Chicago Beans Rally To Start The Week, But Wheat And Corn End Lower

04/05/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with good gains, led by the front end. The cause was helped by oil posting large gains on talk of large-scale Chinese interest. Talk that the various labour disputes in Argentina might not prove to be quite as easy/quick to resolve as some had been suggesting was also supportive today. Weekly export inspections came in at 172,066 MT, which was in line with expectations, even if down from 311,622 MT a week ago. The notion that very strong progress had been made with corn planting this week, under conditions described by some as "near ideal" was seen as friendly for beans, as it's delayed corn sowings that could lead to more bean acres getting put in. After the close the USDA said that 2015 US soybean plantings were 13% complete, up from only 2% a week ago, and above both last year (5%) and the previous 5-year average of 9% done. Planting is ahead of schedule in the top producing state of Iowa (11% done versus 5% typically) and the second top state of Illinois (12% done versus 7% on average). Today's action hiked the soybean:corn price ratio on new crop up to 2.51:1 which is a new 7-month high. For the time being the US weather seems to be behaving itself nicely. "Forecasts for the week ahead bring much needed rains to the western half of the belt on Wednesday with moisture remaining over the northern states as it moves eastward. The southeast is expected to be dry which should help bean planting catch up," said Benson Quinn. May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.83, up 14 1/2 cents; Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.76 1/4, up 13 1/2 cents; May 15 Soybean Meal closed at $315.80, up $1.10; May 15 Soybean Oil closed at 32.47, up 103 points - its best level since the first few days of March.

Corn: The corn market closed a little lower, faced with not much in the way of bullish news to hang onto apart from possible short-term supply problems from Argentina. Weekly export inspections of just over 1 MMT were respectable, although below the levels of last week and for this week last year. The Governor of Iowa announcing a state of emergency over bird flu was bearish, with it being reported that as many as 16 million layers could be affected and that 25% of the state's flock may have to be slaughtered. The USDA reported that US farmers planted a whopping 36% of the US 2015 corn crop in the week through to Sunday night, taking the total area sown to 55% versus 19% a week ago. That's well ahead of only 28% sown this time last year and also 17 points above the 5-year average for this time. As with beans, the leading states of Iowa and Illinois are well ahead of schedule at 68% done versus 39% normally, and 69% sown versus 47% respectively. The third top producing state of Nebraska is 57% planted versus 38% on average, and the fourth largest state of Minnesota is already 83% sown against 34% normally at this time. Minnesota farmers managed to plant 45% of their crop in the past week! "Early spring planting is perceived as positive for corn yields, as the lengthening daylight hours and increased solar energy promote strong growth and development, taller plants with larger ears. Topsoil moisture was reduced west of the Mississippi Valley with virtually no rainfall last week. Strong showers developed early this morning, a narrow band from central Nebraska to northern Illinois. This is just the beginning of a stormy wet weather pattern this week in the Midwest. The combination of warmth and wetness is considered ideal for corn germination," said Martell Crop Projections. May 15 Corn closed at $3.58 3/4, down 1 cent; Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.61 1/4, down 1 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed, but mostly a little lower. Weekly export inspections were 325,930 MT, which was a little below expectations. They were also down compared to last week and last year. The USDA reported that 43% of the US winter wheat crop was in good to excellent condition, up a point on a week ago. They said that 43% of the crop was now headed compared to 28% a week ago and 34% on average for this time. Spring wheat planting continues to run well ahead of normal, with 75% of the crop now in the ground compared to only 25% a year ago and 40% for the 5-year average. Spring wheat emergence of 30% is almost double the 5-year average of 16%. US winter wheat areas are in for more rain this week. "Not only is the Midwest expecting heavy rain, but also winter wheat farms. Indeed Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are expecting drenching rainfall, 2-3 times the normal in the upcoming week. The sudden wetness may be linked to a strengthening El Nino signal," said Martell Crop Projections. "Recurring strong showers are considered beneficial following a prolonged drought previously this spring. Hard red wheat is presently filling grain, so plump kernels would boost the yield," they added. News from this week's annual Wheat Quality Council crop tour taking in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Colorado will make for interesting reading. The trade is currently estimating wheat production in Kansas at around the 300 million bushel mark versus 246 million a year ago. Talk of Russia looking to scrap/reduce its current export tax on wheat at some point not very far away adds to the bearish tone in wheat. The crop in Europe seems to be getting bigger, and production prospects in Russia and Ukraine have also improved. May 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.69 1/4, down 3/4 cent; May 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.93 3/4, up 1/2 cent; May 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.16, down 4 1/4 cents.