Chicago Corn Jumps On Chinese Rumours, Wheat Up On Russia

12/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed a two-sided day with gains of around 5 cents. Expiring Dec 14 meal took a complete nose-dive, other months were mixed. The USDA reported 110 TMT of US beans sold to "unknown" for 2015/16 delivery. A Chinese trade delegation are in town next week, with "showcase" deals likely to be forthcoming. The last time these guys were over in September when 4.8 MMT worth of soybean sales were reported to have been signed. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that farmers there have 71.94% of their 2013/14 soybean crop sold versus 80.39% a year ago. You will recall that the National Bank of Argentina, the country's top agricultural lender, recently said that it will stop extending credit to, and possibly even close the accounts of, farmers who cannot prove that they have sold all of their old crop inventory come Jan 1st. New crop soybeans are 4.23% sold versus 4.43% a year ago. NOPA release their November US crush data on Monday "with estimates of a year on year increase of 3.3% which, if realized, would be at a record 165.4 mln bushels," according to Benson Quinn. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.47 1/4, up 5 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.53 3/4, up 5 cents; Dec 14 Soybean Meal closed at $378.90, down $27.20; Dec 14 Soybean Oil closed at 31.97, up 4 points. For the week Jan 15 beans added 11 1/4 cents, with Dec 14 meal down $15.30 and Dec 14 oil 4 points lower.

Corn: The corn market closed with decent gains on fund buying. A rumour that China had approved MIR 162 corn was doing the rounds, but it cannot be confirmed. Reuters reported that Syngenta said that they expected approval "soon" and the US Grains Council said it hoped for confirmation of approval "in the coming days". Reports that Ukraine is struggling to fulfil its obligation to ship 19 cargoes of corn to China, and may default on around 20% of the agreed volume, raises a bit of hope for US corn to again step into the void left. Ukraine exporters are saying that the fighting in the country means that they may not be able to ship the agreed volume by the Feb 2015 quota deadline. Sceptics might suggest that they simply think they can now make better prices elsewhere. Certainly in local currency terms they definitely can. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that growers there have 90.78% of their 2013/14 corn crop sold versus 84.14% a year ago. New crop is 15.31% sold versus 6.15% a year ago. Turkey, said to be the seventh largest importer of the product, announced that they are to ban the import of US DDGs on GM issues. South Korea bought 60,000 MT of optional origin corn for Feb-March shipment. The corn market did its best to ignore the alarming slump in crude oil values, which now stand at their lowest levels since May 2009. "There is a case to be made for institutional traders identifying the Ag sector as their best option to put capital to work," suggested Benson Quinn. Dec 14 Corn went off the board at $3.96 1/4, up 6 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Corn closed at $4.07 1/2, up 9 cents. For the week Dec 14 was 14 3/4 cents higher, with Mar 15 up 12 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher on more rumours of Russia introducing measures to at least slow up exports, if not go the whole hog and issue a formal embargo. Nearby Dec 14 went off the board on all three exchanges. "Newswires confirmed comments made by an Agricultural Minister that all options would be considered except for an outright export ban, which can’t happen due to Russia’s recently joining the WTO," said Benson Quinn. Intervention prices might be raised next week it seems, but that could be just the tip of the iceberg. As well as the new phytosanitary rules to cope with, there are now reports circulating of an emergency draft law being put together to force Russian companies and exporters to sell half of their foreign currency reserves to the Central Bank in an effort to shore up the ailing rouble. Recent Bank of Russia intervention in the currency markets has done little to help stabilise that for anything more than hours. In other news, Egypt said that it's wheat stocks were sufficient to last until April. That would be assuming that all their Russian purchases turn up! Argentina approved a further 1 MMT of wheat for export. The head of the Rosario Grain Exchange said this week that Argentina's 12 MMT wheat crop this year, plus carryover stocks from last year, will enable them to supply all of Brazil's anticipated 7 MMT import requirement in 2014/15. The Argentine harvest is now past halfway done. The Argentine Ag Ministry said that growers there have still only sold 80.13% of last year's crop, versus 100% this time a year ago. Conversely, new crop wheat is said to be 32.09% sold versus 15.71% a year ago. Dec 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.27 1/2, up 17 1/4 cents; Dec 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.34, up 10 1/2 cents; Dec 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.70, up 50 cents. For the week that puts nearby Chicago wheat up 18 1/2 cents, with Kansas just 1 1/2 cents firmer and Minneapolis up 50 1/2 cents.