Chicago Grains Drift Lower Ahead Of Holiday/Month End

24/11/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans and meal drifted lower, despite strong weekly export inspections (again) for the former of 2.784 MMT and the USDA announcing 235 TMT of US beans sold to China for 2014/15 shipment under the daily reporting system, along with 174 TMT of meal to Thailand. "South American weather was favourable over the weekend with Brazil and Argentina both seeing rains as soybean planting is now seen on normal pace. US weather is mostly a non-factor with strengthening El Nino expected to push milder winter temps into the Midwest, which should keep grain, logistics, rail and trucks moving unimpeded for the most part," said Benson Quinn Commodities. After the close, the USDA reported the 2014 US soybean harvest at 97% complete, up 3 points on a week ago and 1 point behind the 5-year average. Of the major producing states Ohio (95% done versus 99% normally) and Indiana (96% complete versus 99% normally) are the only states that are a little behind schedule. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.33 3/4, down 5 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.39 3/4, down 6 1/4 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $374.90, down $3.50; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 33.20, up 51 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 5 cents lower. "While not a surprise, the fact that the COT (report) confirms funds added length in the corn market during the week ending Nov 18th is a negative input. I expect the fund community has and will continue to shift focus towards cleaning up their books ahead of year end," said Benson Quinn's Brian Henry. They were net sellers of around 4,000 lots on the day today. It's possible that we might see further liquidation/book squaring ahead of Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday and also Friday's month end. Trade on Friday is likely to be thin as many traders will make a long weekend of it. Weekly export inspections of 529,801 MT were no better than neutral. At least that was up versus 409,212 MT last week, although down from 769,223 MT a year ago. There were no large US corn sales announced today, but the USDA did report 116,000 MT of grain sorghum sold to unknown for 2014/15 shipment under the daily reporting system. After the close the USDA reported that the 2014 US corn harvest is now 94% complete, up 5 points versus a week ago and now 2 points ahead of the 5-year average. None of the major producing states are notable laggards. Michigan at 69% complete versus 85% normally is the only one that stands out, although traditionally the state only produces around 2% of the national crop. Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.67 1/2, down 5 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.80 1/4, down 5 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mostly lower. Weekly export inspections of 447,353 MT were better than last week's miserly 139,351 MT, although they could hardly have been worse. Saudi Arabia bought 345 TMT of hard wheat for Feb/Mar shipment over the weekend with US material an acceptable, if unlikely, origin. "Germany was the odds on favourite to do the bulk of the business," suggested Benson Quinn. They are almost certainly correct in that assumption. The Germans are also shipping large volumes of wheat to Iran. France also continues to do well on the export front, they are currently loading their largest feed wheat shipment in 26 years bound for South Korea, according to Reuters. Rosstat said that Russia had exported 20.57 MMT of grains Jan/Sep, a 78.4% rise compared with a year previously. They said that the majority of that was wheat (15.59 MMT), a 79.2% jump compared to 12 months previously. The USDA reported US winter wheat emergence at 92% versus 87% a week ago and 89% for the 5-year average. Winter wheat crop conditions however fell 2 points from a week ago in the good to excellent category to 58% versus 62% a year ago. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.42 1/4, down 5 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.04 1/4, up 1/4 cent; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.79, down 4 1/4 cents.