Chicago Grains Closing Comments - Friday

19/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans and meal closed with small losses on the day and the week. "Market makers have either stepped to sidelines ahead of the holiday or already out of office for the Christmas break. And that left us with a featureless session," said Benson Quinn. Informa forecast US 2015 soybean plantings at 88.8 million acres, which was far higher than yesterday's USDA baseline projection of only 84 million. It was also a little bit higher than their previous estimate of 88.35 million and would set a new soybean area record. Using a trendline yield of 45 bu/acre then that would give the US a crop of 3.959 billion bushels next year, a total almost identical to this year. That will follow on from what is expected to be a record Brazilian crop and at least near record Argentine production. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.30 1/2, down 4 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.38 1/2, down 4 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybean Meal closed at $363.50, down $1.80; Jan 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.97, up 8 points. For the week beans were down 16 3/4 cents, with meal losing $3.50 and oil slipping 33 points.

Corn: The corn market closed slightly lower on the day, but with modest gains for the week. Corn put up a decent performance today, given the weakness in wheat to end the week. "Funds were estimated sellers of 2,000 to 3,000 corn contracts, which typically wouldn’t have much effect at all. It didn’t feel like the producer was interested in selling corn ahead of the weekend," noted Benson Quinn. Informa trimmed their forecast for US corn plantings in 2015 from 88.3 million acres to 88 million, the same as the USDA gave us in yesterday's baseline projections. The USDA's figure for this season is 90.855 million, so that would be a drop of a little over 3%. A firmer tone to the crude oil market may have lent some support today. Good interest from China for US DDGS is still being reported, on top of the recently announced 900 TMT in sales, which is friendly for continued buoyant ethanol production, and subsequent domestic corn demand. The ethanol market has been doing its best to ignore the recent demise of crude oil. Mar 15 Corn closed at $4.10 1/2, down 1/2 cent' May 15 Corn closed at $4.19, down 1/2 cent. For the week, Mar 15 corn was up 3 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower on the day, but higher for the week. Some are saying that this was an overdue correction, and that the rises seen earlier in the week were overdone. The market is now trying to figure out if the Russian news is fully priced in. The Russian state owned grain company are said to be due to begin buying grain for the intervention fund at the newly revised higher prices next week. It will be interesting to see how successful, or otherwise, they are. Volumes up until now have been pretty low. A new development is that "India expressed interest in offering wheat to the global market, which would very likely take place if values remain high," said Benson Quinn. They'll be harvestin again come March. Informa estimated the US all wheat acreage at 56.8 million versus the USDA's baseline projection of 56 million. Ukraine said that they'd exported 17.5 MMT of grains so far this season, including 7.8 MMT of wheat. The USDA has them down to export 10.3 MMT of wheat this season, so they've currently shipped out more than 75% of that target. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.32 1/4, down 23 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.66, down 17 3/4 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.48 1/4, down 12 3/4 cents. For the week that still leaves Mar 15 Chicago wheat 25 3/4 cents higher, with Kansas up 31 3/4 cents firmer and Minneapolis up 27 1/2 cents.