Chicago Grains Close - Wednesday

16/12/15 -- General: The Fed raised US interest rates a touch as expected. Argentina is thought likely to possibly be looking to devaluate the peso by the end of the week. Neither are friendly for US grains prices. The weather in Brazil looks little changed. "The weather in Brazil is like a broken record - lighter than normal rainfall in central and northeastern Brazil and heavier than normal in southern Brazil. It has been this way since the growing season started and it looks like it will continue that way at least for this week," said Dr Cordonnier.

Soycomplex: Beans, meal and oil all closed lower. In the southern Brazilian state of Parana the soybean crop is 94% planted and the crop is rated 93% in good condition and 7% in average condition, Dr Cordonnier says. In parts of Mato Grosso though "it has been 30 days since the last significant rainfall. At the same time, the temperatures have been very hot due to lack of cloud cover and rainfall," he notes. "Officials from the Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Mato Grosso (Aprosoja) estimate that in the hardest hit areas of the state, 80% of the soybeans are rated in poor to very poor condition and 20% of the soybeans are rated in good to very good condition," he points out. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) lowered their estimate of the state's soybean production in their latest weekly report published earlier this week by 1 MMT to 28.3 MMT, he indicates. That's one hell of a north/south divide 20% good up north and 93% good down south! Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report for beans are around 900,000 MT to 1.3 MMT. Jan 16 Soybeans settled at $8.62 1/2, down 4 3/4 cents; Mar 16 Soybeans settled at $8.63 1/4, down 4 1/2 cents; Jan 16 Soybean Meal settled at $269.90, down $1.90; Jan 16 Soybean Oil settled at 30.37, down 33 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 7 cents lower. Dollar strength and renewed export interest from Argentina is bearish for US corn as well as beans. Friendly news came from the US Energy Dept reporting that weekly US ethanol production averaged 1 million barrels per day for the second time in four weeks last week. That was up 7,000 barrels per day from the previous week and close to the record high set immediately prior to that. Talk of some soybeans in Brazil's Mato Grosso having to be replanted might prove to mean reduced safrinha corn plantings/acreage there somewhere down the line. Israel were said to have bought 80,000 MT of optional origin corn (probably Black Sea material) from Nidera for Mar/May shipment, but passed on a tender for 20,000 MT of optional origin sorghum. As China struggles under the sheer volume of it's huge domestic corn surplus, there's now talk of an import duty of up to 20% on DDGS amidst anti-dumping measures. The Chinese government were already talking of dropping support prices for corn, reducing plantings next year by around 10%. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report range from 700,000 MT to 1.0 MMT. Mar 16 Corn settled at $3.69 3/4, down 7 1/2 cents; May 16 Corn settled at $3.75 1/4, down 7 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower. A firmer US dollar is really the very last thing that the US wheat market needs right now as their exports continue to struggle. Japan are tendering for 123,000 MT of US and Canadian food grade wheat, with results expected tomorrow. This is nothing more than routine business though. All eyes will be on tomorrow's weekly export sales report, maybe more in hope than in expectation. For wheat these are expected to be in the range of a pretty modest 250,000 to 400,000 MT. South Africa's CEC cut their forecast for this year's wheat crop there to 1.5 MMT - the lowest since 2011 - on adverse weather conditions. Australia's wheat harvest is now said to be 90% complete. Tunisia's wheat harvest this year is seen down 40% on heat/dryness, with imports expected to rise 19% to 3.54 MMT. They're currently in the market for 100,000 MT of optional origin soft wheat for Feb/Mar shipment. Ukraine said that their winter wheat planting campaign is over at 5.68 million ha, or 91% of the originally planned area. Barley plantings are also finished at 913k ha, or 87% of the initial government forecast. The Ukraine Ministry say that 12% of these winter grain plantings have yet to emerge, and that 29% of what has is in poor condition. May 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.90, down 10 1/4 cents; May 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.91 1/2, down 10 1/2 cents; May 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.15 1/2, down 7 cents.