Chicago Closes Mixed, Beans Higher On Tight Availability

03/05/13 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed higher in a very tight physical market. With US exports very well advanced there appear to be few sellers, even with cash bids in excess of USD15/bu. There are rumours that Cargill are to close a crushing plant in Indiana for the summer due to a shortage of physical beans. There's still talk of 1-3 million acres of corn getting switched into beans due to planting delays, but those beans are a long way off being physically available. Informa Economics estimated the global oilseeds crop at 385 MMT, up 17 MMT from a year ago. That includes a 2013/14 world soybean crop estimate of 282.7 MMT, up 13 MMT from a year ago. Note that for South America that means next season's production, not the harvest that is just wrapping up. They cut their 2012/13 Brazilian soybean estimate to 82.5 MMT versus a previous estimate of 83.25 MMT. They increased their Argentine 2012/13 estimate to 53.0 MMT versus a previous estimate of 52.0 MMT. Safras e Mercados said that Brazilian farmers have not sold any of their 2013/14 soybean crop yet. A year ago farmers had forward sold 14% of the 2012/13 crop. There's talk of an improvement in the US weather providing a "planting window" starting on Tuesday and lasting through to next weekend. Monday night's crop progress report is expected to show soybeans around 2-3% planted on a national level. Fund buying in beans was estimated at around 6,000 contracts on the day. May 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.55, up 14 cents; Jul 13 Soybeans closed at USD13.87 1/4, up 15 cents; Nov 13 Soybeans closed at USD12.21 1/4, up 18 1/4 cents; May 13 Soybean Meal closed at USD417.80, down USD0.80; May 13 Soybean Oil closed at 49.16, up 74 points. For the week front month beans gained 24 1/4 cents, with meal down 10 cents and oil down 50 points.

Corn: Corn was mixed, with nearby cash markets steady on the back of strong domestic demand from the ethanol sector due to improved margins. This week's weekly ethanol grind was the largest since last June. Argentina’s corn harvest is 39% complete, according to the Buenos Aires Exchange. The Argentine Ministry say it's more advanced at 53% done. Informa Economics increased their Brazilian corn crop estimate to 76.3 MMT versus a previous estimate of 74.6 MMT. They now have the Argentine corn crop at 25.5 MMT versus a previous estimate of 25.3 MMT. They estimated the 2013 global corn crop at a record 966 MMT, up 110 MMT from a year ago. Ukraine will harvest a record 24.5 MMT of corn this year, they estimated. All eyes remain focused on the weather in the US, which is finally forecast to return to more like normal. "Northern United States farms will benefit from strong warming next week, reversing a pattern of persistent cold. A cold trough in the jet stream would lift north, finally, bringing near to above normal temperatures to the Northern United States and Canadian prairies," say Martell Crop Projections. "Iowa maximum temperatures would be mid 60's-low 70's F, and night lows 40s-low 50s F. Strong sunshine should accompany warming further, helping fields thaw," they add. The USDA will report only very limited corn planting progress on Monday night it is thought, with maybe only around 12-15% of the crop in the ground as of Sunday versus 45-50% normally at this time. The following Monday's report is already attracting the attention of the trade. If the week ahead's forecast holds true then we will find out exactly how quickly US growers can get the crop into the ground in just a week. Funds were estimated to have been net sellers of around 2-3,000 lots on the day. May 13 Corn closed at USD6.99 1/2, up 2 cents; Jul 13 Corn closed at USD6.61 1/4, down 3/4 cent. May 13 was up 55 1/2 cents on the week, with Jul 13 adding 41 3/4 cents.

Wheat: Informa Economics cut their 2013 US winter wheat crop estimate to 1.529 billion bushels versus a previous estimate of 1.631 billion. They see total winter wheat abandonment at 8.0 million acres, or around 19% of the total planted area. They see the US HRW wheat crop at 798 million bushels versus a previous estimate of 903 million. They see HRW wheat yields averaging 35.8 bu/acre versus 40.7 bu/acre a year ago. They have the 2013 US SRW crop estimated at 508 million bushels, little change from a previous estimate of 506 million, with yields at 60.0 bu/acre versus 60.3 bu/acre a year ago. They have the 2013 US white wheat crop estimated at 222 million bushels, unchanged from a year ago. They estimated the world wheat crop at 705 MMT, up 51 MMT from a year ago. They see China’s wheat crop at 120.0 MMT, unchanged from their previous forecast. Elsewhere India’s Farm Minister estimated wheat production there this year at 93.62 MMT versus his previous estimate of 92.3 MMT but down slightly compared to the record 94.88 MMT of a year ago. India's domestic wheat consumption was estimated at about 76.0 MMT. They are still actively looking to export wheat and will sell into any rally. The trade remains concerned about freeze damage from an unusually cold spell on the US Plains. "Temperatures as low as 27-28 F affecting wheat on the High Plains last night. Conditions were significantly colder than the frost that occurred the previous night. The hard freeze affected wheat in the northern Texas panhandle, western Kansas, eastern Colorado and western Nebraska. Oklahoma temperatures bottomed out near 32 F. Wheat in the sensitive flowering-heading stage would suffer severe and irreversible damage from temperatures in the mid-upper 20s F for 2-3 hours. However the damage may be muted by the slow progress of wheat development in a cold spring," say Martell Crop Projections. May 13 CBOT Wheat closed at USD7.11 1/4, down 7 1/2 cents; May 13 KCBT Wheat closed at USD7.90, down 12 1/4 cents; May 13 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.58 1/2, up 13 3/4 cents. For the week that puts Chicago wheat 22 1/2 cents firmer, with Kansas wheat up 33 1/2 cents and Minneapolis wheat gaining 47 1/4 cents.