Chicago Grains Mostly Lower, Although Corn Bucks The Trend

18/08/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower, with Sep 15 posting the lowest close on a front month since early October 2014. "There's a 90% -100% chance of rain today in the Midwest. Strong thunderstorms would gradually lessen tomorrow evening as cooler and drier air filters into the heartland, while showers push east into Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. More rain is predicted Friday-Sunday, ending a brief dry spell. Strong showers would favour Iowa, Minnesota and western Illinois, though coverage would be scattered. One 1 inch of rainfall, but 2 inches locally, is possible in scattered strong thunderstorms. Field moisture may change from ample to excessively wet, if the weekend rainfall becomes very heavy," said Martell Crop Projections. For now, the trade is viewing these conditions as non-threatening for soybeans, although the majority have the idea that US yields won't end up as high as the 46.9 bu/acre currently being predicted by the USDA. On the ProFarmer crop tour in Nebraska, soybean pod counts were seen averaging 1,290 per 3 foot square plot after 13 samples, up from 1,103.3 reported in same area a year earlier, say Bloomberg. In Indiana inspections showed 1,163.97 pods, down from 1,220.79 in the same state a year earlier, they add.  Oil World forecast Argentine soybean plantings for next season at 19.75 million ha versus 19.67 million last year. Sep 15 Soybeans closed at $9.13 1/4, down 13 3/4 cents; Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $9.04 1/4, down 12 3/4 cents; Sep 15 Soybean Meal closed at $324.60, down $0.80; Sep 15 Soybean Oil closed at 28.32, down 74 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 3 cents higher, aided by last night's one point drop in good to excellent crop ratings. As with beans, few think that US yields will achieve the 168.8 bu/acre that the USDA are forecasting. Corn yields averaged 150.99 bu/acre, based on 15 samples taken on 3 routes in Indiana, on the second day of the ProFarmer Midwest Crop Tour, said Bloomberg. Nevertheless, corn yields were estimated at 174.9 bu/acre after 12 samples taken on four routes through Nebraska, the third-largest US corn state. A year ago, the tour reported yields of 163.8 bu/acre in the same area. Arlan Suderman at Water Street Solutions sees 2015 US corn yields at 161.5 bushels per acre, based on his company's state-by-state analysis. "Keep in mind that such a yield is just 2% below a 30-year trend yield, which is a trend that I believe has worked the best over the years. It’s amazing to see how many people find a 2% drop difficult to swallow following USDA’s bearish report on August 12 and in light of the exceptional 2014 crop, but that’s human nature. In reality, the drop may be more than 2%," he adds. Also as with beans, the trade doesn't currently perceive Midwest wetness as too much of a threat - "rain makes grain" and all that. Agritel said that Ukraine's 2015 corn production potential is 26.6 MMT, down from 28.45 MMT a year ago. Export potential in 2015/16 is 16.2 MMT, they added. The USDA currently predict Ukraine's corn crop at 27 MMT this year, and have 2015/16 exports at 17.5 MMT versus 19 MMT in 2014/15. Sep 15 Corn closed at $3.66 1/4, up 3 cents; Dec 15 Corn closed at $3.77 1/4, up 2 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market ended around 5-7 cents lower. Bloomberg report that Russia may have exported more wheat in July than official Ministry data shows. Rusagrotrans said that the country may have in fact exported 2.1 MMT versus the 1.3 MMT officially reported. The Russian Ag Min said that the country's 2015 wheat harvest was 49.5% complete on 13.3 million ha producing a crop of 43 MMT to date. The barley harvest is 49.4% complete on 4.4 million ha producing a crop of 10.9 MMT so far. The Russian Ag Ministry says that it will begin purchasing grain for the state intervention fund tomorrow. Ukraine's Ag Min forecast a 2015 grain harvest of 60 MMT, with exports in 2015/16 at a record 36 MMT. The Ukraine Ministry of Economic Development estimated production a little lower at 59.5 MMT. Their 2015 wheat harvest is now finished at 26.82 MMT, say the Ag Ministry. The Kazakh 2015 grain harvest is 6.2% complete on 910k ha, producing a crop of 1.47 MMT to date. El Nino-related heavy rainfall in Argentina is affecting wheat and threatening corn plantings in the Buenos Aires province, as well as in southern Santa Fe, parts of Entre Rios and a few other areas, reported Bloomberg. Germany's farm association, DBV, estimated the 2015 winter wheat harvest there down 2.8 MMT on a year ago at 24.6 MMT, with yields seen 12% lower at 7.6 MT/ha. Harvesting of that crop is ongoing. The German winter barley harvest is over, and is down 3% year-on-year at 9.2 MMT, they added. Sep 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.94 1/4, down 6 1/4 cents; Sep 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.76, down 6 1/4 cents; Sep 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.08 1/4, down 4 3/4 cents.