Chicago Wheat Post Largest Weekly Gain Since July

18/01/13 -- Soycomplex: Mar 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.29 1/4, down 1 cent; May 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.16 3/4, up 2 cents; Mar 13 Soybean Meal closed at USD414.40, up USD0.40; Mar 13 Soybean Oil closed at 51.68, up 19 points. For the week Mar 13 soybeans were up 56 cents (4%), with Mar 13 meal rising almost USD10 (2.4%) and Mar 13 oil up over 250 points (5%). New crop gained on old crop as Informa Economics cut their forecast for US soybean plantings this spring from 79.0 million acres to 78.8 million. Even so that's still an increase of 2% on last year's 77.2 million. A drier outlook for southern Brazil and central and western parts of Argentina seems to be causing some mild concern. "Moisture shortages are increasing across central and western areas (of Argentina), and the continued drier pattern there through the next week will allow dryness to build further. This will begin to increase stress on corn and soybean growth, especially across northwestern Buenos Aires, Cordoba, southwestern Santa Fe, and La Pampa," said MDA CropCast.

Corn: Mar 13 Corn closed at USD7.27 1/2, up 3 cents; May 13 Corn closed at USD7.29 1/4, up 4 cents. For the week Mar 13 corn was 18 3/4 cents firmer (+2.65%) and May 13 up 22 1/4 cents (+3.15%). Spillover support came from wheat rising on dryness concerns amongst the US winter crop. Dryness in parts of Argentina is also raising a few eyebrows, where planting of corn still isn't complete (estimated at 93% done by the Ministry). The final acreage there is expected to be 12% down on last year. Informa Economics estimated US corn plantings for the 2013 harvest at 99.3 million acres, up 0.3 million from their previous forecast. If correct this represents an increase of 2.4 million acres on the 2012 planted area, and that was the largest acreage in 75 years. If US yields recovered from their 2012 disaster and bounced back close to a trendline 160.5 bu/acre, the figure Informa are said to be pencilling in for now, then production this year would jump more than a third to 14.757 billion bushels allowing normal levels of abandonment. With the great US drought of 2012 far from resolved this winter though, that is still a very a big IF at the moment.

Wheat: Mar 13 CBOT Wheat closed at USD7.91 1/4, up 10 cents; Mar 13 KCBT Wheat closed at USD8.43 3/4, up 6 3/4 cents; Mar 13 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.74, up 4 3/4 cents. For the week Mar 13 Chicago wheat gained 36 1/2 cents (4.8%), it's biggest weekly gain since July. Mar 13 Kansas wheat rose 36 3/4 cents and Mar 13 Minneapolis added 28 3/4 cents. It seems that the large spec short in Chicago wheat hasn't been willing to add to that position this week, and instead has been more prepared to cover in some of those shorts after prices fell to near 7-month lows last week. Informa pegged the US winter wheat acreage at 41.8 million acres from 42.2 million last month and 42.5 million the month before. The Argentine Ministry said that wheat harvesting there is complete and that the final crop total is 9.8 MMT. That's 1.2 MMT less than the USDA's current forecast and represents a drop of almost 37% on last year. Much of the Midwest as well as the central and southern Plains has only very limited snow cover, say MDA CropCast. Temperatures are "expected to turn very cold across the Midwest early next week...the coldest day is currently expected to be Tuesday morning," they add.