Chicago Grains Mixed, Brazilian Trucker Strike Seen Easing

03/03/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed a little lower on reports that the Brazilian truckers strike is losing momentum. Media reports say that only around 7 roads in Brazil remain blocked by striking truck drivers versus 18 roads yesterday and over 100 roads a week ago. There's now talk of Argentine farmers striking next week. Informa cut their estimate for the 2014/15 Brazilian soybean crop by 1 MMT to 92.5 MMT. This was offset however by a 1 MMT rise for Argentina to 58 MMT. Conab are due out next Tuesday with their latest Brazilian estimates. Dr Cordonnier was unchanged on his forecasts for both Brazil (93 MMT) and Argentina (57 MMT). Chinese industry analysts said that the country had crushed 29.2 MMT of soybeans between Oct 1 and Feb 27, a 1.57% increase compared with the same period a year previously. They estimated March soybean imports at 4.5 MMT, rising to 5.2 MMT in April and 5.6 MMT in May. Oil World said that EU palm oil imports fell by 4% in the fourth quarter of 2014. India’s 2014/15 veg oil imports were estimated at 12.5-13.0 MMT versus 11.6 MMT in 2013/14. Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.08 3/4, down 2 1/2 cents; May 15 Soybeans closed at $10.12 1/4, down 1 1/2 cents; Mar 15 Soybean Meal closed at $341.80, down $2.50; Mar 15 Soybean Oil closed at 32.80, up 15 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 3 cents higher. For now, tensions are easing in Brazil, with a meeting between the government and protesters lined up for a week from today. Informa have the Brazilian 2014/15 corn crop now estimated at 72.4 MMT versus a previous estimate of 72.8 MMT. For Argentina they go 23.5 MMT versus a previous estimate of 23.0 MMT. As with soybeans the reduction in Brazil is offset by the increase in Argentina. "They cited results from planting surveys as the reason for the loss in production in Brazil, and higher yields as the reason for the Argentinian increase," said Benson Quinn. Informa now have South Africa’s 2014/15 corn crop is estimated at 10.1 MMT versus a previous estimate of 13.0 MMT. Dr Cordonnier estimated Brazil's 2014/15 corn crop at 74 MMT, and went for 23 MMT in Argentina. Both figures were unchanged from a week ago. Egypt and Algeria are said to be shopping for corn. Argentine farmers are reported to be calling for a 3 day strike next week on Wednesday–Friday. There's talk that Argentine truckers may also strike in the latter half of the month. Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.82, up 3 1/4 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $3.91, up 3 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed anywhere from virtually unchanged to up to 15 cents higher. Monthly winter wheat crop ratings put the Kansas crop at 44% good to excellent, down 2 points on a month ago. Kansas wheat rated poor to very poor was 12% versus 13% a month ago. Oklahoma was 42% good to excellent and 14% poor/very poor versus 41% and 13% respectively at the end of January. Illinois winter wheat was 47% good to excellent (versus 49% a month ago) and 13% poor/very poor (unchanged). Texas wheat is 46% good to excellent and 12% poor/very poor versus 42% and 16% a month ago. Nebraska is 62% good to excellent and 3% poor to very poor versus 61% and 3% at the end of January. Japan are in for 130,929 MT of milling wheat from the US, Canada, and Australia for April–May shipment in their regular weekly tender. Informa estimated India’s 2015 wheat crop at 97.0 MMT versus previous estimate of 96.0 MMT. Harvesting of that usually begins at the end of March. Kazakhstan’s Ag Ministry said that the country had exported 4.4 MMT of grain between July 1-Feb 28th versus 6.0 MMT a year ago. They estimate full season exports at 7.0 MMT. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.08 3/4, up 3/4 cent; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.30 1/2, up 9 1/2 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.61 1/4, up 15 cents.