Chicago Ends Higher On US Weather Concerns, Ukraine Tensions

24/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with modest gains. Weekly export sales came in at just 119 TMT for both crop years, with a small 800 MT of that being old crop. There was one 55 TMT Chinese cancellation in old crop. The trade had been expecting better new crop sales, with pre-report estimates in the region of 350-550 TMT. Actual exports also slowed to 182,200 MT, down 46 percent from the previous week and 70 percent below the prior 4-week average. Even so, shipments are now at 97% of the USDA target for the season. Stats Canada forecast the 2014 Canadian canola area at 19.8 million acres, down slightly on 19.9 million last year and well below trade estimates of a rise to 21.1 million. They did however note that some growers were still undecided on their cropping ideas when their survey was conducted, so it's possible that plantings could ultimately end up higher than this. May 14 Soybeans closed at $14.73, up 4 1/2 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $14.70 1/4, up 5 1/2 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $480.70, up $2.60; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 42.61, up 11 points.

Corn: The corn market ended around a couple of cents lower. Weekly export inspections came in at 618,900 MT of old crop and 382,900 MT for new crop. That was broadly in line with trade expectations. That takes old crop commitments to 97% of the USDA forecast for the season, although 16.4 MMT of that is still unshipped. South Korea was this week's largest old crop buyer, taking 185,000 MT, including 115,000 MT switched from China and 60,000 MT switched from unknown destinations. China also cancelled 54,000 MT, and unknown destinations cancelled 215,900 MT. The dispute with China over MIR 162 GMO corn looks no closer to being resolved, so it's entirely possible that these cancellations involve switches of US corn intended for China now going to other destinations. South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee forecast the 2014 corn crop there at just over 13 MMT, which was up slightly on their previous estimate and well above 11.7 MMT a year ago. Stats Canada estimated 2014 corn plantings there at almost 3.4 million acres, versus nearly 3.7 million a year ago but bang on trade expectations. Talk of US spring corn plantings being late and therefore yield potential being lower persist. May 14 Corn closed at $5.01 3/4, down 1 3/4 cents, Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.07 1/2, down 2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with double digit gains on concerns over US winter wheat conditions and renewed tensions in Ukraine. Weekly export sales of 339,100 MT of old crop and 271,700 MT of new crop were in line with trade expectations. Stats Canada reported that Canadian farmers plan to sown 24.8 million acres of wheat this year. That's down from 26 million a year ago, but 400k acres above what the trade was expecting. Canadian barley plantings were forecast at 6.3 million acres, down from 7.1 million last year and below the 6.7 million anticipated by the trade. The 2014 Canadian oat area was estimated at 3.2 million acres, similar to last year and in line with trade forecasts. "Fall planting is under way in Australia but there are weather concerns. While wheat prospects in New South Wales are relatively favourable, Western Australia wheat production may be limited by drought," said Martell Crop Projections. "Conditions in Australia’s top wheat state (WA) have been very dry recently. Planting is due to begin in May, though sowing may be delayed because of drought. The last serious drought in 2010 shrank Western Australia wheat production to 4.7 MMT. A favourable wheat harvest would normally be 9-10 MMT," they added. In the US meanwhile, the latest Drought Monitor confirmed deteriorating conditions in western Kansas. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.90 1/2, up 14 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.61 1/4, up 15 1/2 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.38, up 13 3/4 cents.