Chicago Closing Comments - Friday Night

24/01/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed around 6-7 cents higher and meal posted an impressive $7 advance in the nears, although both still finished lower for the week. Recent Argentine rains are said to have produced highly variable totals, with some areas in northern Buenos Aires receiving up to 36.7 mm, while others missed out almost entirely. The Argentine Ministry left their estimate for plantings unchanged at 20.8 million hectares, only a fairly modest 4% rise on last year. They say that 92% of the crop was planted as of Jan 16. They haven't released a production forecast yet. Safras e Mercado estimated the Brazilian soybean crop at a record 91.8 MMT, up 12% on last year, an up from their Decemeber forecast of 90.9 MMT. Weekly US export sales for beans of 703,400 MT for 2013/14 were similar to the previous week. China (295,700 MT, including 60,000 MT switched from unknown) was the biggest buyer. New crop sales were particularly impressive coming in at 969,800 MT and were mostly for China (854,500 MT) and unknown destinations (120,000 MT). Weekly soybean shipments were nearly 1.6 MMT. Net soybean commitments are now 104% of the USDA forecast for the season, with 69% of that total already sailed. Meal sales of 241,400 MT were also strong, as were weekly shipments of 398,600 MT which were more than 50% up on the previous 4-week average. This robust demand for meal means that there's far too much oil about. Mar 14 soybean oil closed at a new lowest level for a front month since July 2010. Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $12.84 3/4, up 7 3/4 cents; May 14 Soybeans closed at $12.70, up 7 1/2 cents; Mar 14 Soybean Meal closed at $425.70, up $7.00; Mar 14 Soybean Oil closed at 37.54, down 32 points.

Corn: The corn market closed with marginal gains. The Argentine Ministry estimated the 2013/14 corn planted area at 5.7 million hectares, unchanged on previously but down 6.5% on last year. Of this area almost 1 million will go for feed, they said. They estimated that 34% of the crop was flowering and 13% at the grain filling stage as at Jan 16. Corn that was flowering in late December and early January will suffer yield losses due to the prevailing adverse weather conditions at the time, they added. In Argentina, the hot and dry spell earlier this month and last means that corn damage potential is far worse than for soybeans. Extreme heat has “punished” corn that was in the first grain filling stage, said Martell Crop Projections. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that Argentine corn planting was 90% complete, up 4 points from a week previously. Weekly US export sale for corn came in at 693,000 MT for 2013/14 and included 75,900 MT to China. Weekly shipments of 799,100 MT didn't include sight of China. In addition, the USDA reported sales of 150,000 MT of US corn to Spain, 120,000 MT to Egypt and 100,000 MT to Japan under the daily reporting system - all for 20013/14. In addition, Israeli buyers were reported to have booked 90 TMT of optional origin corn for Apr/May shipment. Algeria are reported to have bought 20 TMT of corn from Ukraine. Russia was said by SovEcon to have exported 700 TMT of corn in December, including a first ever consignment to Japan. There's now talk that the dispute with China over the MIR 162 Syngenta corn variety is unlikely to be resolved until at least the end of March, and possibly may drag on longer than that. Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.29 1/2, up 1/2 cent; May 14 Corn closed at $4.36, up 3/4 cent. For the week as a whole Mar 14 corn added 5 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed around 4-5 cents lower across the three exchanges. Recent snowfalls in Russia and Ukraine may mean that the winter wheat crop there has "got out of jail" just in the nick of time. There's still talk of winterkill potential in the US next week though when the next deep freeze hits. Parts of Nebraska and Missouri and much of Kansas don't have snow cover. In addition, southern Illinois and Indiana also have areas that could be at risk. The trade will be hoping that US wheat gets a look in in the Saudi tender, the results of which should be announced early next week. Libya was reported to have bought Black Sea origin wheat. US weekly export sales for wheat came in at 421,400 MT for delivery during the 2013/14 marketing year, plus 8,000 MT for 2014/15. Brazil (112,500 MT, including 25,000 MT switched from unknown destinations) was the largest buyer. Shipments of 420,700 MT included Nigeria (78,600 MT), China (61,800 MT), Indonesia (57,800 MT), Japan (41,100 MT) and Mexico (37,900 MT). Those were pretty so-so results as US wheat continues to fight with Canadian, Australian, European, FSU and even Indian origin material for business. The latter are tendering again to sell 120 TMT of wheat and appear confident of a record 2014 wheat harvest which is now only a couple of months away. The US wheat harvest itself will begin in May and so the whole northern hemisphere wheat merry go round begins again. Wheat carry over stocks at the end of 2013/14 will be 5.4% higher heading into the new season, according to the USDA. The world will also be sitting on more than 20% more corn going into 2014/15 than it began this season with. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.65 1/4, down 4 3/4 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.27 1/4, down 5 cents; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.13, down 4 1/4 cents.