Chicago Grains Rise - Wheat Up For Fourth Straight Session

11/03/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed higher, despite the firmer dollar. "The price action was corrective, but lacked the aggressive buying the market has seen on other recoveries. The tone for today’s session was set overnight as traders booked profits on short positions," said Benson Quinn. Argentine growers began a 3-day strike today. The Argentine producer is said to be 82% sold on his old crop soybeans and 13.6% committed on new crop. An outbreak of what officials are calling a "highly pathogenic" strain of bird flu in Arkansas got some media attention. So too did Allendale estimating 2015 US soybean plantings at over 86 million acres (a record) versus 83.7 million a year ago. The USDA will update us with their view on potential plantings on Mar 31. Before that we get the regular weekly export sales report tomorrow. Last week's bean sales were 499,500 MT for 2014/15 and a small quantity of new crop. The trade is probably looking for something a little lower this time round, 350-450 TMT, as demand continues to switch to South America. Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $9.89, up 9 cents; May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.92 3/4, up 8 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybean Meal closed at $345.70, up $3.70; Mar 15 Soybean Oil closed at 30.97, up 13 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 2-3 cents higher. There was apparently no agreement between the Brazilian truckers and the government in yesterday's meeting, with a rescheduled date now set for Mar 26. We almost certainly haven't heard the last of this issue. Argentine growers are now on strike for three days, and dock workers will undoubtedly also try their hand when the harvest gets going in earnest. In a nutshell, the usual logistical problems can be expected in South America again this spring. Argentine farmers are fully sold on old crop corn and 26.5% committed on new crop, according to their Ag Ministry. This time a year ago they were only 12.4% sold on new crop. Allendale estimated US 2015 corn plantings at 88.5 million acres, down 2.3% on a year ago and the smallest area since 2010. Farmers are unhappy with current prices, and the fact that their input costs for corn are much higher than for soybeans, they said. US ethanol production rose to 944,000 barrels/day last week, up from 931,000 bpd the previous week, according to the US Energy Dept. Weekly export sales tomorrow are expected in the 600-800,000 MT range. Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.84, up 1 3/4 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $3.91, up 3 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher. Chicago wheat has now been up for four straight sessions, which is actually its best run of 2015 so far. There's talk of dryness on the Southern Plains, which is maybe encouraging some short-covering and/or profit-taking. Fund money was sitting on a hefty short position in Chicago wheat last week you will recall. The strong US dollar however continues to hamper US export prospects. Weekly export sales tomorrow with therefore be of interest. Last week's sales of 469,600 MT for delivery in the 2014/15 marketing year were inflated by the special line of credit granted to Egypt to buy US HRW wheat. I'd expect this week's sales to be lower, in the 250-350,000 MT region. South Korea are tendering for 47,000 MT of Australian wheat for Aug delivery. Taiwan are in the market for 83,950 MT of US milling wheat for Apr-May shipment. Japan are in for a 109,000 MT mixture of US, Canadian and Australian wheat in their regular weekly tender. The Argentine grower is still said to have 17% of his old crop wheat left to sell, along with 40% of his new crop. Rusagrotrans forecast Russia's March grain exports at 1 MMT, with barley accounting for 40% of that total, wheat 35% and corn 30%. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.03, up 6 1/2 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.38 1/2, up 3 3/4 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.54 1/2, up 2 3/4 cents.