US Spring Plantings Catch Up, Wheat Extends Losing Run

02/06/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed mixed, higher on old crop and lower on new crop. Weekly export inspections were 156,364 MT, which was larger than expected. There's no getting away from the fact that old crop US supplies are undeniably tight, but the spectre of record new crop production, both in the US and Brazil (if not Argentina as well) hangs over the forward market. Brazil’s Trade Ministry said that the country had exported 7.6 MMT of beans in May versus 8.25 MMT in April and 7.95 MMT in May 2013. Safras e Mercado said Brazil has sold 72% of their 2013/14 soybean crop, which is almost identical to 71% a year ago and also 71% for the 5-year average. They said that Brazil’s 2014/15 soybean area will increase by 4% and estimated production at a record high of 93.45 MMT. The USDA said after the close that 78% of the US 2014 soybean crop had now been planted versus the 5-year average of 70% done and only 55% a year ago. Minnesota and Michigan are the only notable laggards. Illinois, Indiana and Iowa are all well ahead of normal. Soybean emergence is at 50% against the 5-year average of 45% and versus only 29% a year ago. Jul 14 Soybeans closed at $15.00 1/2, up 7 1/4 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $12.29 3/4, down 4 cents; Jul 14 Soybean Meal closed at $506.00, up $5.80; Jul 14 Soybean Oil closed at 38.31, down 19 points.

Corn: The corn market closed with little change. Weekly export inspections came in at 976,061 MT. The Brazilian Trade Ministry reported that the country had exported only 126,500 MT of corn in May, down versus 562,400 MT in April and below the 275,700 MT shipped out in May 2013. Both Russia and Ukraine reported that their 2014 corn planting is almost finished and on target with Ministry forecasts. Ukraine said that they'd shipped almost 20 MMT of corn so far this season, with Russian exports at a more modest 3.8 MMT - both those figures are record volumes and beat the USDA's forecasts of 19 MMT and 3.5 MMT respectively for the season. The trade was expecting the USDA to show 2014 US corn plantings had progressed from 88% complete last week to around 95% done as of Sunday night, and that's exactly what they did. That's one point ahead of 5-year average and 5 points ahead of this time last year. Emergence was pegged at 80% versus 60% a week ago, 71% last year and exactly in line with the previous 5-year average. In their first crop condition ratings of the season they said that 76% of the crop is in good/excellent condition. That compares favourably with 63% a year ago and is close to the all time high of 78% set in 2007. So the crop is in, and it's looking good, now it's all in the hands of the weather. Jul 14 Corn closed at $4.65 1/2, down 1/4 cent; Sep 14 Corn closed at $4.59 1/4, up 1 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market extended its recent losing run to 17 out of 18. Weekly export inspections were 514,667 MT, which was OK, but still means that the US will fall short of shipping the 31.5 MMT forecast for the 2013/14 season. The trade is concerned that the US is missing out on wheat exports to all but "traditional" US homes. Indonesia bought 125,000 MT of Russian wheat in a tender recently, and other Asian buyers such as Malaysia, Vietnam, and South Korea are also said to be lining up to buy Black Sea origin wheat. Despite the ongoing fighting in Ukraine, grain exports continue more or less unabated. That seems to be giving buyers a bit more confidence in booking wheat from the region. Pakistan bought 100,000 MT of wheat from the Black Sea for Aug/Sept shipment. Algeria bought 700,000 MT of optional origin, thought most likely to be French, new crop milling wheat for August shipment. They also bought 200-250,000 MT of durum wheat from Canada, the EU and possibly Mexico for Aug/Sept shipment. Jordan seeks 100,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat and a similar volume of barley. China's wheat harvest in Shandong Province is underway, and the Ag Ministry there are forecasting a bumper harvest. The USDA said that spring wheat plantings there have now caught up with the 5-year average at 88% complete. Emergence is 67%, which is 5 points behind the norm. Winter wheat crop conditions were only 30% good/excellent, the same as a week ago and 2 points behind this time last year. Winter wheat headed is one point ahead of the norm of 78%. Jul 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.20 3/4, down 6 1/2 cents; Jul 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $7.18 3/4, down 4 1/4 cents; Jul 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.97 1/4, down 9 1/4 cents.