Chicago Closing Comments - Monday

22/09/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans fell to fresh 4-year lows as the US prepares to bring in a record 2014 soybean crop. Nearby cash premiums have "collapsed" according to Benson Quinn Commodities as the "processor market eyes amble harvest supplies and moves closer and closer to harvest values." The harvest is underway in some areas, in fact in Louisiana it's already past halfway at 59% complete. Mississippi and Arkansas are other states where growers have made good progress attempting to make the most of premiums available. They are 41% and 23% harvested respectively. Nationally the USDA said that this year's crop was only 3% harvested though versus 8% for the 5-year average at this time. They cut good to excellent crop ratings by one point to 71% and said that 45% of the crop is dropping leaves versus 53% on average. Weekly soybean export inspection came in at 467,684 MT. Reuters reported that China's crude oil, coal and iron ore imports are all slowing, despite declining world prices as Chinese growth tails off. There's concern that something similar could happen to soybeans. China's August soybean imports were 6 MMT, down 5% versus a year ago. Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $9.38 1/4, down 18 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $9.45 3/4, down 19 1/2 cents; Oct 14 Soybean Meal closed at $319.40, down $4.70; Oct 14 Soybean Oil closed at 32.00, down 46 points.

Corn: The corn market closed lower on harvest pressure. "The trade continues to leverage talk of better than expected yields and favourable weather for the bulk of the Corn Belt," said Benson Quinn Commodities. Crop development is still delayed though. The USDA said that the 2014 US corn harvest was now 7% complete versus 15% for the 5-year average. Maturity was put at 42% versus 54% on average. The crop was said to be 90% dented versus 92% normally, with good to excellent crop ratings steady at 74% (there was actually a one point shift from good into excellent). Dollar strength also remains an inhibiting factor. Weekly export inspections came in at 1,018,858 MT. A group of private Israeli buyers were said to have purchased around 70,000 MT of optional (most likely Black Sea) origin corn. EU corn prices fell to fresh 4 year lows as they prepare to also bring in a record 2014 corn crop. The ongoing MIR 162 dispute between the US and China shows little sign of getting resolved any time soon. China has turned to "non-traditional" corn suppliers like Bulgaria and Ukraine for corn, according to a report on Reuters. Chinese customs data shows that the country imported over 3.5 MMT of corn in the Jan/Aug period. August corn imports were 133,666 MT, with 112,332 MT of that coming from Ukraine. South Korea's KFA bought 60,000 MT of optional origin corn for Feb shipment. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.30 1/4, down 1 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.42 3/4, down 1 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed narrowly mixed. The news that Egypt had bought one cargo of US SRW wheat over the weekend was seen as friendly although one 55,000 MT sale is hardly a game changer. Chinese customs data shows them importing 2.7 MMT of wheat in the Jan/Aug period, a 27% increase versus 12 months previously. The USDA reported the 2014 US spring wheat harvest at 86% complete, up from 74% a week ago but still a little behind 92% for the 5-year average. Winter wheat plantings are 25% complete, a little ahead of the 5-year average of 22%. Weekly export inspections came in at 506,612 MT versus 644,818 MT during the same week last year. Cumulative year to date inspections are now running 34% behind where they were a year ago. Russia remains on target to hit or beat a 2014 wheat harvest of 60 MMT in clean weight, having brought in a crop of 54.8 MMT in bunker weight so far, with around 25% of the crop still to be cut. Interestingly they, along with Romania, were well out-priced in the GASC tender over the weekend. Winter grain plantings in Russia are well advanced at 60% complete on 9.9 million hectares. A year ago only 7.0 million had been planted at this point. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.76 3/4, up 2 1/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.60 1/4, unchanged; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.36 3/4, up 1 1/4 cents.