US Grains Mixed Friday, But All Post Weekly Losses

14/08/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower on the day and for the week. Wednesday's USDA report caught many out who had positioned themselves on the long side ready to cash in on what was expected to be a friendly August WASDE report. It wasn't of course. Anticipated reductions in US 2015 soybean yields, production and ending stocks all proved to be wrong, as all three of those were instead raised. Tonight's commitment of traders report shows that managed money increased their net long position in beans by around 8.5k lots to almost 60k contracts for the week through to Tuesday night, immediately prior to the release of the USDA numbers. Seldom would "following the money" been such a costly and mistaken strategy than has recently proven to be the case. The latest Bloomberg survey into trader/analyst sentiment found only 3 bulls for soybeans, with 11 bears and 8 neutrals. The trade will now be looking to Monday's crop condition ratings. Last week the USDA left crop ratings unchanged from the previous week at 63% good to excellent, with a small one point move from the former into the latter. They had 88% of the crop blooming versus 91% on average and 69% setting pods versus 66% on average. The trade will also be keen to hear reports from the field when the widely followed ProFarmer crop tour kicks off next week. Another one to watch next week is the NOPA crush report due out on Monday. A Bloomberg survey sees that at an average 139.5 million bushels, up 17% on a year ago, although down from 142.5 million in June. Next Friday sees the release of the latest Canadian crop production estimates from StatsCanada, with another Bloomberg survey estimating this year's canola crop there at 13.66 MMT, down 1.9 MMT, or more than 12% down, compared with a year ago. Aug 15 Soybeans went off the board at $9.78 1/2, down 14 1/2 cents; Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $9.16 1/2, down 10 1/2 cents; Aug 15 Soybean Meal expired at $330.90, down $13.20 and Aug 15 Soybean Oil closed at 28.78, down 13 points. At the end of a very choppy week Aug 15 beans shed 30 1/2 cents versus last Friday and Nov 15 lost an impressive 46 3/4 cents, Aug 15 meal was down $21.70 and Aug 15 oil lost 125 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around unchanged on the day, but lower for the week, with many also caught on the wrong side of Wednesday's USDA report. Tonight's commitment of traders report has managed money sitting on an expensive net long of in excess of 100k contracts as of Tuesday night, although they will have dumped some of that length on Wednesday. Many analysts are suggesting that US corn conditions might slip a bit in the Monday report. Last week was similar though. The USDA actually left corn crop ratings unchanged at 70% good to excellent, where a one point drop was anticipated according to a Bloomberg survey. Silking was at 96%, in line with normal. They said that 50% of the crop was at the dough stage, one point ahead of normal. The Bloomberg survey into trader sentiment found a few more bulls around for corn though, 6 of them to be precise, lined up against 10 bears and 6 neutrals. The ProFarmer crop tour next week will be closely monitored, to see if the USDA's apparent conviction that US corn yields this year will indeed be the second highest on record is backed up by reports from the field. The trade will also be keeping an eye on the weather, with dry and warm conditions in the forecast until early next week, when cooler conditions are expected to return. South Korea's FLC bought 60,000 MT of optional origin corn for Feb shipment in a tender for 140,000 MT. Argentina's Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that it's corn harvest was now 91% complete producing a crop of 24.1 MMT to date. They held steady on their forecast for final output this year of 26 MMT. The French corn crop was rated 55% good to very good by FranceAgriMer today, down 3 points on last week and now 30 points less than where it was in mid-June. The crop was rated 86% good to very good this time last year. The French Ag Ministry pegged production there at only 13.5 MMT earlier in the week, down 28% on a year ago. Plantings were down 10% and yields will fall almost 20%, they said. Sep 15 Corn closed at $3.64, up 1/4 cent; Dec 15 Corn closed at $3.75 1/2, up 1/4 cent. For the week Sep 15 corn was down 8 3/4 cents, with Dec 15 falling 8 1/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market managed to post some gains at the close of play today, but was still lower on the week. Wednesday's USDA report was less of a "shocker" for wheat than it was for corn or beans. Nevertheless, the trade remains concerned about the lack of demand for US wheat. This week's export sales were back in the "routine" category after some pretty buoyant ones the previous week, suggesting that the latter was maybe just a one-off. The Bloomberg trader sentiment survey found even fewer bulls on wheat than there were on soybeans, just 2 of them. There were more bears around than for corn or beans as well, 15 of them, along with 5 neutrals. French wheat seems to have escaped the problems that have beset the corn crop there, with the 2015 harvest just about wrapped up for another year. FranceAgriMer forecast soft wheat production there this year at a record 40.4 MMT, helped by improved yields and a 3% increase in plantings to the largest area since before the second World War. The early pace that the EU has issued both wheat and barley export licences is so far ahead of last year, when exports went on to set new records. This week's export licences were a bit disappointing though, at 349 TMT for soft wheat and only 161 TMT for barley. The trade will be watching to see if that's the start of a trend. The trade will also be keeping an eye on developments in Russia. Their 2015 wheat harvest is approaching halfway done, and yields are now running around 8% lower than they were a year ago. Early yields had been throwing up better results than 12 months ago. Russia's early season export pace has also been well behind where things were a year ago, which seems to be directly linked to the current floating duty on wheat exports. The Russian government are said to be considering ways to alter the way that this is calculated, so that wants monitoring too. Tunisia are tendering in the market for 209 TMT of optional origin milling wheat. Sep 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.06 1/2, up 3 1/4 cents; Sep 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.89 3/4, up 4 1/2 cents; Sep 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.18 1/2, up 1/4 cent. For the week CBOT wheat was 4 cents lower, KCBT lost 3 1/4 cents and MGEX fell 6 1/2 cents.

Thought for the day: Maybe one of these hemorrhaging-money-hand-over-fist funds could do worse than sack the so-called managers they've got working for them on massive wages and employ one of the guys being canvassed by Bloomberg instead? They seem to be more clued up than the over-paid numpties that they are currently employing. Back in April when a Bloomberg survey came up with an average French soft wheat production estimate of 38.1 MMT, who was the highest in the ring with 39.5 MMT? Ditto the highest for EU soft wheat production at 142 MMT? Moi! When do I start? I won't be cheap though!