Chicago Market Marches Higher

21/08/12 -- Soycomplex: Sep 12 Soybeans closed at USD17.53 1/2, up 49 3/4 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans ended at USD17.32 1/2, up 49 cents; Sep 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD543.60, up USD11.00; Sep 12 Soybean Oil finished at 55.57, up 168 points. Funds were estimated to have been net buyers of around 15,000 soybean contracts on the day. Nov beans and Dec meal both made fresh contract highs. The USDA raised good/excellent crop conditions by one point last night to 31%, the minimum improvement that the trade was expecting. Day one of the Pro Farmer Crop Tour came up with an Ohio soybean pod count in a 3 foot area of 1,033.72 pods versus the 3-year average of 1,240.85 pods. The South Dakota soybean pod count was 584.9 pods versus the 3-year average of 1,116.9 pods. Customs data shows that China imported 5.87 MMT of soybeans in July, although only 650 TMT of that total came from the US. Brazil was their biggest supplier, providing 3.8 MMT of their total imports. That places Jan-Jul 2012 Chinese soybean imports at 34.92 MMT, up 20.14% from a year ago, of which the US supplied 15 MMT, Brazil 17 MMT and Argentina just 2.4 MMT. Michael Cordonnier estimated 2012 US bean yields at 36.0 bpa, unchanged from his previous estimate and fractionally lower than the USDA's 36.1 bpa forecast.

Corn: Sep 12 Corn closed at USD8.31 1/4, up 16 cents; Dec 12 Corn finished at USD8.38 3/4, up 15 cents. Funds were estimated to have bought 10,000 corn contracts on the day. Day one of the Pro Farmer Crop Tour found yield potential in Ohio 29% down on last year versus the USDA's current estimate of a 20% reduction. South Dakota corn yields were found 47% lower this year versus the USDA's 26% cut estimate. Crop conditions were left unchanged by the USDA last night, with 51% of the crop rated poor/very poor. This season continues to draw comparisons with 1988, when US corn production shrank 38% from similar hot and dry weather. "A very significant amount of corn was never harvested for grain that year, and was instead cut for silage due to poor quality. The 1988 US corn yield was around 25% below average. The USDA pegged corn production at 10.8 billion bushels in the August report, only 15% below average. Growers boosted plantings by 7% this season, buffering corn losses to a degree, yet we must wonder about further losses from a shrinking crop area. Corn not fit as a feed grain would be cut for silage. Thus, corn losses this year may be worse than currently anticipated," said Martell Crop Projections.

Wheat: Sep 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD9.00 1/2, up 21 cents; Sep 12 KCBT Wheat finished at USD9.08 1/4, up 17 1/4 cents; Sep 12 MGEX Wheat ended at USD9.44 3/4, up 13 3/4 cents. Fund buying was estimated at 4,000 Chicago wheat contracts on the day. Iran bought 400 TMT of milling wheat for September shipment, thought to be mostly of EU and Black Sea origin. Stats Canada's crop production and yield estimates are out tomorrow with the trade forecasting all wheat output at 27.0 MMT from within a range of estimates of 25.9-28.2 MMT, their July estimate of 26.8 MMT and 2011 production of 25.261 MMT. All wheat yields are estimated at 42.3 bpa from within a range of estimates of 40.5-44.0 bpa, their July estimate of 42.8 bpa and 2011 yields of 44.0 bpa. Customs data shows that China imported 251,474 MT of wheat in July, more than double that of a year ago. That takes their 2012 calendar year to date imports to 2.44 MMT, which is also up sharply from a year ago. The USDA last night reported winter wheat harvesting just about complete at 97% done, with the spring wheat harvest well advanced at 79% complete versus just 40% normally. Spring wheat condition reports have now finished for the season. Trade talk/market chatter continues that Russia may have to limit grain exports before too long. They've shipped 3.4 MMT in the first six weeks of the 2012/13 marketing year, against trade estimates for the full season of only 10-12 MMT.