Chicago Market Mixed On The Day, But Higher Across The Board For The Week

14/02/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower on the day, but higher for the week, in what was probably a bit of light consolidation ahead of another long weekend in the US, with the markets there closed on Monday for Presidents Day. "There is still talk that US traders aren’t as willing as they have been in the past in letting buyers out of trades, which could mean sales are getting priced and the supply will be loaded out at some point," said one commentator. The buyers that they are most specifically referring to are of course the Chinese. There's some suggestion that the recent unloading delays of US soybeans in China whilst they are scrutinised for traces of MIR 162 corn might be a subtle little tit-for-tat move aimed at "encouraging" US sellers to agree to cancel/defer contracted shipments. With old crop soybean sales already at 105% of the USDA forecast for the season something needs to be done. CNGOIC estimated China’s 2013/14 soybean crop at 12.0 MMT, down 0.2 MMT from their previous estimate and down 8% from a year ago. Production in Heilongjiang province is said to be 16.5% down on a year previously. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange estimated Argentina's soybean crop at 53 MMT versus 54 MMT from the USDA earlier in the week. Across the border: "Heat and moisture stress in South Brazil promotes ideas that soybean production may not be as abundant as originally expected. The heat wave began 30 days ago in South Brazil. This may have a negative bearing on the soybean yield in Rio Grande do Sul especially, Brazil’s 3rd most important soybean state. February is the main period for pod-filling, heat stress shrinking the size of beans in the pod," said Martell Crop Projections. India's government estimated their total oilseed crops at 32.98 MMT versus 30.94 MMT a year ago. The USDA's Chief Economist said that next Friday's Outlook Forum estimates would likely show higher bean acres than yesterday's baseline projections suggested (78 million acres, up a modest 2% versus 76.5 million last year). Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $13.37 1/2, down 6 3/4 cents; May 14 Soybeans closed at $13.25, down 5 1/2 cents; Mar 14 Soybean Meal closed at $450.00, down $2.80; Mar 14 Soybean Oil closed at 39.15, down 39 points. For the week, front month beans were 6 cents higher, with meal up $3.60 and oil up 59 points.

Corn: The corn market finished higher, with the Mar 14 contract posting its highest daily close in 3 months. The latest Commitment of Traders report shows managed money switching from a net short to a net long in CBOT corn, the first time they've been net long since last June. The USDA's Chief Economist is hinting that next Friday's Outlook Forum might reveal lower potential US corn acres this spring than yesterday's baseline numbers suggested (93.5 million acres, down a fairly modest 2% from 95.4 million last year). A Bloomberg survey earlier in the week came up with a potential net reduction of around 5%, and some estimates have been in the 6-7% region. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange raise their forecast for Argentine corn plantings from 3.3 million hectares to 3.57 million, although that's still down almost 10% on last year's 3.95 million. They estimated Argentina’s 2013/14 corn crop at 23.5 MMT versus the 2012/13 crop of 27.0 MMT and the current USDA estimate of 24.0 MMT for this year. "Drought breaking rain in Argentina provides hope for a better soybean harvest, but corn has been irreversibly damaged by heat and moisture stress. Stressful weather coincided with the sensitive pollination stage in corn, locking in a sharply reduced yield. Moisture stress was most severe in Buenos Aires the leading corn province that grows 36% of the national crop," said Martell Crop Projections. Rains and cooler temperatures are forecast for Brazil through the weekend, although hot and dry conditions return again next week. Bunge are reported to have announced that they will refuse to handle corn containing a new GMO strain currently being marketed by Syngenta that is not approved by China. Their CEO stated they will only handle crops that have been approved by major markets. That's an interesting move ahead of the spring planting season in the US. Will the other major trading houses also now follow suit? The Indian government estimated their corn crop at 23.29 MMT versus 21.06 MMT a year ago. The Ukraine Ministry said that they had 19.9 MMT of grain stocks as at Feb 1, a 28% rise on a year ago, and more than half that total (11.1 MMT) was corn. Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.45 1/4, up 4 3/4 cents on the day, for a modest 1 cent rise on the week; May 14 Corn closed at $4.50 3/4, up 4 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed around 2 to 4 cents higher on the day. The latest Commitment of Traders report shows managed money continuing to trim its net short position in CBOT wheat, down by almost 10,000 lots on the week to a net short 43,225 contracts. The Indian government estimated their 2014 wheat crop at a record 95.60 MMT versus 93.51 MMT a year ago. Some forecasts are as high as 100 MMT, and harvesting of that will begin next month. Iraq are tendering for 50 TMT of US, Canadian or Australian wheat, but frequently buy more. Japan bought 286,091 MT of wheat for March-July shipment, in its regular combination of US, Canadian and Australian origin. They are also said to be shopping for 42,908 MT of Canadian wheat for July shipment. "China’s main wheat belt has received exceptional heavy rainfall. This is an unexpected bonus since the winter climate is extremely dry in North China. February precipitation in winter wheat has accumulated to 0.50 to 2 inches, with still more to come. A rainy winter gives China wheat a chance for a productive yield, following a very dry planting season in the fall. China is the world’s leading wheat producer and consumer," said Martell Crop Projections. Russia announced that it was ceasing it's regular intervention purchase program next week. They only managed to pick up 2,430 MT of grain in Tuesday's purchase and a paltry 270 MT on Wednesday as the prices being offered are now way too low following the recent slump in value of the rouble. There's the suggestion that Kazakh grain may start to find its way into neighbouring Russia, after they devalued their currency by 19% earlier in the week. They still have 4.5 MMT of grains looking for an export home in the remainder of the current marketing year. Weather conditions on the US Plains remain too dry for winter wheat. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.98 1/2, up 3 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.74 1/2, up 1 3/4 cents; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.66 1/2, up 4 1/4 cents. For the week Mar 14 Chicago wheat added 21 cents, with Kansas gaining 25 1/4 cents and Minneapolis putting on 27 1/4 cents.

London Wheat Rises, But Held Back By Sterling Strength And Large Imports

14/02/14 -- EU grains were mixed but mostly a little higher. Love may have been in the air today on Valentine's Day, but not for the US dollar it wasn't, that fell to the lowest level against the pound since 2009 on the weekly chart, with sterling closing just shy of 1.6750 against the greenback. The British currency also rose to a 1-year high against the euro on a more positive outlook for the UK economy relative to that in Europe.

Mar 14 London wheat ended GBP1.25/tonne higher at GBP152.50/tonne, whilst new crop Nov 14 gained GBP0.90/tonne to GBP147.00/tonne. Mar 14 Paris wheat was up EUR2.00/tonne to EUR198.50/tonne, Mar 14 Paris corn was EUR0.25/tonne lower at EUR172.25/tonne, whilst May 14 Paris rapeseed jumped EUR4.75/tonne to EUR383.00/tonne.

The Bank of England raised growth forecasts in its quarterly inflation report this week, and hinted it may raise interest rates next year and that they would keep on rising to the dizzy heights of around 2% by the end of 2017. In Europe meanwhile, there's talk that the ECB may actually introduce negative deposit rates to tackle the growing threat of deflation.

Sterling now finds itself in the unusual position of being the market's currency of choice. All this will potentially help the UK import even more wheat and corn over the coming months, whilst further restricting exports (of not just wheat but barley too, of which we still have a very large surplus left to dispose of).

That has put old crop London wheat under pressure, which despite today's rise, was lower for the week. The Mar 14 contract ended the week GBP1.90/tonne lower, whilst Nov 14 managed a rise of GBP0.95/tonne - further narrowing the old crop/new crop spread.

Front month Mar 14 Paris wheat though posted a EUR3.75/tonne gain for the week, with Mar 14 Paris corn down EUR2.00/tonne and May 14 Paris rapeseed adding EUR6.75/tonne.

Figures out this week showed that the UK imported almost 400 TMT of corn in December alone - the largest single monthly volume on records going back to 1992. Wheat imports in the last month of 2013 meanwhile were up 26% versus November, contrary to Defra expectations of a significant slow-down.

Defra currently have UK wheat imports for 2013/14 at 1.63 MMT. We've already imported more than 82% of that total in the first half of the season. In addition we've imported 65% of their forecast for corn imports the marketing year in the first six months of it. These very high levels of imports are what is keeping old crop under pressure.

New crop is just about managing to keep it's head above water, unlike much of the south of the country, on concerns that the widespread flooding there may ultimately have a negative impact on yields and production this year. However, the outlook for another bumper world corn crop in 2014/15 could once again drag UK new crop wheat prices lower too later in the year, regardless of production volumes here.

Across the Channel, the opposite is true. The Mar/Nov 14 old crop/new crop inverse widened this week from EUR9.75/tonne to EUR10.50/tonne. The very strong pace of old crop exports remains an underlying factor. Brussels cleared 315,000 MT of soft wheat export licences this week, taking the total since the beginning of the marketing year to 18.5 MMT, up 53% versus 12.1 MMT this time last year.

Although there are also excessive wetness issues in northern Italy, western France and western Spain too, overall Europe as a whole should still bring in a 2014 wheat crop 2% higher than last year's, and the third largest on record, Stategie Grains said this week.

Russia announced today that it was to freeze it's twice-weekly intervention purchase program, making only one more such round of buying next Tuesday. Since the government resumed buying after the Christmas and New Year break the rouble has declined markedly, and grower interest in the prices being paid has waned to a trickle. This potentially leaves more Russian grain to come onto the world export market.

Despite a record large export program, Ukraine said that grain stocks there at the beginning of February were 28% higher than a year ago at just short of 20 MMT.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said this week that there's no reason why the country couldn't match last year's record grain output again in 2014. With winter grains plantings down 500,000 hectares due to wet conditions in the autumn, that would almost certainly include another rise in corn area. Corn production in Ukraine has already trebled in the last five years on a combination of increased plantings but also the more widespread utilisation of improved hybrid varieties.

Chicago Market Mostly Higher As USDA Takes First Peek Into 2014 Plantings

13/02/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed sharply higher as the USDA released their baseline projections for US plantings this year, showing the soybean area at "only" 78 million acres, up a modest 2% versus 76.5 million last year. Trade talk had been for an increase of around 5-6%. They forecast 2014 soybean yields at 45.2 bu/acre, with output at 3.48 billion bushels, not much better than 3.3 million in 2013. Exports were pegged at 1.64 billion bushels, up 8.6% on this season, keeping ending stocks down to a fairly miserly 205 million bushels. Considering that the trade already thinks that carry-in from this season (the USDA's line in the sand of 150 million bushels) is likely being overstated, and that a 4.4% jump in yields is far from a foregone conclusion at this stage, there has to be the possibility that we are already stuck with US soybean stocks of 150 million bushels again all the way through the 2014/15 campaign. The USDA also estimated China’s 2014/15 soybean imports at a record 72.8 MMT versus 69.0 MMT this season. MDA CropCast cut their forecast for the Argentine soybean crop this year by 730 TMT from last week to 54.39 MMT "due to continued wetness and earlier heat". They held pat on Brazil at 89.91 MMT. The trade is already talking about logistical problems quickly developing in Brazil, particularly as Argentine growers continue to hoard beans. Weekly US export sales came in at 173,600 MT for old crop and 122,600 MT for new crop. That was below expectations, although some thought that old crop sales could be negative due to Chinese cancellations. In fact China was a net buyer of 320,700 MT of the old crop, matching decreases of 326,900 MT from unknown destinations. Old crop soybean commitments remain around 105% of the USDA's projections for the season. Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $13.44 1/4, up 21 1/4 cents; May 14 Soybeans closed at $13.30 1/2, up 20 3/4 cents; Mar 14 Soybean Meal closed at $452.80, up $9.30; Mar 14 Soybean Oil closed at 39.54, up 55 points.

Corn: The corn market ended little changed. Strong old crop weekly export sales of 1,269,800 MT were supportive. Along with net sales of 71,100 MT for 2014/15 that gave us combined sales of over 1.34 MMT versus trade expectations of 400 TMT to 1.1 MMT. Old crop commitments are now 85% of the USDA target for the season versus 77% this time last year and the 5 yr average of 67%. Note though that a significant volume remains unshipped, including sales to China that are on hold whilst the dispute over MIR 162 corn rages on. Less supportive was news from the USDA that they see US corn plantings this spring at 93.5 million acres, down a fairly modest 2% from 95.4 million last year. That you may recall was a 75-year high encouraged by prices between $7-8/bushel. The USDA pegged 2014 US corn yields at 165.6 bu/acre (which already looks a tall order), with production therefore coming in at 14.26 billion bushels and comfortably beating last year's record 13.925 billion. Ending stocks for 2014/15 were estimated at a very burdensome 2.607 billion bushels, up well over 200% on only a couple of season's previously. Even more alarming maybe was that they see carryout rising even further in 2015/16, to 2.877 billion bushels. MDA CropCast cut their 2013/14 Brazilian corn production estimate by 2.9 MMT from last week to 69.9 MMT based on "continued dryness". They were unchanged on Argentina at 23.7 MMT, but raised Ukraine by 1.1 MMT to a record 30.1 MMT. Strategie Grains estimated the 2014 EU-28 corn crop at 65.1 MMT, up 300 TMT from their previous forecast, and 1% above production in 2013. They said that the rise was due to increased plantings in Germany and Croatia and anticipated better yields in France and Poland. South Korea Kocopia are tendering for 55 TMT of optional origin corn for May shipment. Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.40 1/2, up 1/2 cent; May 14 Corn closed at $4.46 1/2, up 1/2 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market closed around 7 to 9 cents higher across the three exchanges. Weekly export sales came in at 597,000 MT of old crop and 29,600 MT of new crop versus trade expectations around the 500 TMT mark. Net old crop commitments are 86% of the USDA forecast for the season, which is bang on the 5-year average. The USDA's baseline projections pegged the 2014/15 US wheat planted area at 57 million acres, about what was expected and up 800k acres on last year. Average yields however were only forecast at 45.8 bu/acre versus 47.2 bu/acre in 2013/14. Production was seen at 2.22 billion bushels, not much better than 2.13 billion last year despite the area increase. US wheat exports in 2014/15 were pegged at 1.025 billion bushels, versus 1.175 billion this season, and ending stocks were estimated at 642 million bushels compared to 558 million in 2013/14. The USDA also said that the US wheat area would decline by 5 million acres over the next 10 years. Strategie Grains trimmed their forecast for the 2014/15 EU-28 soft wheat crop by 300 TMT to 137.5 MMT, although that's still up 2% on last year. Soft wheat exports next season were estimated to decline by more than 10% on this year's record 24.3 MMT to 21.7 MMT, although that's up 1.2 MMT on their previous figure. MDA CropCast cut their 2014/15 Canadian wheat production estimate by 1.2 MMT from last week to 29.6 MMT. The weather in the US is forecast to warm up into the weekend and next week, but the outlook for the Western Plains is still lacking in rainfall. This forecast looks to hold for the next 7-10 days at least. Persistent dryness on the Plains may ultimately prove to be more of an issue for winter wheat than freeze damage. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.95 1/2, up 8 1/2 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.72 3/4, up 9 3/4 cents; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.62 1/4, up 7 1/2 cents.

EU Grains Mixed, Old Crop/New Crop London Wheat Spread Narrows

13/02/14 -- EU grains closed mostly higher, having traded lower for much of the day, after Chicago came in firmer in late afternoon business.

Mar 14 London wheat closed GBP0.45/tonne lower at GBP151.25/tonne, whilst new crop Nov 14 was GBP0.30/tonne firmer at GBP146.10/tonne. Mar 14 Paris wheat closed EUR0.75/tonne higher at EUR196.50/tonne, Mar 14 Paris corn was EUR0.75/tonne lower at EUR172.50/tonne, whilst May 14 Paris rapeseed rose EUR2.50/tonne to EUR369.00/tonne.

The old crop/new crop May/Nov 14 London wheat spread has now almost halved to GBP5.15/tonne versus nearly GBP10/tonne only a month ago. That might have something to do with UK flooding potentially reducing the size of the domestic 2014/15 crop, and/or a growing feeling that UK wheat and corn imports may well prove to be much higher this season than official estimates suggest.

Strategie Grains forecast the 2014/15 EU-28 soft wheat crop at 137.5 MMT, a 0.3 MMT drop on last month, although still 2% higher than last year. The downwards revision is due to reduced acreage in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ireland, they said. Even so, EU wheat plantings are still seen 800k hectares higher for the 2014 harvest at 24 million ha.

The French analysts forecast the EU-28 corn crop 0.3 MMT higher than last month at 65.1 MMT (up 1% on last year) due to increased plantings in Germany and Croatia, and better yields in France and Poland. The EU-28 barley crop was forecast 8% lower than last year at 55 MMT, although that's up 0.2 MMT on last month.

They said that EU-28 soft wheat exports will total 21.7 MMT in 2014/15, down more than 10% on this season's 24.3 MMT.

EU-28 corn imports in 2013/14 were estimated at 12.4 MMT versus a previous estimate of 10.8 MMT and 8.8% up on 2012/13 imports of 11.4 MMT. They said that corn use in animal feed is up 1.3 MMT from their previous estimate and up 3.4 MMT from 2012/13.

Talking of which, the latest UK import statistics released yesterday showed that we imported 389 TMT of corn in December, the largest volume ever on records going back to 1992, and up 74% versus 12 months ago. That takes 2013/14 corn imports so far (for the Jul/Dec period) to 1.13 MMT, an increase of 48% on a year previously.

The largest UK corn supplier is France with 343 TMT, followed by Bulgaria (260 TMT) and Ukraine (187 TMT). Defra only currently have the UK down to import 1.726 MMT of corn in the entire marketing year, meaning that we've already shipped in 65% of that total in the first half of the season - and note that imports picked up markedly in the first new crop months of November and December.

APK Inform said that Ukraine would export a record 31.7 MMT of grains and pulses this season, a 43% rise on a year ago. MDA CropCast raised their forecast for the 2013 Ukraine corn crop by 1.1 MMT to 30.1 MMT. Russian customs data showed that they exported 408 TMT of corn in January, a threefold increase on a year previously.

The pound rose above 1.66 versus the US dollar today, it hasn't spent a prolonged period at these levels since 2008. It was also up to 1.22 against the euro.

Chicago Market Ends Lower Wednesday

12/02/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed around 8 to 12 cents lower as the USDA finally confirmed some Chinese soybean cancellations. They cancelled 272 TMT of US soybean purchases for 2013/14 shipment, although the USDA also immediately announced that they bought 240 TMT of new crop beans for 2014/15 delivery. There have been rumours all week that up to 8 US cargoes have been cancelled - around 400-500 TMT. Reports are filtering through that US soybean cargoes waiting to unload in China are being delayed as the authorities there scrutinise each consignment for trades of non-approved GMO material. Whether it's non-approved soybeans, or traces of cross contamination with MIR 162 corn, is unclear. There are also rumblings that the bird flu outbreak in China is far worse than the authorities are admitting. JC Intelligence said that China’s poultry industry lost over 100 billion yuan in 2013 due to bird flu. Argentine farmers continue to hoard soybeans. The Brazilian harvest is gathering pace, and vessel line-ups at the ports are already starting to build. Tomorrow's US weekly export sales report will be interesting, with some suggesting that old crop sales could be negative due to Chinese cancellations. They said that last week too, and old crop sales came in at 577 TMT, with a further 1.5 MMT of new crop. Estimates for tomorrow's report vary from a combined 500 TMT to in excess of 1 MMT. Weekly shipments are expected to come in around 1.5 MMT once more, further increasing the percentage of sales already shipped. Shipments only need to be little more than 300 TMT/week to hit the USDA's goal for the season. Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $13.23, down 11 3/4 cents; May 14 Soybeans closed at $13.09 3/4, down 10 3/4 cents; Mar 14 Soybean Meal closed at $443.50, down $5.70; Mar 14 Soybean Oil closed at 38.99, up 14 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around a cent or so lower in two-sided trade. The Energy Dept reported weekly ethanol production at 902k barrels/day, up slightly on last week. Argentina is trending much wetter, but many think it's too late to be of much benefit to corn. "Heavy soaking rains in Argentina have developed over the past 3 weeks but drenching rains may have come too late to rescue corn. Most corn had already pollinated in a period of intense heat and drought, by the time the heavy rain occurred in late January. Pollination is a key period for the corn yield as kernel not pollinated would never develop into grain. Buenos Aires, the top corn province, was especially hard hit by drought. A significant portion of corn is expected to be chopped for silage, fed to cattle and pigs, as it is fit to be sold as grain," said Martell Crop Projections. The market is now looking towards next week's USDA Outlook Forum for a clue as to how much corn US farmers will plant this spring. Current thinking suggests that they may not drop their ideas too much from last year (and that was a 75 year high) at around 93-95 million acres. It's only February, but the Forum does have a pretty good track record with being fairly accurate with these predictions. Only time can tell if they can do the same again this year. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are all over the place - from 400 TMT to in excess of 1 MMT. Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.40, down 1 1/2 cents; May 14 Corn closed at $4.46, down 1 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed around 2 to 6 cents lower on the day. Fresh news is relatively thin on the ground. The spread between US and world wheat prices is narrowing. Currency weakness in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan is helping the region become more competitive on the export front once again. Kazakhstan's Jul/Dec grain exports were 5.5 MMT, up 1 MMT from a year previously. They are expected to export around 9-10 MMT this year versus 7.1 MMT in 2012/13. The current cold spell gripping the US is seen moderating a little as the week draws on. Talk of possible winterkill persists, although we won't have a better handle on that until the spring. Persistent dryness is also an issue for US wheat on the Plains. Oh what we wouldn't give for a bit of dryness here in Europe where non-stop rain and widespread flooding is the problem. Japan are tendering to buy up to 286,000 MT of US milling wheat. It will be interesting to see how US wheat fares in tomorrow's weekly export sales report from the USDA. Trade estimates for that are averaging around the 500 TMT mark, but as with corn and beans, they vary quite widely from anywhere between 250-850 TMT. Jordan bought 100,000 MT of optional origin wheat and passed on a tender to buy a similar quantity of barley. They then immediately re-issued a fresh 100,000 MT barley tender. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.87, down 3 1/4 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.63, down 2 1/2 cents; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.54 3/4, down 6 1/2 cents.

London Wheat Down On Firm Pound, Rising Imports

12/02/14 -- EU grains finished mixed, although London wheat was lower across the board as sterling firmed after the Bank of England hinted at a UK interest rate hike, and new data showed that UK wheat imports rose in December.

The session closed with Mar 14 London wheat ending down GBP1.80/tonne at GBP151.70/tonne, whilst new crop Nov 14 London wheat ending GBP0.80/tonne easier at GBP145.80/tonne. Mar 14 Paris wheat was flat at EUR195.75/tonne, Mar 14 Paris corn was down EUR0.25/tonne at EUR173.25/tonne, whilst May 14 Paris rapeseed jumped EUR3.25/tonne to EUR376.75/tonne.

The pound rose close to 1.66 versus the US dollar and over 1.22 against the euro as the BoE suggested that a rise in UK base rates, from the historic low of 0.5% where that have been stuck since 2009, might not be too far away.

Contrary to predictions from Defra, UK wheat imports didn't continue to slow in December, they rose. Latest figures show that the UK imported 163,602 MT of wheat in the final month of 2013, up 26% on the 129,558 MT shipped in a month previously.

The leading suppliers were Canada (68,763 MT), followed by Bulgaria (25,597 MT), Denmark (19,811 MT) and Germany (19,423 MT).

That takes July/December wheat imports to 1.343 MMT, similar to the 1.337 MMT imported in the same period in 2012/13 (and imports that season topped 2.9 MMT). Defra currently only has UK wheat imports for the entire 2013/14 marketing year down at 1.63 MMT, and there's still 6 months worth of numbers to account for.

Clearly, it would seem that this estimate is woefully inadequate. In addition, as mentioned previously, it would also appear that UK wheat demand is meanwhile being overstated, particularly from the bioethanol industry but also usage within the feed industry.

The 2013/14 UK wheat supply and demand balance sheet may therefore prove to be nothing like as tight as many, led by Defra, seem to currently think.

Jordan passed on a tender to import 100 TMT of optional origin feed barley.

FranceAgriMer held steady on it's estimate for French soft wheat exports outside the EU at 11.5 MMT despite the recent "lock out" from Egypt. They trimmed slightly their view on exports within the EU from 7 MMT to 6.8 MMT, and pegged 2013/14 ending stocks at 2.85 MMT versus 2.68 MMT previously.

Russia only managed to buy a couple of hundred tonnes of grain in it's latest round of intervention purchases, a new low. When buying for the intervention fund began in October the prevailing exchange rate for the rouble versus the US dollar made the government's buying price the equivalent of around $190/tonne. The subsequent demise of the Russian currency makes today's price more like $178/tonne, hence the lack of enthusiasm to sell to the government. Potentially this means more Russian grain coming onto the export market.

Russia exported 1.15 MMT of grains in January, down sharply from 2.43 MMT in December, although that might at least partly be down to adverse weather conditions last month. Even so, that total is still up versus 435 TMT in January 2013.

Wheat accounted for 60% (versus 63% in December) of total grain exports last month and corn a further 36% (versus 28%).

Chicago Closing Comments - Tuesday NIght

11/02/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed higher, with nearby months leading the way, on continued strong demand. The market possibly seems to think that US 2013/14 ending stocks will inevitably be tighter than the USDA's "line in the sand" 150 million bushels estimate from yesterday. World ending stocks of 73 MMT in 2013/14 are record large, but they are still all a long way off. Various analysts suggest that downwards revisions to Brazilian production estimates may be on the horizon, even though CONAB today only marginally cut their forecast for output in what is now the world's largest producing nation, from 90.33 MMT to 90.01 MMT. CONAB’s president said that hot and dry weather could have a (downwards) impact on the next government estimate. AgRural said earlier in the week that they might lower output, from their current 88.8 MMT, in their next estimate if rains don't arrive by Friday. It's southern states that seem to have the most problems. "Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s 3rd largest soybean state, has received only 63% of rainfall, on average, the past 30 days. Parana moisture deficits range from 75 to 100 millimeters in a swath of the central state, Brazil's second largest soybean state. Mato Grossso do Sul reports the most severe drought stress, the 5th top soybean state," said Martell Crop Projections. Oil World said that South American soybean production may be 3-5 MMT less than analysts were expecting due to hot and dry weather. They estimated Argentina’s 2013/14 soybean crop at 53-54 MMT versus a previous estimate of 54-55 MMT. Celeres said that as of 7 Feb Brazilian growers had sold 48% of their 2013/14 soybean crop versus 59% a year ago. Argentine farmers remain reluctant sellers. Dr Cordonnier cut his Brazilian soybean production estimate from 90 MMT to 89.5 MMT (and said that there could be further cuts to come), and was unchanged on Argentina at 53.5 MMT. The USDA announced 116,000 MT of US beans sold to China for 2014/15 shipment under the daily reporting system. Wholesale cancellations have still to appear, and yesterday's weekly export inspections report suggests another robust set of US soybean shipments this Thursday. Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $13.34 3/4, up 9 1/4 cents; May 14 Soybeans closed at $13.20 1/2, up 8 1/4 cents; Mar 14 Soybean Meal closed at $449.20, up $5.20; Mar 14 Soybean Oil closed at 38.85, up 12 points.

Corn: The corn market closed a couple of cents lower in what was perhaps disappointment that last night's lower close, after what was after all a bullish WASDE report for corn, was a bearish signal. The USDA's surprisingly low 2013/14 US carryout estimate of 1.481 billion bushels was 9% below their January forecast and came in well under even the lowest trade guess. It should be noted though that it's currently US corn purchases that China is cancelling, not those for beans, and there's said to still be around 1.7 MMT of unshipped US corn sold to China on the books. There's still no sign of the dispute surrounding Chinese acceptance of the non-approved MIR 162 GMO corn variety either. CONAB cut their forecast for Brazil's 2013/14 all corn crop from 78.97 MMT to 75.47 MMT, although that's still well above yesterday's USDA estimate of "only" 70 MMT. There appears to be a wide difference of opinion surrounding the size of the second crop corn area. Right at the low end of the scale are Informa with a Brazilian all corn crop of only 66 MMT this year. A US private survey estimated that corn planting in the US this year would only fall by 1.8% to 93.15 million acres. The USDA will give their initial projections on spring plantings in the conclusion to next week's Outlook Forum (Thurs/Fri). There's talk that Japan are seeking/buying US corn for March-June shipment. Egypt and Mexico are said to be looking for US corn for April–June shipment. Dr Cordonnier estimated the 2013/14 Brazilian corn crop at 68.5 MMT, unchanged from previous estimate. He has the Argentine 2013/14 corn crop at 22.5 MMT, also unchanged from his previous estimate. Ukraine grain (mainly corn) exports are picking up again after a weather-related lull. Looking ahead, the Ukraine Ag Minister estimated 2014 the corn planting area at 5.2 million hectares, up 6% from a year ago, and said that this figure could rise further depending on how winter grains emerge from dormancy. The US Energy Dept will be out with their usual weekly ethanol production and stocks report tomorrow. Last week's production number was 895k barrels/day. Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.41 1/2, down 1 1/2 cents; May 14 Corn closed at $4.47 1/4, down 1 1/2 cents

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher for a second day, albeit after a bit of a wobble shortly after the open outcry session began. Yesterday's bullish US wheat ending stocks number triggered short-covering which seemed to get carried through to today. After last night's close the Texas weekly winter wheat progress report came in with good to excellent at 18%, down 1% from a week ago, and poor to very poor at 41%, unchanged from a week ago. ABARES estimated Australia's 2013/14 wheat harvest at 27 MMT, versus 26.2 MMT previously and the USDA's 26.5 MMT. They said that production in Western Australia, the country's largest exporting region, was up 58% to 10.5 MMT. UkrAgroConsult said that 93% of Ukraine’s winter grain crops are in good to fair condition. Winterkill fears so far appear unfounded. Ditto Russia, although lower winter wheat seedings will almost inevitably mean reduced output this summer. Both Russia and Ukraine will likely make up for this with significant increases in corn plantings again for the 2014 harvest, which could ultimately weigh on wheat prices much as they have done this year. The IGC forecast a 2.5% rise in the world wheat harvested area in 2014. They said that the US will harvest 47.9 million acres of wheat, a 2.7 million (or 6%) rise on last year despite a 3% drop in plantings, due to lower levels of abandonment. In 2013/14 the US planted 56.2 million acres of wheat, but only harvested 45.2 million, a very high abandonment rate of nearly 20%. Warmer weather is set to arrive in the US Plains and Midwest in the coming days, removing the threat of freeze damage to winter wheat. On the international tender front, Jordan bought 100,000 MT of optional origin wheat for June shipment. Egypt have gone quiet again after a flurry of business in January after prices have risen. They say that they have sufficient wheat socks to last until mid-June, by which time their own wheat harvest should have further replenished domestic stocks. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.90 1/4, up 5 1/2 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.65 1/2, up 2 3/4 cents; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.61 1/4, up 9 3/4 cents. We are now 40 cents above the contract low set in late January on Mar 14 CBOT wheat, we may need to see a pick up in demand, rather than a short-covering rally, to see the market press higher.

EU Grains Mixed As Traders Digest USDA Report In Detail

11/02/14 -- EU grains were mixed at the end of a choppy session in which traders had a bit more time available to them to take stock of the detail contained within yesterday's USDA WASDE report.

Mar 14 London wheat ended unchanged at GBP153.50/tonne, whilst new crop Nov 14 gained GBP0.45/tonne to GBP146.60/tonne. Mar 14 Paris wheat was up EUR1.00/tonne to EUR195.75/tonne, Mar 14 Paris corn was EUR1.25/tonne lower at EUR173.50/tonne, whilst May 14 Paris rapeseed fell EUR0.50/tonne gain to EUR373.50/tonne.

In among the minutiae of yesterday's USDA report was a 1.5 MMT hike in 2013/14 EU-28 wheat exports to a record 27.5 MMT, a 21.6% increase on last season. Brussels have already granted export licences for 70% of that total (including durum and wheat flour). Wheat feeding in Europe was lowered by 1 MMT, whilst corn usage was increased by 2 MMT.

Other areas of note, also included a 1 MMT drop in Argentina's wheat export potential to just 3 MMT, and a 1.5 MMT reduction in Kazkhstan's wheat exports this year. The latter was due to sharply lower yields (and therefore production) than previously estimated. Note though that Kazakhstan's central bank devalued the local currency, the tenge, by 19% overnight which may actually boost exports.

Australia's ABARES said that the 2013/14 wheat crop there was just over 27 MMT, up 800 TMT from their December forecast. This would be their 3rd highest production on record, and is 500 TMT more than the USDA said last night. They also said that the barley crop was 9.5 MMT, a 900 TMT hike on their previous estimate, the second largest on record and 400 TMT above the latest USDA figure.

Western Australia state produced a bumper 10.5 MMT wheat crop this season, they added. That's a 58% increase on last year. Australian canola production was increased from the 3.4 MMT forecast previously to 3.55 MMT.

Russia only manged to pick up 2,430 MT of grain in today's intervention purchase - the lowest volume bought so far - and all of it was feed barley. Current bid prices are generally considered too low after the recent decline in the value of the Russian rouble, and exports potentially offer more attractive returns.

Warmer temperatures mean that much of the protective snow cover in Ukraine and Southern Russia has melted away, but winterkill doesn't appear to be an issue yet. For now winter grains are generally rated 92-95% good/satisfactory in the region.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that Ukraine has exported 1.06 MMT of grain so far this month. They placed Feb exports at 2.4 MMT versus 2.79 MMT in January.

It looks like global wheat plantings for the 2014 harvest are/will be higher. The International Grains Council (IGC) today estimated that the world will harvest 224.2 million hectares of wheat this year, an increase of 5.5 million ha, or 2.5%, versus 2013.

India will begin harvesting a record 31.5 million hectares of wheat next month, and are expecting an all-time high crop that could reach 100 MMT. China will also harvest a record wheat area of 24.3 million hectares this year, according to the IGC.

Meanwhile the US will harvest 19.4 million hectares of wheat in 2014, a rise of 1.1 million ha despite a 3% drop in plantings due to lower abandonment rates, they said. The EU will harvest 26.1 million hectares of wheat, an increase of 0.4 million ha, essentially due to a return to a “normal” area of around 2 million ha here in the UK, they add.

Chicago Market Reaction To USDA Report

10/02/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower as the USDA report failed to add anything bullish to the arena, coming in a little bit negative for soybeans. The USDA appear to have continued to adopt the same "line in the sand" ending stocks figure for US soybeans in the 2013/14 marketing year as the one that they stuck by throughout most of the second half of 2012/13 - 150 million bushels. The trade was expecting that the very strong export pace that we've seen in the early part of the season, combined with robust domestic demand would see last month's forecast 150 million bushels trimmed down closer to 140 million, but that was not the case. The USDA raised US soybean exports this season, but only slightly, to 1.51 billion bushels - and existing commitments are already higher than this at 1.58 billion. Brazil's crop was raised to a record 90 MMT, and Argentina's lowered to 54 MMT - both in line with expectations. World ending stocks were pegged a little bit higher than anticipated at 73 MMT. Whilst the USDA apparently remain confident that a fair proportion of the unshipped US soybean sales this season will bet cancelled, weekly export inspections came in at a robust 57 million bushels, or just over 1.5 MMT which is better than the expected 1.1-1.3 MMT and will further increase the percentage of US soybeans sold and already shipped from last week's 78%. In other news, AgRural estimated the Brazilian soybean crop at 88.8 MMT, but warned that a downgrade is possible if weather conditions don't improve by the end of the week. The crop was 12% harvested as of Friday, and 22% done in the top producing state of Mato Grosso, they said. CONAB come out tomorrow morning with their latest Brazilian crop estimate updates. CNGOIC estimated China’s Jan bean imports at 5.4 MMT versus record Dec imports of 7.4 MMT, although that's still up 11% from Jan 2013. They said that they expect China’s Feb bean imports to be 55% higher than a year ago. Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $13.25 1/2, down 6 cents; May 14 Soybeans closed at $13.12 1/4, down 5 1/4 cents,; Mar 14 Soybean Meal closed at $444.00, down $2.40; Mar 14 Soybean Oil closed at 38.73, up 17 points.

Corn: The corn market closed a cent or so lower, despite a bullish looking USDA report. They cut 2013/14 US corn ending stocks sharply, from the 1.631 billion bushels forecast last month and well below the expected 1.619 billion, to 1.481 billion. That sparked a rally, but after front month Mar 14 failed to break through the $4.50/bushel mark, reaching $4.49 before retreating, the market eventually fell back into negative territory. Brazil's corn crop was left unchanged at 70 MMT and Argentina's was cut from 25 MMT to 24 MMT - neither was a surprise. World ending stocks came in at 157.3 MMT, largely courtesy of the changes in the US, versus the 159.6 MMT expected. It will be interesting to see if CONAB downgrade their Brazilian corn production estimate tomorrow, in light of recent weather problems. Last month they were far ahead of the USDA, forecasting a total corn crop there of 78.97 MMT. The USDA attaché in China estimated their 2013/14 corn crop at 217.0 MMT, with consumption at 213 MMT, imports at 5 MMT and ending stocks at a whopping 76.5 MMT. Ukraine said that their grain exports are picking up again now that the weather has improved a little. They shipped out 640 TMT last week (to Feb 7) and have a further 1.3 MMT at the ports waiting to load. The vast majority of that will be corn. Greek importers bought 6,000 MT of corn from Russia for March shipment. The weather has improved no end in Argentina, but it may have come too late for all but late planted corn. "Argentina received exceptionally heavy rainfall the past 2-3 weeks from a stalled trough of low pressure. Recurring showers helped replenish parched fields following severe drought previously. Four to 8 inches of rainfall accrued in the grain belt, the equivalent to a full-month’s allotment. Local farm reports however indicated corn was already irreversibly damaged by severe drought. Most corn had already pollinated in a period of intense heat and moisture stress late in December and early January. Kernels not pollinated due to drought stress would never develop into grain," said Martell Crop Projections. Weekly US corn export inspections came in at 27.37 million bushels versus the expected 19-24 million. Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.43, down 1 1/4 cents; May 14 Corn closed at $4.48 3/4, down 1 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed sharply higher as the USDA cut US 2013/14 wheat ending stocks much more sharply than the trade expected, down from the 608 million bushels forecast last month to 558 million - and well below the anticipated 603 million. World wheat stocks came in around 1.2 MMT below expectations at 183.7 MMT - although that's still a more than ample total. Fund money was still sitting on a sizable wheat short heading into this report, even if that had been trimmed somewhat of late. Today's numbers likely prompted some further purchases, with funds said to have probably been net buyers of around 6,000 Chicago wheat contracts on the day. The lower than anticipated US stocks number was largely due to increased exports. "Exports are projected 50 million bushels higher as reduced competition from Argentina and strong sales and shipments further boost prospects for U.S. wheat in world trade. A reduction in expected exports from Australia during the July-June world trade year also raises prospects for (increased) 2013/14 U.S. shipments," the USDA said. In other news, Egypt’s supply minister said that the country has enough wheat supplies to last until mid-June. India's PEC tendered to sell 70,000 MT of wheat for Feb-March shipment. Iran is said to have bought at least 400 TMT, and possibly as much as 600 TMT, of wheat in the past week as Western sanctions have eased. The most likely origin is said to be German and Russian. The Russians are picking up more export business due to the weakness of their domestic currency. USDA attaché in Australia estimated the 2013/14 wheat crop at 26.2 MMT, up 17%, with barley production at 8.6 MMT, up 15%. Despite the rise in wheat output exports will fall 13% to 18.6 MMT, they forecast. Has US wheat finally turned a corner, having been stuck in a downtrend for 18 months? Only time will tell. US wheat export inspections came in at 16.4 million bushels, a little above trade expectations of 10-15 million. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.84 3/4, up 7 1/4 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.62 3/4, up 13 1/2 cents; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.51 1/2, up 12 1/4 cents.

EU Grains Mixed Prior To USDA Report Release

10/02/14 -- Heading towards the close of trading, EU wheat futures were mostly a little lower, although the 5pm London time release of the February USDA WASDE report always had the potential to change that.

Nevertheless, Mar 14 London wheat closed GBP0.80/tonne lower at GBP1563.50/tonne, whilst new crop Nov 14 was GBP0.10/tonne firmer at GBP146.15/tonne. Mar 14 Paris wheat closed unchanged at EUR194.75/tonne, Mar 14 Paris corn was EUR0.50/tonne higher at EUR174.72/tonne, whilst May 14 Paris rapeseed fell EUR2.25/tonne to EUR374.00/tonne

The French Farm Ministry said that the winter soft wheat area for the 2014 harvest would be 0.6% up on a year ago at a tad under 5 million hectares. The winter barley area is up 5.1% to 1.2 million ha, and the winter OSR area has risen 6.3% to 1.52 million ha, they added.

France shipped 1.8 MMT of soft wheat in December, a 38% increase on November, with 1.3 MMT of that total going outside the EU. The largest non-EU buyers were Algeria with 488 TMT, followed by Egypt with 189 TMT and Morocco with 172 TMT.

Total grain exports during the first half of 2013/14 (Jul/Dec) are now 8.65 MMT, up 12% on a year ago. Nevertheless there are concerns that exports will slow for the last half of the campaign, cash premiums at the ports are declining, suggesting that export demand is waning. The recent development of Egypt lowering their maximum moisture requirement for wheat also suggests that French exports could dip in the remainder of the season.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that they'd exported over 640 TMT in the first week of February, a significant improvement on late January. They said that this was down to improved weather conditions. Total shipments for the current campaign now exceed 22 MMT, an increase of a third on last year. In addition there are vessels at various ports in Ukraine waiting to load 1.3 MMT of further grains for export, they added.

The devaluation of the Ukraine hryvnia, which sell to a 5-year low against the US dollar last week, is seen aiding grain exports this year.

Up until last week, Russia had only managed to buy less than 600 TMT of grain for it's depleted intervention fund, a far cry from the 5-6 MMT originally intended. This is due to the government price being too low, particularly exacerbated do by the recent decline in the rouble to a 5-year low versus the US dollar, which makes exports more attractive.

Australia are reported to have sent a record large shipment of feed barley to Saudi Arabia - 78.6 TMT.

The USDA's FAS pegged the Australian 2013 wheat crop at 26.2 MMT, an increase of 17% on last year. They see the barley crop up 15% to 8.6 MMT. Wheat exports however are pegged 13% lower at 18.6 MMT, with barley exports 12% higher at 5 MMT.

The USDA Numbers

10/02/14 -- The USDA's eagerly awaited raft of important numbers are out, here's some of the main ones:

South American 2013/14 Crop Production (MMT):

Avg Est
Brazil Soy
Brazil Corn
Argy Beans
Argy Corn

USDA 2013/14 US Ending Stocks Estimates (million bushels):

Avg Est

USDA 2013/14 World Ending Stocks Estimates (MMT):

Avg Est

Chicago Grains Mostly Firmer Heading Into USDA Report

07/02/14 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed around 5 cents higher on the day, and with gains of almost 50 cents on the week for nearby Mar 14 which posted its best close since mid-December tonight. The trade is looking for the USDA to cut 2013/14 US ending stocks in Monday's WASDE report to around 143 million bushels, down from 150 million in January. The range of estimates is 125-164 million. The cut is anticipated to reflect strong nearby demand for US beans both domestically and internationally. Global soybean ending stocks are however expected to rise slightly to 72.67 MMT, from 72.33 MMT last month. The range of estimates is 71.00-75.35 MMT. The average trade guess for the Brazilian soybean crop is 89.76 MMT, from within a range of 88.3-91.0 MMT. The January UDSA estimate was 89.0 MMT. The Argentine crop is expected to be forecast at 54.13 MMT on average, with a range of guesses of 52.7-57.0 MMT and 54.5 MMT in January. Conflicting reports are coming out of Brazil's Mato Grosso, with some saying that early yields are well above expectations, but others citing reduced potential in the east of the state due to dryness. There's also talk of possible drought damage in the south of the country. Much better rains in Argentina of late seem to have improved crop prospects there though. The latest Commitment of Traders report shows managed money increasing their net long position in soybeans for the week through to Tuesday night by 24,902 contracts, taking their overall net long position to 146,333 contracts. Mar 14 Soybeans closed at $13.31 1/2, up 5 3/4 cents; May 14 Soybeans closed at $13.17 1/2, up 5 3/4 cents; Mar 14 Soybean Meal closed at $446.40, up $0.40; Mar 14 Soybean Oil closed at 38.56, down 10 points. For the week front month beans added 49 1/2 cents, with meal up $18.70 and oil gaining 120 points.

Corn: The corn market closed a cent or two higher as fund money covered in some of it's short position ahead of the USDA's WASDE report due Monday. Fund buying was estimated at around a net 4,000 corn contracts on the day. The latest CFTC report shows managed money reducing their net short position in corn by a weighty 46,803 contracts for the week through to Tuesday night. They are now only sitting on a net short of 5,314 contracts. In Monday's USDA report the trade is expecting 2013/14 US corn ending stocks to be cut to an average guess of 1.619 billion bushels, from within a range of estimates are 1.574-1.748 billion. The January USDA estimate was 1.631 billion. The cut is expected due to the fact that current US corn export commitments stand at 90.5% of the USDA forecast for the 2013/14 marketing year versus a 5-year average of 65.3%. Global inventories are also expected to be reduced with the average estimate coming in at 159.60 MMT, from within a range of estimates of 156.27-163.20 MMT. The January USDA estimate was 160.23 MMT. In South America, the Brazilian corn crop average estimate is 69.99 MMT, from within a range of estimates of 66.1-74.0 MMT. The January USDA estimate was 70.0 MMT. In Argentina the average trade guess is 23.82 MMT, from within a range of estimates of 19.8–25.0 MMT. The January USDA estimate was 25.0 MMT. Producer selling in the US is said to have slowed up during the course of the week, but could pick up again if prices break through the $4.50/bushel level. Some analysts are saying that a bird flu outbreak in China may be worse than is being reported. Mar 14 Corn closed at $4.44 1/4, up 1 1/4 cents; May 14 Corn closed at $4.50, up 1 1/2 cents. For the week front month Mar 14 gained 11 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market ended mixed on the day, around 3 cents lower to a cent higher across the three exchanges. Fund money has been booking profits on wheat shorts heading into Monday's USDA report. The latest Commitment of Traders report shows managed money decreased their short position in CBOT wheat for the week through to Tuesday night by 9,538 contracts, bringing their overall net short position down to 52,963 contracts. Monday's USDA report is expected to show little change for 2013/14 US wheat ending stocks, with an average trade guess of 603 million bushels. The range of estimates are 574–653 million, and in January the USDA estimate was 608 million. World ending stocks are estimated at 184.97 MMT, from within a range of estimates of 182.80-187.00 MMT. The January USDA estimate was 185.40 MMT. On the international front, Iran were said to have bought 400-600 TMT of wheat from Russia and the EU. Lebanon were said to have bought 25 TMT of Russian wheat. The USDA's FAS in Kazakhstan forecast 2013/14 wheat exports rising from 6.474 MMT last year to 7.5 MMT this time round. The USDA's FAS in Canada forecast the 2014/15 grain crop there at 52 MMT, down 20% from this season's record output. Wheat production will fall 27% to 27 MMT, barley production by 15% to 8.7 MMT and the corn crop by 9% to 12.9 MT. They estimate Canadian wheat exports in 2014/15 at 20 MMT versus 22.2 MMT this season, with barley exports declining from 1.5 MMT to 1.45 MMT and corn exports falling from 1.5 MMT to 1.0 MMT. Mar 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.77 1/2, down 3 1/4 cents; Mar 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.49 1/4, up 1/2 cent; Mar 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.39 1/4, up 1 cent. For the week, CBOT wheat gained 22 cents, with Kansas up 36 1/4 cents and Minneapolis adding 40 1/4 cents.