Chicago Grains Mixed, Wheat Tries To Rally On Russian Situation/EU Weather

26/01/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower, essentially reversing Tuesday's gains. Argentine farmers are said to be 86% sold on old crop beans (versus 78% a year ago) and 6% done on new crop (5% a year ago). "The potential for corn and soybean (production) is favorable in Argentina better even than a year ago based on the updated satellite images," say Martell Crop Projections. "We wonder if the excellent vegetation may be subject to decline. With the El Nino in a weakening phase, rainfall may taper off in February the period when rainfall matters the most for Argentina soybeans -- the influential key pod filling stage. The El Nino is a heavy rain maker for Argentina, but its gradual demise may lead to drier weather in the weeks ahead," they add. Brazilian weather is vital over the next few weeks as the crop continues through its critical pod-filling period. The 6-10 day forecast has above normal temps for much of the Brazilian soybean growing area, with normal to below normal precipitation for much of the Center-West, and South East production areas and continued above normal rainfall for the south of the country and northern Argentina. Mar 16 Soybeans settled at $8.76 1/2, down 4 cents; May 16 Soybeans settled at $8.78 1/2, down 3 1/4 cents; Mar 16 Soybean Meal settled at $269.90, down $2.60; Mar 16 Soybean Oil settled at 30.74, up 30 points.

Corn: The corn market closed a touch lower. Argentine farmers are said to be 94% sold on old crop corn (98% a year ago) and 16% done on new crop (19% a year ago). Drought has caused irrecoverable corn crop losses in some areas of Argentina, according to the Rosario Grain Exchange. Around 8% of the planted area could be affected by temps as high as 33C and lack of rainfall, even though northern areas remain too wet. Chinese customs data show that the country imported 133,117 MT of corn in December, down 78% from Dec 2014. Total 2015 calendar year corn imports however were 4.7 MMT, up 82% on the previous year. DDGS imports in 2015 total 6.82 MMT, up 26% compared to 2014. Ukraine said that their 2015 corn crop finished up at 23.2 MMT, an 18.1% drop compared with a year previously. Algeria said that their 2015 corn harvest was 4.41 MMT, up 7.6% versus 2014. Tender news was thin today, with Asian buyers spoiled for choice between cheap Black Sea and South American supplies. The ever-strong dollar continues to hurt US export hopes. Crude oil was down again and continues to flirt with the $30/barrel area. Mar 16 Corn settled at $3.69 1/4, down 1/2 cent; May 16 Corn settled at $3.74 1/2, down 1/4 cent.

Wheat: The market closed firmer, but off the intra-day highs. Wheat got support from short-covering, prompted no doubt by sudden concerns that the weakness of the Russian rouble might lead the Russian government to tighten export restrictions on grains. A short-covering rally seems to be this market's best hope at the moment. The EU's MARS unit said that sudden sharply below zero temps in late December may have caused some winter-kill damage to crops left insufficiently hardy following a very benign (up until then) autumn and early winter. "The coldest weather of the winter season has developed in Europe driving temperatures down to 20 F in Paris, France, and minus 5 F in southern Romania and Bulgaria. The cold wave was more intense in Ukraine and Russia, where an Arctic cold wave brought frigid temperatures not seen for several years," said Martell Crop Projections. Meanwhile "Temperatures in Ukraine and Russia have plummeted from a large Arctic air mass moving in from the northeast. Night minimum temperatures fell as low as minus 30 to minus 35 C (-22 F to -31 F). Temperatures this cold have not been seen in several years. Bitter cold was promoted by a thick layer of snow that radiating heat to the open sky," they added. The Argentine Ag Ministry has growers there 26.5% sold on their 2015/16 wheat versus 48.6% committed a year ago. May 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.90, up 3 1/4 cents; May 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.87, up 2 3/4 cents; May 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.08 3/4, up 3 3/4 cents.