Chicago Grains Mixed, Brazilian Strike Supports Soybeans

24/02/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with decent gains as the Brazilian truckers strike enters its seventh day. Benson Quinn say that as well as "potentially disrupting flow of beans to the ports which could shift some demand back to US. This strike could also interrupt harvest with reports that some areas are running low on diesel fuel for harvesters." Protesters are also said to have blocked the Brazilian port of Santos. Dr Cordonnier has the Brazilian bean crop estimated at 93.0 MMT, unchanged from his previous estimate. He's also unchanged on Argentina at 57 MMT. Oil World said that the EU crushed 13.5 MMT of rapeseed in the first half of 2014/15 (Jul-Dec), a 6% rise versus a year previously. The soybean crush was unchanged at 6.5 MMT and the EU sunflower crush was down 3% at 3.6 MMT, they added. Ag Canada forecast the Canadian canola crop at 16 MMT in 2015, up from 15.5 MMT a year ago. Plantings are seen up 200,000 ha at 8.3 million ha. Exports are forecast up 300,000 MT at 8.4 MMT in 2015/16 and ending stocks estimated at 1.4 MMT. Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.16, up 16 3/4 cents; May 15 Soybeans closed at $10.18 3/4, up 17 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybean Meal closed at $356.90, up $8.60; Mar 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.42, up 28 points. Despite the decent gains, note that beans finished around 13-14 cents off the intra-day highs, having traded 30 cents higher at one stage.

Corn: The corn market closed lower, despite support from surging soybeans. South Korea's NOFI bought 197,000 MT of optional origin corn for September shipment. Safras e Mercado said Brazil’s first corn crop is 20.7% harvested versus 29.6% done a year ago.They said that second crop corn planting is 39.5% compete versus 26.6% a year ago. South Africa's 2015 corn crop is expected to fall to around 10-11 MMT versus 14.25 MMT a year ago due to adverse weather conditions. UkrAgroConsult said Ukraine exported 1.6 MMT of corn between Feb 1-23. The Russian Ministry said that the country had exported 120 TMT of corn between Feb 1-18 and had shipped out 1.3 MMT so far this marketing year. Dr Cordonnier has the Brazilian corn crop estimated at 74.0 MMT, unchanged from his previous estimate. He's also unchanged on Argentina at 23 MMT. Below average precipitation in key corn states is worrisome for spring planting, said Martell Crop Projections. "A very dry winter has depleted ground moisture in key Midwest corn growing areas. Precipitation since November 1 has been 25% below average though individual corn states have been even drier. Minnesota has accrued a 3-inch moisture deficit since November 1st, while Illinois, the second leading corn state, is down 2.5 inches below average. The corn belt at large has received only 72% of normal precipitation since early November," they say. Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.77 1/2, down 1 1/4 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $3.85 1/2, down 1 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed. Support came from the news that Egypt's GASC bought 5 cargoes of US HRW wheat, paying around $271-274/tonne under a special line of credit extended to it by the US. These prices are quite a bit sharper than the best offer of $287 in last week's aborted tender, but still nowhere near the prices last paid by GASC for EU wheat. South Korea NOFI bought 65,000 MT of optional origin feed wheat for August shipment, along with 10,500 MT of optional origin barley for July shipment. Tunisia bought 42,000 MT of durum wheat for Mar-Apr shipment. Jordan tendered for 100,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat for June delivery. UkrAgroConsult said Ukraine exported 589,000 tons of wheat between Feb 1-23. Russia said that it had exported 220,000 MT of wheat between Feb 1-18, and that the season to date total was 18.7 MMT. UkrAgroConsult said as of Feb 20 41% of Ukraine’s winter cereals crop (mostly wheat) was in good condition versus 59% a year ago, and said 18% of the crop is in poor condition versus only 7% a year ago. "Hard red winter wheat in the Great Plains has been subject to wildly fluctuating temperatures in January and February. The weekly mean temperatures were as high as 44 F and as low as 20 F. US temperatures are expected to continue well below average in the upcoming week, below freezing in hard red winter wheat, and less than 10 F in the Upper Midwest. Heavy snow is predicted in Southern Plains wheat," said Martell Crop Projections. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.05 3/4, unchanged; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.35 3/4, up 4 1/2 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.66, down 1 3/4 cents.