT and down 48% from a week ago. Marketing year shipments are down 17% from the previous year. Japan seeks 116,782 MT of food wheat for Dec shipment in it's regular weekly tender. As normal the origins specified are split between US, Canadian and Australian wheat. Jordan cancelled a tender to buy 100,000 MT of optional origin hard wheat for Feb-March shipment. Concerns about dryness causing lower wheat production in the Black Sea region and Australia continues to get plenty of interest. US wheat isn't out of trouble either. The USDA put US winter wheat plantings at 64% complete, up from 49% a week ago but 2 points behind the 5-year average. The crop is said to be 33% emerged versus 20% a week ago and 36% for the recent norm. They haven't yet started reporting on crop conditions. "Dry conditions have developed in the US heartland over the past several weeks, furthering the corn and soybean harvest while also hampering wheat planting and germination. Hot temperatures recently have developed in the Great Plains, highs in the 90s F, contributing to declining field moisture," said Martell Crop Projections. "The 3 leading wheat states Kansas,Oklahoma and Texas are much drier than normal. Wheat planting has moved forward but germination has been retarded by the dry topsoil conditions. Hot temperatures are expected to continue in the Great Plains encouraging high evaporation and strong drying. Light showers are possible in West Texas and Oklahoma, while Kansas would continue dry," they add. Russia said it had harvested 63.3 MMT of wheat and 18.1 MMT of barley off 98.3% of the planned area of both. These weights are before cleaning and screening which would typically knock off around a further 5-7%. SovEcon estimated the final Russian wheat crop at 60.8 MMT, and see barley production at 17.4 MMT. The Russian Ag Ministry say that winter grains have now been planted on 14.8 million ha, or 86.4% of the forecast area versus 15.2 million a year ago. Dec 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.19, up 12 1/4 cents; Dec 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.11, up 13 1/4 cents; Dec 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.36 1/4, up 8 cents.
13/10/15 -- EU grains closed mixed, but mostly a touch higher. London wheat got a bit of support from a sharply weaker pound following the news that UK inflation fell to -0.1% last month, putting off ideas of an interest rate rise here any time soon.
At the close, Nov 15 London wheat was up GBP0.50/tonne at GBP117.00/tonne. In Paris, Dec 15 wheat was up EUR0.25/tonne at EUR180.00/tonne, Nov 15 corn was down EUR1.25/tonne to EUR164.50/tonne and Nov 15 rapeseed was EUR1.75/tonne higher at EUR380.75/tonne for a new highest close on a front month in nine weeks.
Fresh news was relatively scarce. The bulls continue to point to dryness issues for winter wheat in the FSU, along with similar potential problems in the US. The full implication of these problems won't be know for some considerable time however. Australian dryness keeps getting a mention too, the upshot of that will at least be known in a shorter time frame.
The bears point out that the world has now produced a record wheat crop for 3 years in a row, and that 2015/16 ending stocks are forecast at all time highs too. Demand is fairly good at these levels (Egypt, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Algeria have all been active buyers in the past couple of weeks), but buyers are picky (Egypt snubbed French wheat for the sake of 3 cents over the weekend) and competition for the business is fierce.
There isn't going to be the same volume of corn around in Europe and the Black Sea this year though. UkrAgroConsult today estimated the 2015 Black Sea corn crop at 47.0 MMT, down 9% from 2014 due to hot and dry weather.
Ukraine's crop appears to have been particularly badly affected. They estimate that at 23 MMT, down 11% on last year and 2 MMT below the current USDA forecast. Agritel have the crop a fraction lower than that at 22.98 MMT.
UkrAgroConsult have the Romanian corn crop estimated at 9.0 MMT versus 11.4 MMT in 2014, and the Bulgarian corn crop at 2.5 MMT versus 3.14 MMT last year.
Meanwhile on Friday the French Farm Ministry estimated this year's corn crop in Europe's largest producing nation at only 13.1 MMT, down from 13.5 MMT previously and almost 28% below last year.
Elsewhere, Russia said that their 2015 grain harvest was past 95% complete at 101 MMT in bunker weight. Wheat accounts for 63.3 MMT of that total off more than 98% of the planned area, and barley a further 18.1 MMT off a similar percentage of plantings.
The Russian corn harvest is now said to be just past halfway done producing a crop of 6.9 MMT so far.
SovEcon estimated Russia's total grain crop at 101.0 MMT in clean weight, of which 60.8 MMT is wheat, 17.4 MMT is barley and 12.1 MMT is corn. They see Russia's total exportable grain surplus at 30.0 MMT versus a previous estimate of 31.0 MMT.
The Russian Ag Ministry say that winter grains have now been planted on 14.8 million ha, or 86.4% of the forecast area. A year ago plantings were complete on 15.2 million ha at this time. It's currently cold and dry, and although the weather forecast is a bit more favourable from the weekend onwards, it's not as good as it was yesterday.
At home, milling wheat premiums have returned to "average" levels, say the HGCA. Their latest survey results show "much better quality for both bread milling and biscuit wheat in the UK this season compared with last year."
"Quality results in many EU countries have also improved from last season. Although French and German milling wheat supplies look to be near average, Strategie Grains estimate that the total 2015/16 EU milling wheat harvest, at 105.5 MMT, could be the largest since at least 2007," they add.
12/10/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with small gains, but well off earlier highs. The regular weekly crop progress report from the USDA is delayed a day until tomorrow due to the Columbus Day holiday. China’s central bank took fresh steps to inject liquidity into their struggling economy over the weekend and said the recent stock market’s correction "is almost over". The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 3.3% on the news. AgRural estimated Brazil’s 2015/16 soybean crop at 98.9 MMT versus CONAB's estimate of 100.1-101.9 MMT and the USDA estimate of 100.0 MMT, both from Friday. AgRural see the planted area at 32.8 million ha, up 2.7% from a year ago. They say that plantings are around 8% complete, one point ahead of this time last year. The leading producing state of Mato Grosso has got off to a sluggish start. IMEA said that the state's bean crop is 6.1% planted, up from 1.7% a week ago, but down versus 8.3% a year ago and the 5-year average of 12.0% done. Rapeseed futures hit a 2-month high in Europe today. Crude popped above $50/barrel but failed to hold, slipping back to close at little more than $47/barrel. Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $8.87 1/2, up 1 3/4 cents; Jan 16 Soybeans closed at $8.92 1/2, up 2 cents; Oct 15 Soybean Meal closed at $309.30, up $2.40; Oct 15 Soybean Oil closed at 28.01, down 16 points.
Corn: The corn market closed around a couple of cents easier, in light follow-through bearish sentiment left over from Friday. As with beans, there wasn't a great deal of fresh information to go on, with weekly export inspections and crop progress pushed back until tomorrow. The French Farm Ministry lowered their 2015 corn crop estimate to 13.1 MMT versus a previous estimate of 13.5 MMT. That's down almost 28% versus the 2014 record crop of 18.1 MMT and also down 15.8% from five year average. Corn average yields this year are estimated at 8.5 MT/ha versus 10.5 MT/ha in 2014. Similar large production declines look like being replicated in other major EU producing nations too. Ditto the Black Sea. The USDA attaché in Ukraine said that the country's 2015 corn production may be 7.3 MMT lower than last year. They see Ukraine’s 2015/16 corn exports at 12.5 MMT, down 35.6% versus 19.4 MMT in 2014/15. The USDA themselves had these at 17 MMT on Friday. Ukraine's seaports were said to have exported 122 TMT of corn last week, up from 53 TMT the previous week. Israel bought 40,000 MT of optional origin corn, which will most likely end up coming from the Black Sea. Mexico and Egypt are said to be shopping for corn. Russia said that it's 2015 corn harvest was approaching halfway done at 6.5 MMT. Dec 15 Corn closed at $3.80 3/4, down 2 cents; Mar 16 Corn closed at $3.91 3/4, down 1 3/4 cents.
Wheat: The market closed a touch lower across the three exchanges. Egypt's GASC bought a mixture of Russian and Romanian wheat in their latest tender released Friday. French wheat just missed out due to higher freight costs. The prices on offer were well below anything that the US can currently compete with. The USDA on Friday highlighted that US wheat is now starting to miss out on business into even their most "traditional" homes, with Mexico buying EU and Black Sea wheat of late. Saudi Arabia were said to have bought 740,000 MT of optional origin hard wheat in a tender for Dec-Feb shipment. Algeria were reported to have bought "at least" 675,000 MT of optional origin soft milling wheat for Nov-Dec shipment. French material will surely figure in that. Israel bought 40,000 MT of option origin, possibly Black Sea material, feed wheat. Russia said that it's 2015 wheat harvest now stands at 63 MMT in bunker weight off 97.5% of the planned area. Winter grain plantings in Russia are said to be 84.5% complete. Winter wheat plantings in Ukraine are only 64% done. Dryness issues for wheat in the US, Black Sea and Australia keep getting a supportive mention. Australian Crop Forecasters lowered their estimate for Australia’s 2015 wheat crop to 24.3 MMT, and said they may reduce that further if rain doesn’t arrive soon. The USDA were at 27 MMT on Friday, which was 1 MMT higher than they were in September! Dec 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.06 3/4, down 2 1/2 cents; Dec 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.97 3/4, down 2 1/2 cents; Dec 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.28 1/4, down 1 1/4 cents.
12/10/15 -- EU grains closed mixed, but mostly a touch lower to start the week. Wheat and corn maybe suffered a little weekend "hangover" following a bearish tone for them to Friday night's USDA report. Rapeseed was higher, following soybeans, for which the WASDE report was more friendly.
At the close, Nov 15 London wheat was down GBP0.50/tonne to GBP116.50/tonne, Dec 15 Paris wheat was EUR0.25/tonne higher at EUR179.75/tonne (although other months were lower), Nov 15 Paris corn was EUR1.00/tonne easier at EUR165.75/tonne, whilst Nov 15 Paris rapeseed was EUR2.25/tonne steadier at EUR379.00/tonne.
For rapeseed this was the highest close for a front month since Aug 11.
Egypt bought 180 TMT of Russian/Romanian wheat for Nov 11-20 over the weekend, with French wheat once again missing out due to higher freight costs. The difference this time was minuscule however, with one cargo of the Russian wheat bought coming in at $208.93/tonne C&F versus the best priced French offer of $208.96/tonne.
On an FOB basis French wheat was the cheapest again - priced at $196.74/tonne versus a best price of $198.11/tonne from Russia and $198.56/tonne from Romania.
The Egyptian supplies Minister said that the country now has enough wheat bought to last it until mid-March, which would be just prior to the start of their own harvest.
News reported on Reuters that Algeria had purchased "at least" 675 TMT of optional origin milling wheat for Nov/Dec shipment was viewed as supportive, as this was widely considered to be at the very least mostly, and possibly entirely, of French origin.
Russia said that their 2015 grain harvest had now reached 100 MMT off 94% of the planned areas as of Friday. Wheat accounts for 63 MMT of that total and barley a further 18 MMT. Both those harvests are said to be 97.5% complete.
The Russian corn harvest is said to be 47.3% done at 6.5 MMT.
Winter plantings for the 2016 harvest in Russia are said to be complete on 14.4 million ha, or 84.5% of the forecasted area. Colder than normal temperatures these next few days should give way to warmer temperatures from the end of the week onwards. The forecast also has a wetter outlook than previously.
The Russian Ag Ministry said that the country had exported 10.82 MMT of grains so far this season (to Oct 7), an 18.6% drop on the same period in 2014. Wheat accounts for 8.36 MMT, or 77%, of that total. Barley adds another 1.82 MMT, or 17%, and corn 566 TMT (5%).
Ukraine 's Deputy Ag Minister said that 55% of the nation's 2015 wheat harvest was of milling standard, and that exports in 2015/16 of 16 MMT would be split roughly 50:50 between milling and feed wheat.
The country's winter grain plantings for 2016 are said to be 58% complete on 4.3 million ha, some 700k ha less than this time last year. Wheat accounts for the vast majority of that total at 4.0 million ha, or 64% of the Ag Ministry forecast.
The French Farm Ministry tweaked their estimate for this year's soft wheat crop there a bit higher, up from 40.8 MMT to a new record 41.0 MMT, and some 14.2% above the 5-year average. They see average yields this year at 7.93 MT/ha versus 7.48 MT/ha a year ago.
The 2015 French corn harvest was estimated at only 13.1 MMT however, down from 13.5 MMT previously and 15.8% below the 5-year average.