Chicago Closing Comments - Wednesday

15/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans nudged a little higher, helped by the March NOPA crush being reported far higher than expected at a record 162.8 million bushels. That was well ahead of the average trade estimate of 155.26 million bushels, and even well above the high end figure of 159.5 million. With a crush figure so much higher than trade expectations you'd have thought that the market would end sharply higher, but it seems like today was a "buy the rumour, sell the fact" sort of a day. Attention is now very much on the ongoing South American harvest and the much-quoted "demand switch" to Brazil and Argentina. Brazil's record harvest is now well advanced, and confidence is growing by the day that Argentina's crop will also surpass all that has gone before. The Rosario Grain Exchange today raised their forecast for the Argentine soybean crop this year by 1.7% from their March estimate to a new all time high 59 MMT. Tomorrow's weekly export sales numbers aren't expected to offer too much support to the US market, with old crop sales estimates in the region of negative 50 TMT to positive 150 TMT. New crop sales are expected to be around 250-450 TMT. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.65, up 4 3/4 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.67 3/4, up 3 3/4 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $311.50, down $2.10; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.80, up 50 points.

Corn: The corn market edged a couple of cents firmer, garnering some support from the firmer tone in soybeans. Firmer crude oil markets and chatter of planting delays in corn in the South also added some further support. What wasn't too friendly though was the US Energy Dept reporting weekly ethanol production at 924,000 barrels/day, down 12,000 from the previous week and the slowest rate since mid October. Stocks came in at 20.6 million barrels, up 200,000 barrels from a week ago. Also bearish was the Rosario Grain Exchange raising their forecast for the Argentine corn crop by 2.2 MMT to 25.7 MMT. That's now 1.7 MMT more than the USDA predicted last week. Ukraine continues to ship large volumes of their 2014 corn crop. Exports in Jan/Feb to Europe alone included Spain (480.7 TMT), the Netherlands (73.9 TMT), Italy (35.8 TMT), Portugal (21.2 TMT), Germany (12.9 TMT), and Ireland (12.8 TMT), said APK Inform. Total Ukraine grain exports so far this month are 900 TMT, of which 80% (717 TMT) was corn. The leading homes for Ukraine corn this month have been China, South Korea, Egypt and Japan. DRV said that Germany's 2015 corn crop will fall 7.8% to 4.74 MMT. Bloomberg reported that US corn and soybean imports from countries able to supply non-GM crops are "booming" - including corn purchases from Romania. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 400-600 TMT. May 15 Corn closed at $3.76, up 2 1/2 cents; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.83, up 2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower for a third day, and has now fallen for six of the last eight sessions. Rain remains in the forecasts for the US Plains, although the Kansas forecast has grown progressively drier these past 3 days, cautioned Martell Crop Projections. Kansas is of course the top US wheat state. Russia said that the export duty on wheat will be reviewed around May/June. There was a little hint that an extension of it is not out of the question depending on the state of winter wheat crops then. For now though the government are standing by their official forecast for a 2015 grain crop of 100 MMT. Iran said that it would harvest an 11 MMT wheat crop this year, and that the government would buy 8 MMT domestically and import 2 MMT. Japan are tendering for 109 TMT of food grade wheat for June shipment in their regular weekly tender. Jordan are in the market for 100 TMT of wheat for Dec/Jan shipment. Brazilian farmers in the state of Parana are off to a slow start planting their winter wheat crop, with only around 1% of the crop in the ground so far versus 7% a year ago and 9% typically at this time according to the Secretary of Agriculture for the state (Deral). They currently estimate plantings to increase 3%, with production rising by 7% to 4 MMT. Parana is the leading wheat producing state in Brazil. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 100-300 TMT of old crop and 50-250 TMT of new crop. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.90 3/4, down 6 1/4 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.14 1/2, down 7 1/4 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.43 1/4, down 8 3/4 cents.