Chicago Market Closing Comments - Friday Night

25/04/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans continue to yo-yo around, closing higher on the day, with the front end the biggest winner. For the week though it was a different story, with old crop losing and new crop ending virtually unchanged. Fund money was said to have ended up buying the best part of around 10,000 soybean contracts on the day. The USDA are expected to report on soybean planting progress for the first time on Monday afternoon. The figure on a national level is unlikely to be much higher than 2-3%. With all the talk of corn planting being late, we haven't yet heard much in the way of a mention of this having the knock-on effect of increased soybean acres, although the IGC did give this a passing nod in their April market report today. That placed the world soybean crop in 2013/14 at a record 282 MMT. They estimated the Brazilian crop at 86 MMT, up 0.4 MMT, and also a record. They forecast the Argentine soybean crop at 53.5 MMT, which was 0.5 MMT down on last month. China's import needs were trimmed a little to 68 MMT. This still looks ambitious given their current problems with Letters of Credit and cancellations/defaults. Support today came from the news that China's plans to begin auctioning off state owned soybeans on May 6 were to be postponed for a few weeks. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange estimated Argentina's soybean crop at 54.5 MMT, unchanged from last week. They said that harvesting is 42.5% complete versus 21.4% a week ago and 56.2% a year ago. Argentina's Córdoba Grain Exchange estimated the state's soybean crop at a record 14.278 MMT, up from the 13.206 MMT estimated in March. Yield gains in Córdoba are seen negating problems in some other areas. Toepfer estimated the EU-28 2014 rapeseed crop at 21.09 MMT versus 20.84 MMT in 2013. ODA placed rapeseed production in Europe at 21.35 MMT. Stategie Grains currently say 21.55 MMT. May 14 Soybeans closed at $14.98, up 26 cents; Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $14.94 1/4, up 24 1/4 cents; May 14 Soybean Meal closed at $490.60, up $10.40; May 14 Soybean Oil closed at 42.92, up 33 points. For the week May 14 beans still fell 16 cents despite today's gains, meal added $2.30 and oil shed 49 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 3 to 5 cents higher on the day. The IGC trimmed 11 MMT off it's 2014/15 world corn production estimate, largely due to a 10 MMT reduction for the US due to planting delays. Global output of 950 MMT is now 15 MMT down on last year. World 2014/15 ending stocks were cut from the 171.4 MMT forecast last month to 162.9 MMT, although that's still a build on this season's 157.7 MMT. They see production in Argentina this year at 24 MMT and output in Brazil at 72.5 MMT. The US 2014 corn crop is now pegged at 350 MMT versus 353.7 MMT last year. China's import needs are seen holding steady at 5 MMT. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that the 2013/14 corn harvest there is 23.3% complete versus 19.8% a week ago and 35.3% a year ago. They estimated production at 24.0 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate. The US weather continues to hold up corn planting progress. "Strong thunderstorms rumbled through the Midwest –Mid South last night spread eastward this morning. The 5 am radar shows widespread rain in Michigan, Indiana Ohio and Kentucky, with embedded strong showers. This batch of showers would move east to the mid Atlantic region in the next 24 hours. Brief drying is expected Saturday in the Midwest before another round of showers resumes Sunday. Still more heavy rain is coming next week from a slow moving trough of low pressure aloft. This is dreary wet forecast precluding any fieldwork or planting," said Martell Crop Projections. "The forecast calls for 3-4 inches of rain in Iowa and Illinois and another 1.5-2 inches in Minnesota, Wisconsin, southern Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and eastern Missouri. Extreme wetness also is predicted in the Mid South. Once the rain finally stops, abnormally cold temperatures are predicted next week," they added. The USDA reported US corn planting at 6% complete as of last Sunday night, versus the 5-year average of 14%. A fresh update is due on Monday, when things might just about have crept up into double figures. May 14 Corn closed at $5.07, up 5 3/4 cents; Jul 14 Corn closed at $5.12 3/4, up 5 1/2 cents. For the week, May 14 corn gained 12 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with double digit gains as tensions remain high in Ukraine, and things go from bad to worse for US winter wheat on the Plains. "Drought stressed wheat in the Great Plains has received some rain from this stormy weather pattern, though coverage has been widely scattered. Northern Kansas received 1-2 inches of rainfall from locally strong thunderstorms this week. Rainfall was less significant in Oklahoma and Texas with widely scattered 0.50-0.75 inch amounts. Recent rainfall has been a drop in the bucket for hard red winter wheat, considering the historic drought that has evolved over the past few months. Since December 1, only 1.95 inches of rain has occurred compared to 5.23 inches normally for 37% of average. Wheat fields are dry through a deep soil layer. Thus, drenching rain would be required for any significant improvement," said Martell Crop Projections. The IGC trimmed 3 MMT of last month's 2014/15 world wheat production estimate to 697 MMT, and a 12 MMT decline on last year's record crop. The reduction was "mainly due to more normal average yields after the very high levels of the previous year," they said. Australia's 2014/14 wheat crop was seen falling to 25.5 MMT from 27 MMT last year. Canada's was predicted down to 29 MMT from 37.5 MMT, Russia's was cut to 51 MMT from 52.1 MMT and Ukraine's reduced to 20 MMT from 22.3 MMT. Production gains in 2014/15 were forecast for Argentina, up to 11.9 MMT from 10 MMT, Europe (up to 144.8 MMT from 142.2 MMT), Kazakhstan (up to 15 MMT from 13.9 MMT) and the US (at 59 MMT versus 58 MMT, although that was down from the 60 MMT estimated in March). China's wheat imports are seen falling from 8 MMT this season to only 3 MMT in 2014/15. "While there are some persistent concerns over less than ideal crop conditions, especially for winter wheat in the US, overall availabilities and 2014/15 wheat crop prospects remain generally good," they said. May 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $7.00 1/4, up 11 1/4 cents; May 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.75 3/4, up 16 1/4 cents; May 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $7.47 1/2, up 11 1/4 cents. For the week that puts Chicago wheat up 9 cents, with Kansas rising 27 3/4 cents and Minneapolis up 14 3/4 cents.