Chicago Lower To End The Week, Argentine Elections Due Sunday

25/10/13 -- Soycomplex: Beans finished around 9-10 cents lower on the day, but with still with net gains for the week. Meal showed strong gains for the week, following yesterday's huge weekly export sales total of 850 TMT. That meal number included a 383 TMT sale to unknown destinations, thought to possibly be Europe booking US meal due to the slow crush pace in Argentina. Today saw a little pre-weekend sell off, with producer selling in evidence with beans priced at over USD13/bu. There is also an election coming up in Argentina on Sunday. A further weakening of the Argentine Peso would in theory improve their export competitiveness, but may simply discourage farmer selling further. US farmers will have been busy with harvesting this week, which should continue over the weekend, with showers in the forecast for early next week. The USDA is expected to reveal the 2013 US soybean harvest might be around 80% complete in Monday night's crop progress report. The USDA is slowly catching up on old data and so too is the CFTC. They've now released the Commitment of Traders report for the period through to Oct 1, which shows managed money decreasing their net long position in beans by 25,392 contracts, to 109,860 lots. The USDA today announced 120 TMT of US beans sold to China for 2013/14 delivery. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that Argentine soybean plantings are 2.4% complete. They estimated this year's soybean planted area at 20.2 million hectares versus 19.7 million in 2012/13. Sunflower planting is 46.6% complete versus 33.2% a week ago and 47.9% a year ago. First notice day for November beans is next Thursday, so longs need to be out by Wednesday night or risk delivery. Open interest at over 150,000 contracts is unusually large so there could be some "freak" activity in the run up to that. Nov 13 Soybeans closed at $13.00, down 9 3/4 cents; Jan 14 Soybeans closed at $12.93 1/2, down 10 1/4 cents; Dec 13 Soybean Meal closed at $423.50, down $2.50; Dec 13 Soybean Oil closed at 40.73, down 40 points. For the week Nov 13 beans were 8 3/4 cents firmer, with meal up $13.40 and oil falling 95 points.

Corn: Corn closed with marginal losses for the day and the week as an active harvest is balanced by strong demand. Some estimates I've seen suggest that the USDA could report corn harvesting as much as 60% complete on Monday night, up sharply from 39% a week ago and in line with an average year. Others have harvesting at around 50% done, which is probably a more realistic figure. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that corn planting in Argentina is now 26.8% complete versus 18.5% a week ago. They have the 2013/14 Argentine corn planted area at 3.46 million hectares, unchanged from their previous estimate. Argentina is drier than normal but weather models are showing a good chance for showers by next week. Funds continue to appear comfortable sitting on a large short position in CBOT corn. The latest Commitment of Traders report for the week ended Oct 1 shows them increasing their net short position in corn by 25,573 contracts to a hefty 151,918 lots. Black Sea corn prices have risen somewhat this past couple of weeks as vessels line up waiting to load a stalled harvest. The IGC report Black Sea corn offers at around $204 FOB, versus $213 on the US Gulf, $209 in Argentina and $207 in Brazil. Russia's corn harvest is 42.9% done at 5.5 MMT. FranceAgriMer report that the French corn harvest is only making slow progress, up from 6% cut a week ago to 16% done, but well behind last year's pace when 43%. US demand data is beginning to turn a bit more positive, with this week's ethanol production numbers up to the highest levels in more than a year and weekly export sales for the week ending Oct 3 coming in at 1.34 MMT. Dec 13 Corn closed at $4.40, down 1/4 cent; Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.52, down 1/2 cent. For the week Dec 13 was down 1 1/2 cents, with Mar 14 falling 2 cents.

Wheat: Wheat futures closed around 5-7 cents lower on the day. The latest Commitment of Traders report for the period ending Oct 1 shows fund money switching from a net short position that they've held and built on all year to a modest net long position of 3,223 contracts. Ideas that India could be a more aggressive exporter for the coming year could be bearish, if the cabinet agree to the suggested 16% cut in their wheat export target price to $260 FOB. The last time they were aggressive sellers they moved the market significantly lower as the rest of the world cut prices to match them, although that was when prices were above $300 FOB. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that the Argentine wheat harvest was 1% complete, down 3.5 points on this time last year. They stood by their wheat production forecast of 10.35 MMT. There's been no further estimate released by the Argentine Ag Ministry after last week's subsequently withdrawn as erroneous 8.8 MMT forecast. Russia's wheat harvest is past 95% complete at 53.3 MMT in bunker weight, which would suggest a final clean weight crop of around 52-53 MMT, allowing 5-7% for screening etc. Production in 2012 was 37.7 MMT. Russian winter grain plantings have been complete on 13.4 million hectares versus 15.5 million this time a year ago and 14.9 million in 2011. Russian wheat exports are in decline, French wheat exports are stable and out of Ukraine they are rising. The latter will soon start to focus on corn shipments however. Egypt remain out of the market since their last cancelled tender a couple of weeks ago. South Korea bought 54,900 MT of US wheat and 25,500 MT of Canadian wheat for Feb–March shipment. Dec 13 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.90 3/4, down 5 3/4 cents; Dec 13 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.59, down 5 1/4 cents; Dec 13 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.45, down 7 cents. For the week, CBOT wheat fell 15 cents, with Kansas down 9 3/4 cents and Minneapolis losing 15 1/4 cents.