Chicago Grains Closing Comments - Tuesday

30/12/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower, after trading higher earlier, in what looks like year end profit-taking and book squaring. Floods in Malaysia are said to be threatening to reduce palm oil output. Strong demand from China continues. They are expected to import around 7.6 MMT of soybeans in December, and a further 6.5 MMT in January. Seasonally, imports then start to drop off to coincide with Chinese New Year. South American weather leans favourable. Argentine soybean planting is now 90.6% complete, up 9.4 points on last week, said the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. They held steady with their forecast for 2014/15 plantings of 20.6 million hectares, up 600,000 ha from a year ago. Canadian canola exports for the first 20 weeks of the 2014/15 season are 3.48 MMT, a 16% rise versus a year ago. Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.37 3/4, down 4 cents; Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.44, down 4 3/4 cents; Jan 15 Soybean Meal closed at $369.50, down $7.90; Jan 15 Soybean Oil closed at 32.89, up 10 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 6 cents lower. Fund money is preparing to "rebalance" their positions early in the new year, with some suggesting that they need to sell around a net 20,000 corn contracts. China are said to be about to start auctioning off corn, beginning with an offer of around 3-5 MMT in the first week of January. They've been buying large volumes of sorghum recently instead. Yesterday's weekly export sales total of 584,300 MT was the largest single weekly sorghum sales total in 19 years, and was 77% above the previous 4 week average. China (357,300 MT) and "unknown" (presumed to be China, taking 227,000 MT) were the sole buyers. Weekly US sorghum shipments of 323,900 MT were all to China. The USDA announced 157,500 MT of US corn sold to Mexico for 2014/15 shipment. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange reported Argentine corn for grain planting at 74.5% complete, up 9 points on last week. They forecast the planted area down 21% at 3 million hectares. Mar 15 Corn closed at $4.06 1/2, down 6 1/4 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $4.15, down 6 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed with double digit losses. Year end profit-taking was a likely feature. US wheat prices are seen generally being too expensive to win much export interest, a notion backed up by yesterday's weekly sales total of less than 300 TMT. US wheat did manage to win a share of Iraq's 200 TMT hard wheat purchase though, even if at $333.87 CIFFO it was the most expensive in the line-up. Canada reported wheat shipments (excluding durum) were up 2% at 6.54 MMT during the first 20 weeks of the 2014/15 season. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange reported a 12 percentage point rise in Argentine wheat harvesting to 87.7% complete. They held steady with their production forecast at 11.5 MMT, although noted that they might reduce that a little if the current drop in yields being observed in southern La Pampa and Buenos Aires continues for a few more days. Part of the anticipated index fund rebalancing early in the new year might see them selling some wheat. China are also expected to start auctioning off around 2 MMT of government owned wheat stocks January 6-8th. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.02, down 13 1/2 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.36, down 11 1/2 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.27 1/4, down 10 cents.