Chicago Closing Comments, Corn Rally Stalls

30/04/13 -- Soycomplex: Beans failed to hang onto early strength. Maybe that was tied to month-end positioning and/or profit-taking? Or maybe ideas that the current slow corn planting progress will ultimately mean more soybean acres? Whatever, old crop months closed more than 20 cents off the early highs at the finish. Demand certainly seems to be switching to South America, with Brazil more than eager to make up for any Argentine reluctance to sell. Oil World estimated South America’s April soybean exports at 9.3 MMT (a record high for the month) and more than double the 4.3 MMT shipped in March, They went on to forecast that May soybean exports may hit a record monthly high of 10.0 MMT. Michael Cordonnier said that Brazilian port congestion has improved in April. He left both his Brazilian and Argentine soybean production estimates unchanged at 81.5 MMT to 50 MMT respectively. He said that around 58% of the Argentine bean crop has been harvested versus 40% a week ago, and the same as this time last year. Argentine analysts Agritrend forecast that growers there will increase soybean plantings once more for the 2013/14 harvest from 19.1 million ha to "at least" 20.0 million as their love affair with soybeans continues. Funds were estimated to have sold anywhere from 2-5,000 soybean contracts on the day. May 13 Soybeans closed at USD14.67 3/4, down 4 cents; Jul 13 Soybeans closed at USD13.99, down 9 3/4 cents; May 13 Soybean Meal closed at USD428.30, down USD3.10; May 13 Soybean Oil closed at 49.13, down 33 points.

Corn: The corn rally ran out of steam for no particular reason it would seem, other than fund money didn't fancy chasing the market any higher. Weather forecasts haven't changed and the tied with 1984 record slow planting pace is now seen by many as turning into an all time slow record rate in next week's USDA report. Rain makes grain, they say, but you have to get it in the ground first. Some weather forecasts are calling for up to a foot of snow in the heart of the Midwest this week. Michael Cordonnier said that the US corn planted area may fall by 1-3 million acres versus the USDA's predicted 97.3 million, estimating 2013 US corn yields at 155-156 bu/acre. Lanworth recently said 158.1 bu/acre and Rabobank 157.0 bu/acre. All of those are significantly better than 123.4 bu/acre in 2012. Michael Cordonnier estimated this year's Argentine corn crop at 24.0 MMT, unchanged from previous estimate. He said that around 37% of the Argentine harvest is complete versus 32% a week ago. He estimated the total South American corn crop at 102.1 MMT, also unchanged from his previous estimate. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (IMEA) said that growers in the state had only sold 22% of their 2nd corn crop versus 47% a year ago due to low prices. The Ukraine corn crop is 47% planted at 2.21 million ha, say the Ag Ministry there. The weekly ethanol production report comes out tomorrow, last week's report showed production up 21,000 barrels/day to 853,000 bpd. Funds were estimated to have sold around a net 10-12,000 corn contracts on the day. May 13 Corn closed at USD6.83 1/4, down 3/4 cent; Jul 13 Corn closed at USD6.50, down 9 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market managed to divorce itself from the slump in corn, buoyed by talk of lower US production. Early reports from the Wheat Quality Council's US winter wheat tour are throwing up what can probably be best described as "highly variable" yield potential in Kansas. The 10-year average for the state is 39.4 bu/acre. Some are suggesting yields this year averaging around 35.2 bu/acre versus around 42 bu/acre last year. The largest wheat producing state in the US could see output slump by almost 100 million bushels, from 382.2 million last year to around 288.3 million in 2013, according to trade estimates. Even so, that would be better than production of 276.5 million bushels in 2011. India are said to be looking to sell an extra 5 MMT of wheat, although they picked up no bids in a tender due to price aspirations being too high. Bangladesh picked up a lowest offer of USD313.75 C&F in their tender to import 50 TMT of optional origin wheat for May shipment. The seller was an Indian company. South Korea bought 48,900 MT of US wheat for July shipment. The USDA announced the sale of 120 TMT of US sorghum sold to unknown for 2013/14 delivery. The Japanese Ag Ministry said they won't be issuing their normal weekly wheat tender this week. The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that spring grain plantings (including corn) are 62% complete at 5.09 million ha. The eastern half of the country looks dry, which also stretches into parts of southern Russia's wheat belt. Rain is needed there. Fund buying in CBOT wheat today was estimated at 3-5,000 contracts on the day. May 13 CBOT Wheat closed at USD7.21 3/4, up 12 cents; May 13 KCBT Wheat closed at USD7.98, up 17 1/4 cents; May 13 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.37 1/2, up 5 3/4 cents.