Chicago Grains Mixed, Corn Planting Advances But Still Behind Schedule

20/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed higher on talk of another round of Brazilian trucker strikes/blockades being on the way, possibly as early as the end of the week. News that China had cut bank reserve rates in an effort to stimulate the economy there was also seen as positive. Weekly export inspections were modest though at 147,939 MT versus 450,365 MT the previous week. Still, the fact remains that 45 MMT of the USDA's export forecast for the entire season of 48.7 MMT is already shipped and gone. Only 31,614 MT of this week's export inspections were headed for China, but according to last week’s export sales report unshipped sales to China were only 185,000 MT so this is not an unexpected drop-off, noted Benson Quinn. The USDA haven't yet started reporting on soybean planting progress on a national level. Some southern states are reporting individually though, with Arkansas at 11% done versus 12% on average. Missouri is 32% complete versus 24% on average and Louisiana is 16% planted versus 27% typically at this time. Oil World said that world soybean production in 2015/16 will fall for the first time in 4 years. They see the US crop at 104 MMT, with production in Brazil at 92 MMT and Argentina chipping in with 57 MMT. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.77 1/2, up 8 3/4 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.79 1/2, up 8 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $318.50, up $3.50; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.59, up 7 points.

Corn: The corn market ended 1-2 cents easier despite robust weekly export inspections in excess of 1 MMT, which were above trade estimates of 750-850 TMT. Cumulative season to date inspections are now 55% of the USDA estimate for the season, which is still more than 5 points behind the average for this time. The USDA reported US corn planting at 9% complete on a national level, up 7 points on a week ago, but still 4 points behind the 5-year average. "Weather conditions last week were exceptionally warm raising soil temperatures above the 50 F threshold for corn germination. Producers have begun planting on a wide scale," said Martell Crop Projections. However "a sudden shift in the weather is underway in the Midwest, where much cooler temperatures are predicted this week, some 5-10 degrees below normal," they add. Corn planting is most advanced in TX at 51% (but down compared to 59% for the 5-year average), NC at 40% (versus 54% normally) and KS at 23% (19% on average). Sorghum planting is also a little behind schedule at this early stage, with 19% of the crop in the ground versus 22% for the 5-year average. Ukraine said it had exported 27.7 MMT of grains so far this season, of which 13.42 MMT was corn. Ukraine seaports exported just under 300 TMT of grain last week, of which almost 75% was corn as they now major on that particular grain. Spain's corn crop is seen falling more than 5% this year to 4.23 MMT. Poland's corn crop will fall slightly, down 2% to 4.4 MMT, according to the USDA's FAS in the country. May 15 Corn closed at $3.78, down 1 3/4 cents; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.84 3/4, down 2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed higher on all three exchanges. This may have been down to short-covering and profit-taking, with fund money revealed to be sitting on a record large short position in CBOT wheat on Friday night. Fundamentally though, nothing much has changed. The USDA left winter wheat crop conditions entirely unchanged from a week ago at 19% poor/very poor, 39% fair and 42% good to excellent. Some were looking for an improvement (the average estimate in a Bloomberg survey was 44% good to excellent), although the crop maybe hasn’t had enough time to show the benefits of rains late last week, suggested Benson Quinn. Winter wheat was 16% headed, up 10 points from a week ago and one ahead of the 5-year average. Spring wheat planting was said to be racing ahead well, at 36% done versus 17% a week ago, 19% for the 5-year average and only 9% complete this time last year. WA is already 88% complete versus 57% normally and SD is 73% done compared to only 31% typically at this time. Canada reported wheat exports (excluding durum) up 4.5% so far this season at 11.1 MMT. Durum exports are up 23% at 3.7 MMT. Egypt bought 300 TMT of a mixture of French, Russian and Romanian origin wheat over the weekend. Bangladesh bought 50 TMT of French wheat. Jordan are tendering for 100 TMT of optional origin wheat for Dec/Jan shipment. IKAR were said to have raised their forecast for the 2015 Russian wheat crop from 52-57 MMT to 54-59 MMT. There's talk of Russia looking to come up with some way of reducing the keenness of some trading houses to aggressively sell grain for export, to the detriment of domestic needs, without giving any specifics of how they might do this. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.98 3/4, up 4 1/4 cents; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.12 1/2, up 3 1/4 cents; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.39, up 6 1/4 cents.