Chicago Grains Trade Lower To Start The Week

02/03/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed the best part of 20 cents lower after a firmer opening and overnight trade. Media reports suggest an easing of the Brazilian trucker strike action over the weekend. "There are reports that Brazilian roads are being cleared and the number of trucks dumping at port has improved. Despite the lack of a formal agreement, it feels like the truckers are losing their leverage on this issue," said Benson Quinn. Weekly export inspections are finally starting to slip at 635,164 MT versus the expected 750-950,000 MT. Safras e Mercado reported that the Brazilian soybean harvest is 28% complete versus 17% a week ago, 41% a year ago and 32% on average. Mato Grosso is 51% complete, up sharply from 25% a week ago, but still down versus 60% a year ago and 54% on average, they said. AgRural said Brazil has harvested 29% of their soybean crop versus 20% a week ago, 39% a year ago and 33% on average. The Brazilian Ministry said that the country exported 870 TMT of beans in February, down sharply from 2.79 MMT in February 2014. Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.11 1/4, down 19 1/2 cents; May 15 Soybeans closed at $10.13 3/4, down 18 cents; Mar 15 Soybean Meal closed at $344.30, down $9.40; Mar 15 Soybean Oil closed at 32.65, down 15 points.

Corn: The corn market ended around 5 cents lower. That came despite weekly export inspections of 1.28 MMT easily beating trade expectations of 750-900,000 MT. An easing of tensions in Brazil was probably the main downwards driver. "Early morning reports had mixed opinions regarding the amount of progress the Brazilian government had over the weekend in diffusing the trucker strike. Reports indicated that the majority of roads blocks nationwide had been cleared, down from around 50 on Saturday to around 10 on Sunday evening," said Benson Quinn. Safras e Mercado said that Brazil 1st corn crop harvest is 25.9% complete versus 20.7% a week ago and 40.6% a year ago. Brazil's 2nd corn crop planting is at 58.4% complete versus 39.5% a week ago 55.7% a year ago, they added. The Brazilian Ministry reported February corn exports at 1.1 MMT, which is similar to a year previously. Ukraine said that they had exported 10.9 MMT of corn so far this season versus around 14.2 MMT a year ago. Russia's corn exports stand at 1.4 MMT. There's continued talk of lower corn plantings in Ukraine and Russia this year due to financial considerations. There's also talk of what does get sown to be of inferior quality and thus lower yielding varieties. Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.78 3/4, down 5 3/4 cents; May 15 Corn closed at $3.88, down 5 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower. Weekly export inspections of 450,093 MT were towards the upper end of expectations. Lower trade in corn and beans didn't help wheat's cause today though. Neither did falling prices in Paris wheat, which is already priced very competitively versus US origin material. The USDA attaché in India estimated India’s 2015 wheat crop at 94.0 MMT, down from the 2014 crop of 95.9 MMT. They estimated wheat exports at 2.0 MMT versus 3.5 MMT last year. Ukraine said that they'd exported 9.2 MMT of wheat so far this season. Russia said that they'd shipped 18.8 MMT of wheat so far. APK Inform reported Ukraine's seaports shipped out 125.3 TMT of wheat last week. Russia's wheat shipments via seaports were similar at 126.4 TMT, they added. Ukraine has apparently asked the EU to increase duty free import quotas on agri products due to the ongoing problems with Russia. ABARES increased their estimate for Australian wheat production to 24.4 MMT from 23.6 MMT a year ago. There's still some talk of possible winterkill damage to US, Ukraine and Russian wheat. "In terms of the US crop, it looks like the bulk of the US HRW crop has gotten moisture and much of it will have some snow cover when cold temps hit on Wed and Thurs morning," said Benson Quinn. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.08, down 9 1/2 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.21, down 13 1/2 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.55, down 1 cent.