Chicago Corn Manages Small Weekly Gains, But Wheat And Beans Post Minor Losses

23/10/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans, meal and oil all closed lower on the day and for the week. Dollar strength was a bearish factor across the grains sector today. Good soybean demand from China at these levels continues however. The USDA announced 208,000 MT of US beans sold to unknown for 2015/16 shipment, and also said that previously reported sales of 236,000 MT of US beans to unknown destinations for 2015/16 shipment had been switched to China. China’s central bank cut interest rates by 0.25%, for the sixth reduction since November in an effort to shore up the economy. Argentina’s September soybean crush was reported at 3.815 MMT, up 500,000 MT from a year previously. The Argentine president elections take place on Sunday. The promised export tax reductions on offer from the opposition in particular could be a "game changer" for Argentine agriculture, says Dr Cordonnier. "It would instantly raise prices for corn and soybeans resulting in higher profit margins and renewed optimism for farmers to increase their production going forward," he adds. Oil World reported that the EU imported 14.17 MMT of soybeans in 2014/15, up 4% versus 13.62 MMT in the previous marketing year. Monday brings the latest weekly export inspections report from the USDA. Inspections last week were a very impressive 2.365 MMT. The USDA will also update us with soybean harvest progress in the US. This was 77% complete a week ago. The market is expecting things to be around 86-90% done as of Sunday night. Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $8.95 1/2, down 3 1/4 cents; Jan 16 Soybeans closed at $8.96, down 5 cents; Dec 15 Soybean Meal closed at $305.10, down $2.70; Dec 15 Soybean Oil closed at 28.57, down 28 points. For the week front month beans were 2 3/4 cents lower, with meal down $6.90 and oil 3 points lower.

Corn: The corn market closed around a cent or so higher, and also with small net gains for the week. The USDA announced 130,000 MT of US corn sold to unknown for 2015/16 shipment. In Monday's weekly US crop progress report the trade is expecting the 2015 US corn harvest to be around 74-77% complete versus 59% done a week ago. Weekly export inspections of 459,812 MT last week were a bit below the expected 500-700,000 MT. That meant that actual inspections had fallen below expectations for three weeks in a row. The trade will be hoping this doesn't happen for a fourth week. Season to date inspections were 24% behind those of a year ago as of last week, as strong competition from South America remains a thorn in the side of US export ambitions. FranceAgriMer reported that the 2015 French corn harvest was 58% complete as of Monday, up from 38% done a week previously and versus 32% this time last year. The Russian Ag Ministry said that their 2015 corn harvest was 67.3% complete for a crop of 9.3 MMT so far versus 8.8 MMT this time a year ago. Ukraine said that their corn harvest was now 66% complete on 2.74 million ha for a crop of 14.13 MMT so far. That implies a final crop of around 21.2 MMT. Yields are averaging 5.15 MT/ha. The USDA currently estimate production at a seemingly too high 25 MMT, using an average yield of 6.25 MT/ha. The EU announced that they'd authorised 328 TMT worth of corn import licences this past week, taking the season to date total to 2.3 MMT, down 8% on this time a year ago. Based on a Reuters survey South Africa’s 2016 corn area is estimated at 2.63 million ha, little changed from the 2015 area of 2.65 million. Dec 15 Corn closed at $3.79 3/4, up 1 1/2 cents; Mar 16 Corn closed at $3.88 3/4, up 3/4 cent. For the week Dec 15 corn was 3 cents higher.

Wheat: The market closed little changed, but a bit lower for the week. Thailand were said to have bought 125,000 MT of US wheat for December shipment. The Philippines bought 60,000 MT of US wheat for Jan-Feb shipment and Malaysia bought 40,000 MT of US wheat for December shipment this week. South Korea's CJ are tendering for 51,100 MT of US wheat for March shipment and also bought 50,000 MT of Australian wheat for May shipment. Russia said that their 2015 grain harvest was 97.4% complete at 104.5 MMT versus 106.2 MMT this time a year ago. The wheat and barley harvests are both said to be 99.5% done. Wheat production so far this year is pegged at 63.7 MMT versus 60.9 MMT this time last year, and barley output is 18.2 MMT versus 20.9 MMT in 2014. All these figures are before cleaning and screening. Concerns about dryness holding up plantings in southern/central Russia and Ukraine remain, although some rains are said to have now reached the area. The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that winter grain plantings had been completed on 5.96 million ha, or 81% of the original target. A year ago that figure was 6.98 million ha. Winter wheat planting is reported at 84% complete on 5.2 million ha, and barley plantings are said to be only 58% done on 611k ha. It's getting very late, and risky, for farmers to plant much more now in the hope that crops will get establish before the harsh Ukraine winter sets in. In Russia meanwhile the Ag Ministry say that winter grain plantings are 90.7% complete on 15.5 million ha versus 16.2 million a year ago at this time. Dec 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.90 1/2, down 1/4 cent; Dec 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.75 1/2, unchanged; Dec 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.08, also unchanged. For the week that puts Chicago wheat 1 3/4 cents lower, with Kansas wheat down 8 cents and Minneapolis 4 1/4 cents lower.