Chicago Markets End Lower, With Corn Managing Best Resistance

04/03/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed the best part of 20 cents lower, pressured by the strong dollar. Reduced tensions in Brazil between striking truckers and the government, and weakness of the Brazilian Real were also a factor as the harvest there grinds on, and is probably around a third done by now. The leading producing state of Mato Grosso is already past halfway complete. Early soybean yields from the south of the country (which had ample rainfall throughout the season) are said to be very good. The Brazilian producer seems to think that Chicago beans above $10 are a sell, at least in Real terms. On a note of caution, the Rosario Grain Exchange said that what had thus far been considered "ample" rains were now turning to being "excessive" in some parts. Areas of Córdoba and Santa Fe have picked up 300-600 mm in the last 32 days versus an average annual rainfall of 750-1100 mm - thus some places have picked up half a year's worth of rain in little more than a month. It is impossible to know at this stage what the impact on productivity will be, they said. The USDA release their latest WASDE report next Tuesday, with the trade expecting US 2014/15 soybean ending stocks to fall to around 377 million bushels versus 385 million a month ago. Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $9.89, down 19 3/4 cents; May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.94, down 18 1/4 cents; Mar 15 Soybean Meal closed at $334.10, down $7.70; Mar 15 Soybean Oil closed at 32.03, down 77 points.

Corn: The corn market closed a little lower, pressured by weak soybeans and wheat and the firming US dollar. The US Energy Dept reported that US ethanol production slipped to a four-month low of 931,000 barrels/day during the week, down from 947,000 bpd the previous week. Stocks were thus down from a week ago, although only slightly at 21.5 million barrels. Developments in Ukraine and Russia continue to suggest reduced corn plantings this spring due to rapidly rising costs of sowing an input hungry crop. More of what does get sown is likely to be of lower yielding non-hybrid (cheaper) seed too. Ukraine raised interest rates from 19.5% to an eye-watering 30% overnight. Russian inflation rose by the highest monthly level in almost 16 years in January and the Russian Economic Development Ministry said that domestic fertiliser prices are up 45.2% year on year, and that the pace of increase is rising (up nearly 10% in January alone). South Korea's Kocopia are tendering for 55,000 MT of optional origin corn for June shipment. FranceAgriMer said that French corn stocks as of Feb 1 were up 38% on a year ago at 7.4 MMT, helped by last year's record 17.7 MMT corn crop. France exported 3.57 MMT of corn in the first half of the 2014/15 season, an increase of 25.8%, they added. Export potential this year is just under 6.7 MMT, they said. The weak euro will be helping their campaign. Ukraine said that their 2014/15 corn exports now stand at 11.27 MMT. Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.81 1/2, down 1/2 cent; May 15 Corn closed at $3.89 1/2, down 1 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower across the board, although the magnitude of those losses was quite different across the three exchanges, Chicago wheat fared the worst, slipping back below the $5/bu mark. The strong US dollar offered no support whatsoever to a US wheat market looking for export opportunities but finding that these are generally limited to traditional type homes only. There's some talk of Chinese interest in a cargo or two of US HRS wheat, but that's about it. That explains the relative strength shown by Minneapolis wheat today. The weak euro further compounds the issue. The US dollar hit its highest levels versus the euro since September 2003 today. Russia said that 80% of winter grains are in good condition and 20% poor. Despite that, the country could still harvest a 100 MMT grain crop in 2015, the Ag Ministry wittily suggested. That figure seems high, given the state of winter crops, lack of credit, rising inflation etc, etc. Still, there we have it. The Ministry often find that 95-100 MMT is as good a starting point as any around this time of year. Rusagrotrans said that Russia's wheat exports in February were "only" 450,000 MT, around 4.5 times less than the volume shipped out in January before the new export duty kicked in. Spring planting is said to be underway in one or two places in Russia and Ukraine as the weather warms up. Ukraine said that they'd exported 24.68 MMT of grains so far this season of which 9.29 MMT was wheat. Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.93 1/2, down 15 1/4 cents; Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.23 1/2, down 7 cents; Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.57 1/4, down 4 cents.