18/12/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with decent gains on the day and for the week. Private exporters reported the sale of 220,046 MT of US soybeans to unknown destinations for 2015/16 delivery. Northern Brazil remains hot and dry. In Goias, the fourth largest soybean producing state in Brazil, the local farm group were said to have cut its 2015/16 production figure by nearly 6% to 9.8 MMT. In Argentina farmers are said to be 77% sold on old crop beans versus 73% sold a year ago. On new crop they are said to be 4% committed, similar to their position 12 months ago. The Argentine peso is now floating, and devalued by as much as 30% versus the US dollar yesterday. Whilst this may encourage some fresh exports it is also going to mean some production increases down the line too.
Jan 16 Soybeans settled at $8.92 1/4, up 15 1/4 cents; Mar 16 Soybeans settled at $8.92 3/4, up 15 cents; Jan 16 Soybean Meal settled at $281.00, up $5.10; Jan 16 Soybean Oil settled at 30.53, up 46 points. For the week, Jan 16 beans were 21 3/4 cents higher, with Jan 16 meal up $8.80 and Jan 16 oil down 55 points.
Corn: The corn market closed with little change on the day, or for the week. Argentine growers were said to be 85% sold on old crop corn versus almost 92% a year ago. They are 8% sold on new crop corn against 13% committed a year ago. The new president and his promise to cut the export duty on corn therefore don't appear to have made any difference to farmers' selling strategy's just yet. That could start to filter through shortly though. The trade is still adjusting to the "new Argentina" under the leadership of president Macri. The corn acreage in Argentina could expand by 20% to 30% in 2016/17 as farmers revert back to a more normal rotation between corn and soybeans, said Dr Cordonnier. Ukraine said that it had finally finished it's 2015 grain harvest, bringing in a crop of 61.1 MMT, down 5% from 64.37 MMT a year ago. The corn harvest this year finished up at 23.25 MMT (USDA: 23.00 MMT this year and 28.45 MMT in 2014). Brussels announced 462 TMT worth of EU corn import licences this past week. Talk of a Brazilian corn boat heading for the US might cap market upside ideas. Mar 16 Corn settled at $3.74 1/2, up 1/4 cent; May 16 Corn settled at $3.80 1/2, up 1/4 cent. Mar 16 corn ended the week 1 1/2 cents higher than it began it.
Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed on the day, but with decent gains for the week. Argentine growers are said to be 11% sold on new crop wheat against 35% committed a year ago at this time. Morocco are said to be in the market for 360 TMT of milling wheat and 315 TMT of durum wheat, both of US origin, in an inter-governmental deal between the two countries. Jordan said that it had bought 100,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat and immediately tendered for a similar volume for Apr/May shipment. The EU said that they'd issued a record weekly volume of soft wheat export licences for the 2015/16 marketing campaign this week. Cumulative season to date licences are still down considerably versus 12 months ago (-16%), but this number is now dropping on an almost weekly basis - it was almost double that deficit at the end of November. The Deutsche Bank are predicting a GBP/USD exchange rate of 1.35-1.40 "in 2016/17" and a EUR/USD exchange of 0.95 next year. Both rates are significantly below where those respective currencies currently trade, and should make it even more difficult for US wheat to compete on the export front going forward. May 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.93, up 2 cents; May 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.92 1/4, up 1 1/4 cents; May 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.17 1/2, down 3 3/4 cents. For the week that puts Chicago wheat 10 1/4 cents higher, with Kansas up 24 cents and Minneapolis 19 1/4 cents firmer.
18/12/15 -- EU grains closed mostly higher on the day, but still mostly lower for the week when all said and done.
At the finish, Jan 16 London wheat was up GBP1.75/tonne at GBP112.50/tonne, Mar 16 Paris wheat was up EUR1.25/tonne to EUR176.25/tonne, Jan 16 corn was EUR0.75/tonne firmer at EUR159.50/tonne and Feb 16 rapeseed was EUR5.25/tonne higher to EUR373.50/tonne.
For the week that puts London wheat GBP0.20/tonne lower, with Paris wheat unchanged, corn EUR5.00/tonne lower and rapeseed down EUR5.75/tonne.
On the good news front, EU exports are staring to pick up. Brussels announced more than 1 MMT worth of soft wheat export licences this past week - the second week in the last three that these have beat the 1 MMT mark, and with this week's total being the highest of the season so far.
Cumulative soft wheat export licences for the season so far have now reached 11.4 MMT. That's still down 16% on a year ago, but things are certainly moving in the right direction - a week ago we were 22% down and at the beginning of November these were 30% lower year-on-year.
The USDA currently project EU-28 all wheat exports to decline 8.2% in 2015/16.
Looking at the old crop/new crop premiums, there's not a lot of change on a week ago. In London the Jan 16/Nov 16 differential is GBP12.05/tonne tonight, or 10.71%, versus GBP11.55/tonne, or 10.25%, a week ago. In Paris the Jan 16/Dec 16 differential is EUR12.00/tonne, or 6.8%, versus EUR11.75/tonne, or 6.7%, a week ago.
In other news, Ukraine said that it had finally finished it's 2015 grain harvest, bringing in a crop of 61.1 MMT, down 5% from 64.37 MMT a year ago. The corn harvest this year finished up at 23.25 MMT (USDA: 23.00 MMT this year and 28.45 MMT in 2014).
The Russian Ag Ministry said that winter grain plantings there (mostly wheat) had been completed on 16.3 million ha, some 0.5 million below a year ago, and that 1.8 million ha of that had yet to emerge.
FranceAgrMer did not release updated weekly crop condition ratings and/or a progress report today.
A week ago they reported French winter wheat and barley crop conditions at 98% and 97% good to very good as of Nov 30. They had 57% of the French winter wheat crop at the early tillering stage versus 55% a year ago. Winter barley was 77% tillering, also 2 points ahead of a year ago.
Tunisia said that it's 2015 grain harvest had fallen 44%, with wheat output down 40% at 913 TMT, and a barley crop 53% lower at 364 TMT. That could mean total grain imports in 2015/16 rising to around 3.5 MMT, up 20% on last season and 15% above the seasonal average. France will be well positioned to service that increased requirement.
Jordan said that it had bought 100,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat and immediately tendered for a similar volume for Apr/May shipment. Morocco are said to be in the market for 360 TMT of milling wheat and 315 TMT of durum wheat, both of US origin, in an inter-governmental deal between the two countries.
Currency fluctuations will play a large part in where grain prices go in 2016. Now that the Fed have broken ranks and become the first of the major central banks to start increasing interest rates, most pundits have the dollar down to firm in the year ahead - albeit by varying degrees.
Analysts are more split on prospects for the pound and euro across the next 12 moths though - and the further forward you go the more diverse those predictions get.
With the year end looming, Deutsche Bank today became the latest to release their thoughts. They see significant GBP/USD weakness ahead, predicting a fall back to the 1.35-1.40 range in 2016/17. The pound closed the week around 1.49 versus the US dollar for an 8-month low. That's a decline of around 6-9.5% versus tonight's close.
The Deutsche Bank's EUR/USD rate outlook meanwhile has been revised upwards from 0.90 to 0.95 - but still some 12% lower when compared to a close at around 1.08 this evening.
Many other analysts are predicting similar scenarios ahead in 2016 - dollar strength, a weaker pound topped only by an even weaker euro, although the downside for the latter is now being reigned in somewhat.
That would point to wheat prices doing pretty much the same across the next 6 months as they have in the last, with Paris performing the best of the wheat markets - if not exactly setting the world on fire.
Versus the May 2015 lows Paris wheat is currently up by around 13%, with London wheat 6.5% higher and Chicago wheat only 2% firmer.
17/12/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans have turned around lower overnight trade to trade higher heading into the close. The USDA said that private exporters reported export sales of 424,000 MTs of US soybeans for delivery to China during the 2015/16 marketing year under the daily reporting system. The USDA reported weekly soybean export sales of 887,800 MT for 2015/16, down 39 percent from the previous week and 31 percent from the prior 4-week average. Trade estimates were for sales of 900,000 MT to 1.3 MMT. China as usual was the largest home taking 438,600 MT of that total. Exports of 1,554,400 MT were down 5 percent from the previous week and 19 percent from the prior 4-week average, but still pretty good nevertheless. The primary destination was China (910,500 MT). Informa forecast US soybean plantings for 2016 at 84.54 million acres versus a previous 85.3 million and the recent USDA prediction of 82.0 million. Jan 16 Soybeans settled at $8.77, up 14 1/2 cents; Mar 16 Soybeans settled at $8.77 3/4, up 14 1/2 cents; Jan 16 Soybean Meal settled at $275.90, up $6.00; Jan 16 Soybean Oil settled at 30.07, down 30 points.
Corn: The corn market was also trading near the highs of the day heading towards the close. Argentina announced it would allow the peso to float starting today. Weekly export sales of 579,400 MT for 2015/16 were down 44 percent from the previous week and 47 percent from the prior 4-week average. Trade estimates were for sales of 700,000 MT to 1.0 MMT. There were also net sales of 98,200 MT for 2016/17 reported for Japan (97,200 MT) and Nicaragua (1,000 MT). Weekly exports of 495,000 MT were up 2 percent from the previous week and 11 percent from the prior 4-week average. Informa forecast US 2016 corn plantings at 88.93 million acres versus a previous estimate of 90.1 million and the recent USDA baseline figure of 90.5 million. Strategie Grains estimated the EU-28 2016 corn production at 64.9 MMT, a 13% rise on this year as yields return closer to normal levels after this year's disaster. Talk of China introducing anti-dumping legislation to stem the flow of cheap DDGS imports from the US is mounting. Mar 16 Corn settled at $3.74 1/4, up 4 1/2 cents; May 16 Corn settled at $3.80 1/4, up 5 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market attempted it's own mid-session turnaround but was mostly lower heading into the close. Weekly export inspections of 320,200 MT for delivery in marketing year 2015/16 were up 42 percent from the previous week, but down 22 percent from the prior 4-week average. That was in line with modest trade forecasts for sales of 250,000 to 400,000 MT. Exports of 332,300 MT were up 55 percent from the previous week and 9 percent from the prior 4-week average. Informa estimated that 39.4 million acres of US winter wheat got planted, up from their previous forecast of 38.7 million. French consultant Strategie Grains pegged EU 2016 wheat production at 143.6 MMT in it's first estimate for next year. Production this year was 150.0 MMT, they say. They also increased EU-28 soft wheat exports in 2015/16 by 800,000 MT to 27.6 MMT versus 32.5 MMT in 2014/15. Carryover stocks at the end of 205/16 at a still "very substantial" 18.4 MMT though, they predict. May 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.91, up 1 cent; May 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.91, down 1/2 cent; May 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.17 1/2, up 2 cents.
17/12/15 -- EU grains traded mostly lower, despite a stronger US dollar following the first US interest rate rise in almost 9 years last night.
At the finish, Jan 16 London wheat was down GBP0.75/tonne at GBP110.75/tonne, Mar 16 Paris wheat was unchanged at EUR175.00/tonne, Jan 16 Paris corn was down EUR0.75/tonne lower at EUR158.75/tonne, whilst Feb 16 Paris rapeseed was flat at EUR367.75/tonne.
Defra released their final UK 2015 crop production estimates today, pegging the wheat crop here at 16.4 MMT, up from the 16.13 MMT predicted a couple of months ago, although marginally below output of 16.45 MMT in 2014.
"While the wheat area was down by 5% year-on-year, production has only shown a decline of 1%, with record yields the driving force behind the second consecutive +16 MMT crop," said the HGCA.
"Final yields have been reported at 9.0 MT/ha, the highest on record, with the UK average yield enhanced by increases in all but one region (East England), compared with 2014," they added.
The size of the 2015 UK barley crop was revised 94 TMT higher than that forecast in October to 7.38 MMT, and the UK OSR harvest was pegged 221 TMT higher than previously taking 2015 production to 2.54 MMT.
"Today’s report suggests further bearish sentiments in an already price-pressured market; the impact of the final statistics will be incorporated in the updated UK cereals balance sheets in the New Year," the HGCA noted.
Strategie Grains meanwhile increased their forecast for EU-28 soft wheat exports this season by 800,000 MT from previously to 27.6 MMT. That's a 15% decline year-on-year versus sales of 32.5 MMT in 2014/15. With exports currently down 22% versus 12 months ago, these are clearly expected to pick up a little as we enter the second half of the season.
There's nothing particularly unusual there, EU exports would normally increase later in the campaign once the bulk of the glut of cheap Black Sea shipments are out of the way. The outlook for a weaker euro in 2016 should also provide further assistance.
Looking ahead to production prospects for 2016, Strategie Grains put the EU-28 soft wheat crop at 143.6 MMT, a 6.4 MMT decline compared to this year and the first annual drop in output since 2012.
This is largely down to an anticipated return to "normal" yields of 6.0 MT/ha versus this year's bumper 6.2 MT/ha result, as plantings are seen little changed compared with 12 months ago at 24 million ha.
Still, EU-28 soft wheat carryover stocks at the end of 205/16 at a still "very substantial" 18.4 MMT.
16/12/15 -- General: The Fed raised US interest rates a touch as expected. Argentina is thought likely to possibly be looking to devaluate the peso by the end of the week. Neither are friendly for US grains prices. The weather in Brazil looks little changed. "The weather in Brazil is like a broken record - lighter than normal rainfall in central and northeastern Brazil and heavier than normal in southern Brazil. It has been this way since the growing season started and it looks like it will continue that way at least for this week," said Dr Cordonnier.
Soycomplex: Beans, meal and oil all closed lower. In the southern Brazilian state of Parana the soybean crop is 94% planted and the crop is rated 93% in good condition and 7% in average condition, Dr Cordonnier says. In parts of Mato Grosso though "it has been 30 days since the last significant rainfall. At the same time, the temperatures have been very hot due to lack of cloud cover and rainfall," he notes. "Officials from the Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Mato Grosso (Aprosoja) estimate that in the hardest hit areas of the state, 80% of the soybeans are rated in poor to very poor condition and 20% of the soybeans are rated in good to very good condition," he points out. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) lowered their estimate of the state's soybean production in their latest weekly report published earlier this week by 1 MMT to 28.3 MMT, he indicates. That's one hell of a north/south divide 20% good up north and 93% good down south! Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report for beans are around 900,000 MT to 1.3 MMT. Jan 16 Soybeans settled at $8.62 1/2, down 4 3/4 cents; Mar 16 Soybeans settled at $8.63 1/4, down 4 1/2 cents; Jan 16 Soybean Meal settled at $269.90, down $1.90; Jan 16 Soybean Oil settled at 30.37, down 33 points.
Corn: The corn market closed around 7 cents lower. Dollar strength and renewed export interest from Argentina is bearish for US corn as well as beans. Friendly news came from the US Energy Dept reporting that weekly US ethanol production averaged 1 million barrels per day for the second time in four weeks last week. That was up 7,000 barrels per day from the previous week and close to the record high set immediately prior to that. Talk of some soybeans in Brazil's Mato Grosso having to be replanted might prove to mean reduced safrinha corn plantings/acreage there somewhere down the line. Israel were said to have bought 80,000 MT of optional origin corn (probably Black Sea material) from Nidera for Mar/May shipment, but passed on a tender for 20,000 MT of optional origin sorghum. As China struggles under the sheer volume of it's huge domestic corn surplus, there's now talk of an import duty of up to 20% on DDGS amidst anti-dumping measures. The Chinese government were already talking of dropping support prices for corn, reducing plantings next year by around 10%. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report range from 700,000 MT to 1.0 MMT. Mar 16 Corn settled at $3.69 3/4, down 7 1/2 cents; May 16 Corn settled at $3.75 1/4, down 7 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed lower. A firmer US dollar is really the very last thing that the US wheat market needs right now as their exports continue to struggle. Japan are tendering for 123,000 MT of US and Canadian food grade wheat, with results expected tomorrow. This is nothing more than routine business though. All eyes will be on tomorrow's weekly export sales report, maybe more in hope than in expectation. For wheat these are expected to be in the range of a pretty modest 250,000 to 400,000 MT. South Africa's CEC cut their forecast for this year's wheat crop there to 1.5 MMT - the lowest since 2011 - on adverse weather conditions. Australia's wheat harvest is now said to be 90% complete. Tunisia's wheat harvest this year is seen down 40% on heat/dryness, with imports expected to rise 19% to 3.54 MMT. They're currently in the market for 100,000 MT of optional origin soft wheat for Feb/Mar shipment. Ukraine said that their winter wheat planting campaign is over at 5.68 million ha, or 91% of the originally planned area. Barley plantings are also finished at 913k ha, or 87% of the initial government forecast. The Ukraine Ministry say that 12% of these winter grain plantings have yet to emerge, and that 29% of what has is in poor condition. May 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.90, down 10 1/4 cents; May 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.91 1/2, down 10 1/2 cents; May 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.15 1/2, down 7 cents.
16/12/15 -- EU grains closed mixed, but generally a little lower, despite dollar strength ahead of an anticipated US interest rate rise this evening. The market got what it expected on that score - with the Fed tweaking up its benchmark interest rate to between 0.25%-0.5%, from the previous range of 0%-0.25%. That confirmation came after EU grain markets closed however.
At the close of EU trading hours, Jan 16 London wheat was down GBP0.70/tonne at GBP111.50/tonne. In Paris, Mar 16 wheat was down EUR3.75/tonne to EUR175.00/tonne, Jan 16 corn rose EUR0.25/tonne to EUR159.50/tonne and Feb 16 rapeseed fell EUR3.50/tonne to EUR367.75/tonne.
The pound closed at 1.50 versus the US dollar tonight, within half a cent of its lowest finish against the greenback in around 8-months.
In theory a weaker pound (and euro) should support UK/French grains, but there are plenty of willing sellers out there - and in some cases some other currencies that are even weaker against the US dollar than our own.
The pound is down 4.3% versus the US currency in the last 12 month. The euro has declined 11.7% in the same period. The Russian rouble is down by 27% during this time, and the Ukraine hryvnia has slumped 33.6% in the past year.
Competition for export homes thus remains fierce, with Ukraine saying that the nation's seaports exported 32.92 MMT in the first 11 months of the 2015 calendar year, a 13.8% increase versus the same period in 2014.
Russia might end up exporting a record volume of grains (21.09 MMT) in the first half of the current season, said Rusagrotrans yesterday.
Argentine farmers meanwhile are also now said to be looking at world wheat prices in a new light, facing a peso devaluation and following the agreed withdrawal of the export tax on wheat.
UK interest rates are expected to begin to rise in the new year sometime, which should also then start to firm sterling too, although the exact timing of this event is far from clear. UniCredit today forecast the first UK rate rise to come next May, co-inciding with inflation here hitting 1%.
Current prices have flushed out some international buyers, but they are spoilt for choice who to give their business too. Tunisia are today reported to have booked 100,000 MT of milling wheat and 50,000 MT of feed barley, both of optional origin, for Feb/Mar shipment.
That adds to recent interest from Jordan, Syria, Ethiopia, Algeria etc. Israeli private buyers today also booked 80,000 MT of optional origin corn, but passed on their tender for 20,000 MT of sorghum.
Ukraine said that winter wheat plantings there are complete. Only 91% of the originally intended winter wheat area got sown (5.68 million ha), along with 87% of the expected winter barley area (913k ha) and 79% of winter OSR (649k ha).
The Ukraine Ministry say that 12% of these plantings have yet to emerge, and that 29% of what has is in poor condition (although that's down from 33% a month ago it's still a high proportion).
15/12/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower. The NOPA crush for November came in below expectations, totalling 156.1 million bu (161.7 million expected) and down from 158.9 million in October. This was said to be the smallest November crush in four years. The USDA’s total crush number for the season being 17 million bu higher than last year is now becoming suspect, said Benson Quinn. Excessive wetness in parts of South America remain an issue, whilst dryness is a problem in some other areas. The USDA reported 120,000 MT of US beans were sold to China for 2015/16 delivery under the daily reporting system. Ukraine said that they'd already exported 91% of their rapeseed surplus from this year's depleted crop by the end of November. Reduced rapeseed crushings in Europe this season could lead to increased demand for soybeans. Jan 16 Soybeans settled at $8.67 1/4, down 7 cents; Mar 16 Soybeans settled at $8.67 3/4, down 8 1/4 cents; Jan 16 Soybean Meal settled at $271.80, down $3.70; Jan 16 Soybean Oil settled at 30.70, down 42 points.
Corn: The corn market closed around a cent or two lower. Argentine corn offers are said to be sharpening up now that new President Macri is in charge and apparently sticking to his promises to cut export taxes on grains. There's still talk of a late surge in Argentine corn plantings taking 2015/16 production up to around 27-28 MMT. US dollar strength ahead of tomorrow's anticipated Fed interest rate increase was another negative today. Rusagrotrans said that Russia would export 450,000 MT of corn this month, taking Jul 1 - Dec 31 (first half 2015/16) exports to 1.77 MMT, up 59% versus 1.11 MMT a year previously. There's continued talk of China sharply reducing domestic support prices for corn, which might cut acreage by 10% next year. "At face value, taking the internal corn price from $9.25 to $6 per bushel and reducing acreage 10% should significantly stimulate the nearby demand side of the equation. Question is what is the quality of all the corn in reserve storage?" asked Benson Quinn. Certainly some of these government-owned stocks will be 3-4 years old, and some probably more than that. Mar 16 Corn settled at $3.77 1/4, down 1 3/4 cents; May 16 Corn settled at $3.82 1/4, down 2 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed with small gains. Current prices seem to be stimualting global demand, but how many will end up buying US wheat is questionable. Algeria were said likely to have ended up buying 800,000 MT in last week's purchase originally reported at 500-600,000 MT. It's being mooted that as many as three cargoes of that may have been Argentine origin material, not the usual clean sweep for the French. Ethiopia are also said to be in the market for 70,000 MT wheat. Jordan are looking for 100,000 MT of hard wheat and Syria for 200,000 MT of soft milling wheat. Meanwhile Japan are tendering for their regular 123,275 MT consignment of what this week is only US and Canadian wheat for Jan/Mar shipment. Lanworth forecast next year's Russian wheat crop at 58.5 MMT. The Russian Ag Ministry estimated this year's grain crop at 103.4 MMT in clean weight, including 61.2 MMT of wheat. They see grain production at 104 MMT and wheat output at 60.4 MMT next year. May 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $5.00 1/4, up 1 cent; May 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $5.02, up 3 3/4 cents; May 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.22 1/2, up 2 1/4 cents.
15/12/15 -- EU grains closed mixed, but mostly lower. Dollar strength - on the day before the Fed is fairly widely expected to begin raising US interest rates - may have helped provide a bit of support for Paris wheat today with eurozone wheat set to potentially pick up extra export business on the back of a firmer greenback.
At the finish, Jan 16 London wheat was down GBP0.20/tonne at GBP112.20/tonne, Mar 16 Paris wheat was up EUR3.25/tonne to EUR178.75/tonne, Jan 16 corn was EUR4.25/tonne lower at EUR165.00/tonne and Feb 16 rapeseed was also EUR4.25/tonne lower to EUR371.75/tonne.
The latest figures from HMRC show that UK wheat exports topped those of imports for the first time this season in October - albeit not by a huge amount. Exports of 195.3 TMT in October were also the largest of the season so far, beating imports of 137.4 TMT.
That;'s probably not that much to write home about, season to date exports are 518 TMT - similar to the level of a year previously. The top buyer so far this season is Spain (181.5 TMT), followed by the Netherlands (169.6 TMT) and Portugal (104.3 TMT).
UK barley exports in October topped 100 TMT, taking the season to date total to close on that for wheat at 498 TMT.
Algeria's recent purchase of optional origin wheat, originally reported as 500-600 TMT, was perhaps more like 800 TMT traders said. It's also being suggested that at least one or two cargoes of that may have been of Argentine origin, although the bulk was probably French.
Rusagrotrans said that Russia would export 3.4 MMT of grains this month, up 14% from a year ago. That will include 2.6 MMT of wheat (76.5% of total grain shipments), 300 TMT of barley and 450 TMT of corn, they suggest.
If correct, that would take exports for the first half of the 2015/16 season (Jul/Dec) to a new record 21.09 MMT, just beating last year's total of 20.91 MMT for the same period.
Wheat exports Jul/Dec might therefore total 16.22 MMT, or 76.9% of all grain shipments, down a little from 16.36 MMT a year ago. Barley exports are seen totalling 2.98 MMT against 3.23 MMT a year ago. Corn exports could rise to 1.77 MMT from 1.11 MMT in Dec 2014.
The Russian Ag Ministry today raised their estimate for this season's final grain production to 103.4 MMT in clean weight from 101.5 MMT previously, but still down marginally from last year's record 105.3 MMT.
They forecast Russia's 2016/17 grain production at 104 MMT, of which 60.4 MMT will be wheat.
Lanworth Inc estimated Russia's 2016/17 wheat crop at 58.5 MMT.
Ukraine said that they'd shipped out 1.28 MMT of rapeseed in the Jul/Nov period, or 91% of their entire exportable surplus. The EU took 79% of those exports, with France (448.2 TMT) the top home here followed by Belgium (254.3 TMT) and Portugal (186.9 TMT).
14/12/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with small gains. The USDA reported weekly export inspections of 1.344 MMT, down 22% from the week before but still fairly decent. The cumulative season-to-date pace lags last year's record by almost 10%. The NOPA crush for November is due out tomorrow, with the average trade guess for that lining up at 161.7 million bushels. New Argentine president Macri stood be his promises and trimmed 5% off the soybean export tax as expected. The Argentine Ag Ministry reported that growers there are 77.3% sold on their old crop beans versus 71.94% done a year ago. On new crop they are said to be 4.1% committed against 3.9% a year ago. The USDA have pencilled in a 2016 US soybean acreage of 82 million, down 1.2 million from their previous forecast. The preliminary yield estimate for next year is 46.7 bu/acre. Jan 16 Soybeans settled at $8.74 1/4, up 3 1/2 cents; Mar 16 Soybeans settled at $8.76, up 2 1/4 cents; Dec 15 Soybean Meal settled at $277.80, up $5.60; Dec 15 Soybean Oil settled at 31.30, up 22 points.
Corn: The corn market closed generally around 4 cents higher, save for expiring front month Dec 14 which finished up 8 3/4 cents. Weekly export inspections of 566,835 MT for the week ending last Thursday, were up 13% from the previous week. On a season so far basis though cumulative inspections are down 23% on this time last year. Argentine president Macri said that he would today sign a decree abolishing the current export tax on corn. The Argentine Ag Ministry reported that growers there are 84.9% sold on their old crop corn versus 90.8% done a year ago. On new crop they are said to be 7.4% committed against 12.6% a year ago. Israel are said to be tendering for 80,000 MT of optional origin corn and 20,000 MT of sorghum for Mar/May shipment. The USDA suggested US 2016 corn acres of 90.5 million, up 0.5 million from previously, and 2 million above this year. Early ideas on yields are 168.1 bu/acre. Ukraine seaports were said to have shipped out 459.6 TMT worth of corn last week (or 55.5% of all grain exports). Russian seaports shipped out 100.2 TMT of corn, or 15.8% of all grain exports. Ukraine said that their corn harvest is now over at just shy of 23 MMT. Dec 15 Corn settled at $3.81 3/4, up 8 3/4 cents; Mar 16 Corn settled at $3.79, up 3 3/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed around 2-5 cents firmer. Weekly export sales of 434,676 MT were a lot better than last week's miserable effort. So far this season though cumulative exports still lag a year ago by 14.5%. Argentine also cut their wheat export tax to zero today, giving rise to the notion that they will be a bit more of a threat going forward. The Argentine Ag Ministry reported that growers there are 9.5% sold on their new crop wheat versus 90.8% done a year ago. There are reports of heat and dryness delaying winter grain planting in India, with 44.23 million ha sown so far, down 4.43 million ha on a year ago. Wheat plantings are currently down 16.5% at 20.2 million ha versus 24.2 million a year ago. The USDA predict US wheat plantings at only 53 million ha next year, the lowest in 43 years. Taiwan bought 87,000 MT of US wheat in a tender for Jan/Feb shipment. Russia said that they'd exported 17.8 MMT of grains so far this season (down 6% on a year ago) and that 75% of that (13.39 MMT) was wheat. Ukraine said that they'd shipped out 18.71 MMT of grains so far, or which 50% (9.34 MMT) was wheat. Ukraine winter wheat is said to be planted on 92% of the original government target at 5.68 million ha, with around 67.5% of the crop in good to satisfactory condition. Mar 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.93 1/2, up 3 cents; Mar 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.88, up 5 1/2 cents; Mar 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.10 1/2, up 2 3/4 cents.
14/12/15 -- EU grains began the week mostly lower. Global commodity and equity markets remain nervous, keeping grains on the back foot. The FTSE 100 closed at a 10-week low on Friday and topped that with a 3-year closing low tonight, weighed on by slumping crude oil and ahead of an expected US Fed interest rate rise on Wednesday.
At the close, Jan 16 London wheat was down GBP0.30/tonne at GBP112.40/tonne, Mar 16 Paris wheat fell EUR0.75/tonne to EUR175.50/tonne, Jan 16 Paris corn was EUR1.00/tonne lower at EUR163.50/tonne, whilst Feb 16 Paris rapeseed was up EUR3.00/tonne to EUR375.50/tonne.
Ukraine said that their 2015 grain harvest is 99% complete at 60.84 MMT, including nearly 23 MMT of corn. APK Inform said that Ukraine's seaports had raised their exports efforts significantly last week, up from 322.2 TMT the previous week to 828.5 TMT, including 255.3 TMT of wheat, 459.6 TMT of corn and 113.6 TMT of barley.
The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that the nation had exported 18.71 MMT of grains so far this season (Jul 1 to Dec 11), including 9.34 MMT of wheat, 5.4 MMT of corn and 3.95 MMT of barley.
They forecast full season exports in 2015/16 at a record 36.8 MMT, up 6.4% versus a year ago. Total wheat exports last season were 11.23 MMT, with those for corn at 18.84 MMT and barley at 4.46 MMT.
Ukraine's winter planting works for the 2016 harvest are complete on 6.74 million ha, or 91% of the planned area. That includes 5.68 million ha (92%) of wheat and 913k ha (87%) of the originally intended winter barley area.
Winter grain emergence in Ukraine is said to be running at 86% (or 5.8 million ha), and of that 67% is said to be in good to satisfactory condition and 33% weak/thinned.
In addition a similar proportion of winter OSR has emerged (88%, or 570.8k ha), with 67.5% rated good to satisfactory and 32.5% weak/thinned.
Russia's seaports meanwhile increased their exports last week to 635.9 TMT from 370.2 TMT the previous week. That included 496 TMT of wheat, 100.2 TMT of corn and 36.7 TMT of barley.
Russia's total season to date grain exports (to Dec 9) are 17.80 MMT, down 6% on a year ago. That includes 13.39 MMT of wheat, 1.44 MMT of corn and 2.82 MMT of barley.
The EU Commission's MARS unit said that: "Temperatures since the end of November have been significantly higher than average in large areas of central (Czech Republic, Germany), eastern (Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus) and northern Europe (Denmark, Poland Sweden, Finland and the Baltic countries).
"Winter crops were prevented from gaining frost tolerance due to the mild temperatures in these regions, and are now potentially exposed to frost kill if temperatures abruptly move to seasonal values - even though this is not forecast for the coming days.
"In the United Kingdom and Ireland, overly wet conditions have persisted since November and will continue in the coming week, according to the weather forecast," they added.