Chicago Markets Mixed, Beans And Wheat Lower, Meal and Corn Higher

16/07/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower for the third session in a row. "Weather played big factor in today’s session with the market higher early in the day session on a hotter outlook for next week, but a shift in the mid-day model that moved the heat back to the southwest allowed market to drift back lower," said Benson Quinn. Meal was up, in the nearby months at least, despite a rumour that South American product was being imported into the SE of the US, they noted. There are supportive stories around for meal too, like that some US dairy farmers are switching into it and away from canola meal at current price differentials. Weekly export sales of 45,500 MT of old crop and 507,000 MT of new crop were a bit better than some trade estimates. Most of the new crop (403,000 MT) went to "unknown" destinations. Lanworth estimated the US 2015 soybean crop at 3.81 billion bushels, somewhat lower than the USDA's 3.885 billion and 4% down on last year's 3.969 billion. MDA CropCast were unchanged on their US soybean forecast at 3.694 billion bushels, along with making no alteration to a world crop estimate of 299.2 MMT, down 2.3% on a year ago. There are reports that China bought two cargoes of Argentine beans yesterday for Sept-Oct shipment. There's also talk that they may have bought as many as 25 cargoes of South American beans over the last couple of weeks for Oct-Nov shipment. China's July bean imports are expected to be at record levels of 9 MMT or more. Aug 15 Soybeans closed at $10.19, down 6 cents; Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $10.11, down 5 cents; Aug 15 Soybean Meal closed at $363.60, up $1.40; Aug 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.46, down 19 points.

Corn: The corn market closed with small token gains. That came despite weekly export sales of 331,100 MT for delivery in 2014/15 being a marketing-year low. Sales of 325,100 MT for 2015/16 weren't the greatest either. Sorghum sales were just 100 MT. A report on Reuters suggested that China's new love affair with sorghum could come to an abrupt end in 2015/16, with imports forecast down 30% compared to 2014/15. The country's huge domestic corn stockpile means that Beijing will be forced to cut local prices in an attempt to shift some surplus stocks. In addition current new crop US sorghum prices are around $270 CIF versus feed barley from Europe, Australia or Canada at around $240 and even cheaper options available from Ukraine. China are said to have imported 4.27 MMT of sorghum in the first 5 months of the year, a 51% hike compared to a year ago. Lanworth estimated the US 2015 corn crop at 13.9 billion bushels, some 2.7% higher than the USDA's 13.53 billion, although 2.2% lower than 14.216 billion a year ago. MDA CropCast estimated the US crop at 13.525 billion, unchanged from a week ago. They raised their view on the global corn crop in 2015/16 by 2.07 MMT due to a corresponding increase for Brazil. Conab say that Brazil’s second harvest of corn will boost the national corn crop to 81.81 MMT, which if achieved, would set a new record, note Martell Crop Projections. "Weather conditions have favoured the development of 'safrinha' corn, grown as a second crop after the summer harvest is finished, they say. Mato Grosso is around a third harvested on their safrinha corn, and in Parana they're about a quarter done, slowed by heavy rain. Strategie Grains cut their EU-28 corn production forecast by 800,000 MT to 66.7 MMT on heat/dryness, although that's still around 1 MMT higher than the USDA's current 65.77 MMT estimate. Sep 15 Corn closed at $4.30, up 1/2 cent; Dec 15 Corn closed at $4.41, up 3/4 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market closed lower. Weekly export sales of only 291,500 MT were pretty dismal, and once again highlight the lack of competitiveness of US wheat on the international stage. How on earth are the US going to manage to increase exports 15% this year, as the USDA currently predict? Today's numbers mean that US exporters are 25% sold on the USDA's target for the season. A year ago that figure was 36% sold. There are reports that Mexico has bought EU wheat rather than material from its next door neighbour. With the euro remaining under pressure it's not inconceivable that EU wheat will be turning up on the US east coast before too long. Strategie Grains cut their view on EU soft wheat production this year from 141.6 MMT to 140.9 MMT, Despite the drop, they see exports going the other way. They estimated those at 26.6 MMT versus a previous forecast of 25.7 MMT. MDA CropCast were unchanged on their forecasts for the global, US and EU wheat crops at 706.9 MMT, 2.133 billion bushels and 141.4 MMT respectively. Lanworth estimated the US all wheat crop at 58.8 MMT versus 58.46 MMT from the USDA and 55.13 MMT a year ago. Official Russian Ministry reports say that whilst this year's harvest is running behind last year's pace, yields are up. Ukraine are saying the same thing. Exports in the new 2015/16 have been slow to get going out of Russia, but have been brisk out of Ukraine. The latter have already exported close on 1 MMT of grain in little over the 2 weeks of the 2015/16 season. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that rains in Argentina are delaying wheat planting, which they estimate to be 75% complete. They forecast the final area at 3.75 million ha this year, down 15% versus 4.4 million ha a year ago. The Rosario Grain Exchange are even lower with their planting estimate at 3.5 million ha. Sep 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.62 1/4, down 4 1/2 cents; Sep 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.53 1/4, down 5 3/4 cents; Sep 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.82, down 7 1/2 cents.

EU Grains Jump On Heat, Dryness, Crop Downgrades

16/07/15 -- EU grains closed higher, although fairly well off the intra-day highs, reversing most of yesterday's losses.

At the close Nov 15 London wheat was up GBP1.25/tonne to GBP127.00/tonne, Sep 15 Paris wheat was EUR3.25/tonne higher at EUR194.50/tonne, Aug 15 Paris corn was up EUR3.75/tonne to EUR182.50/tonne, whilst Aug 15 Paris rapeseed was EUR2.75/tonne firmer at EUR387.75/tonne.

Another round of very warm weather is on the cards from France this week, with temperatures forecast to hit 40C in some parts of the country today. Rapid harvest progress should have been made there when FranceAgriMer report on that tomorrow. The heat could certainly now be causing some problems for pollinating corn.

Strategie Grains cut their forecast for the EU-28 soft wheat crop from 141.6 MMT to 140.9 MMT, having already knocked a million tonnes off last month's estimate due to heat and dryness issues. They also trimmed their EU corn production estimate by 0.8 MMT to 66.7 MMT.

French markets are supported by the ever weakening euro, as traders keep an eye on developments in Greece, who have apparently been granted an EUR7 billion bridging loan to keep their finances afloat until their bailout is arranged.

Comments from the IMF that the country can obtain debt sustainability only through extensive debt relief that is "far beyond what Europe has been willing to consider so far" hardly inspires confidence, and look like keeping the euro under pressure for some time yet.

The pound is up to its best level against the single currency since November 2007 today, also helped by the news from yesterday that wage growth in the UK accelerated at the fastest pace in 5 years in the last quarter.

Barclays predict the euro falling to 69 pence by the end of the year (although it's looking like it might get there a lot sooner than that to me), and 68 pence in Q1 of 2016. It will also slip to parity with the US dollar, and then below it to 0.98 in the same two periods, they say.

That should continue to support the grain markets on the continent relative to those in the UK, although it would also be a bit more friendly for UK wheat than it would be for US material, which is already struggling to compete on the export market.

It is also something to bear in mind for those growers in the UK relying on the Single Farm Payment System to bail them out later this year.

Better than expected harvest results keep being reported out of Russia. The Ag Ministry there say that the 2015 harvest is now 10.1% complete on 4.7 million ha, a million ha less than this time last year. Production currently stands at 17.6 MMT versus 20.1 MMT a year ago. Yields are reportedly averaging 3.74 MT/ha, up 5% on a year ago.

Wheat accounts for 3.2 million ha of the area harvested, or 12% of plan, producing 12.1 MMT with an average yield of 3.78 MT/ha versus 3.62 MT/ha in 2014 at this stage.

The Southern District is 34.3% harvested and the North Caucasus region is 46.7% done, they say.

The Ukraine State Stats Service said that the country's Jul 1 grain stocks were up 12.9% on a year ago at 7.9 MMT, despite record exports in 2014/15. That included 3.2 MMT of wheat, 1.5 MMT of barley and 2.9 MMT of corn.

They've hit the ground running with exports in the new 2015/16 season, and these extra carryover stocks will stand them in good stead to continue in that vein at least through to Christmas.

Morocco said that they'd bought 175,000 MT of wheat on the domestic market for their state-subsidised bread programme.

Chicago Grains Closing Report - Wednesday

15/07/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower. The move came despite the fact that the NOPA June crush came in at 142.473 million bushels, above the average trade estimate 141.478 million and the highest for the month of June on record. It was also far higher than the 118.7 million crushed the previous year. This was the seventh month this marketing year (Sept to Aug) in which the NOPA crush has set a new record, noted Benson Quinn. "The market did not even blink at today’s report large June crush stats and instead maintained lower trajectory on slack new crop demand and technically inspired profit taking," they said. Trade ideas for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are around 200-400 TMT on new crop beans. For the coming days, above normal temperatures are forecast for most of the Midwest through until Sunday. The 8-15 day outlook is normal temperatures west of the Mississippi, and above normal east of that. Rainfall forecasts are above normal for northern/western states: the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Below normal rainfall is forecast elsewhere. Oil World said that considering global fundamentals, soybean prices in the US have the potential to fall back to the $9.50/bu level, or even lower, unless US crop conditions deteriorate further. Aug 15 Soybeans closed at $10.25, down 8 1/2 cents; Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $10.16, down 9 cents; Aug 15 Soybean Meal closed at $362.20, up $5.00; Aug 15 Soybean Oil closed at 31.65, down 75 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around a cent or so higher. We remain stuck in a weather market it would seem. Excessive wetness in many parts of the US pushed spec money into covering their shorts, and indeed creating a new long position. Yet the USDA keeps reporting crop conditions in line with normal for the time of year. The weekly ethanol grind was down slightly from last week at 984,000 barrels/day, versus 987,000 bpd the previous week. Stocks were also down a touch at 19.7 million barrels. The CME group re-instated force majuere on a section of the Illinois River saying that "shipping stations are unable to load due to high-water levels". A similar force majuere clause was invoked last month and was only lifted on Jul 9. Trade forecasts for tomorrows weekly export sales report are around 500-750,000 MT. Ukraine is still busy shipping out old crop corn, of the 688 TMT of grains already exported in the first half of this month, more than half (390 TMT) was corn. ProZerno forecast that Russia would export 4.7 MMT of corn in 2015/16, a sharp increase of more than 50% on exports of around 3.0 MMT in 2014/15. One weather analyst said that heat and dryness is staring to stress corn in Hungary - Europe's third largest producing country. Agronomist Mike Lee, driving south from Budapest, said however that "all the corn I can see looks fine". Much of Europe is set to see above to much above normal temperatures for the next 7 days. The forecast beyond that sees cooler temperatures for the west and central areas, with the heat remaining in force in the south and east. Dryness looks set to remain in the east of Europe, the west could be wetter than normal according to the GFS model. Sep 15 Corn closed at $4.29 1/2, up 1 1/4 cents; Dec 15 Corn closed at $4.40 1/4, up 1 1/2 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed a little lower. Reports suggest that the harvest in Russia and Ukraine is throwing up some better crops than were expected. Some analysts are now predicting Russia's 2015 grain output at close to last year's levels. Germany's DBV also said that the winter barley harvest there is turning out better than expected. The market is conscious that with the harvest in Europe and the Black Sea regions now starting to get going in earnest, the US needs to be competitive on the export front. Weakness in the euro, rouble and hryvnia compared to the US dollar makes that task all the more difficult. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales remain around where they have been for the last 4 weeks now, in the relatively modest 300-500 TMT region. This week's Egyptian tender highlighted once again that the US is struggling to make sales to all but traditional homes for US wheat. Japan are in the market in a routine tender for US, Canadian and Australian wheat, with the results expected tomorrow, but the US needs to be picking up better business than this if it is going to hit the USDA's target for a 15% increase in exports this season. Drought relief could be on the way for Canadian wheat. "The jet stream waves are re-adjusting. A trough of low pressure is forming offshore from British Columbia, while a warm stable ridge of high pressure builds up in the US Great Plains. Very heavy rainfall is predicted in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, spinning out of the trough, 150% - 250% of normal. Drenching rain would be highly beneficial easing drought, giving prairie wheat and canola a needed boost," said Martell Crop Projections. Sep 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.66 3/4, down 4 1/4 cents; Sep 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.59, down 2 1/4 cents; Sep 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.89 1/2, down 1 3/4 cents.

EU Grains Trade Lower Despite Weak Euro

15/07/15 -- EU grains closed mostly lower, with the French markets down despite continued euro weakness over Greece.

News that French wheat was priced out to the tune of around $20/tonne, even before the addition of more expensive freight, in yesterday's Egyptian tender adds a bearish tone.

So too does talk of better than expected Russian and Ukraine yields, increased production estimates, and a brisk start to the new 2015/16 export season from the latter.

At the close Nov 15 London wheat was down GBP0.50/tonne to GBP125.75/tonne, Sep 15 Paris wheat was EUR1.25/tonne easier at EUR191.25/tonne, Aug 15 Paris corn was down EUR4.00/tonne at EUR178.75/tonne, whilst Aug 15 Paris rapeseed slumped EUR6.25/tonne to EUR385.00/tonne.

Despite harvest delays, early Russian and Ukraine yields are said to be coming in at higher levels than a year ago.

Russian analyst ProZerno is now forecasting a grain crop there of 103.9 MMT this year, barely changed versus 105.3 MMT a year ago. That's a lot better than thoughts of a crop of only around 90-95 MMT that were being suggested a few months ago.

ProZerno say that high carryover stocks left over at the end of 2014/15 will allow total Russian grain exports in the new 2015/16 season to exceed those of the last one at 34 MMT.

That includes 25.1 MMT of wheat, 4.7 MMT of corn and 3 MMT of barley, they predict.

That's far higher than the official Russian Ag Ministry estimate for exports of 30 MMT in 2015/16, including 21 MMT of wheat.

Russia's 2014/15 grain exports were said to be 30.5 MMT, including 21.7 MMT of wheat, 5.3 MMT of barley and 3.0 MMT of corn.

Ukraine's 2015/16 exports have begun at a brisk pace, with 688 TMT of grains already shipped out so far, and a further 275 TMT already loaded onboard vessels waiting to leave, taking the season total so far to close on 1 MMT.

The volume already shipped out includes 131 TMT of wheat, 390 TMT of corn and 166 TMT of barley.

Bloomberg report that Speedwell Weather say that heat and dryness is stressing corn crops in Hungary, Europe's third largest producing nation.

Similar conditions are back on the cards for French corn this week. FranceAgriMer cut the proportion of French corn rated good to very good by ten percentage points in a week on Friday. Further downgrades now look likely.

As some growers ponder what they intend to plant for the 2016 harvets, the HGCA said that, as far as break crops go, winter oilseed rape is "the best of a bad bunch" when it comes to potential gross margins.

The oilseed comes third out of the usual range of crops to be planted for 2016 with a gross margin of GBP539/ha. First place goes to first milling wheat (with a gross margin of GBP713/ha) and second is first feed wheat (GBP653/ha). In last place is spring feed barley (GBP389/ha).

Chicago Corn Bombs

14/07/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower after hitting an 8 month high in the overnight session. Fresh news was generally lacking. Maybe today's action was a reaction to the fact that the USDA only cut US crop ratings one point in the good to excellent category? The bulls do after all need to be fed every day. Europe's rapeseed crop continues to shrink, with Oil World today cutting their production estimate by 400,000 MT to 21.6 MMT, down 12% on a year ago. The German analysts also predicted China's July soybean imports at a record 9.2-9.5 MMT, which they said would be "substantially above earlier expectations". China’s stockpiles are also increasing, and may be 3 MMT higher than a year earlier by the end of July, they added. The NOPA crush figure for June is due out tomorrow, with the average trade estimate for that at 141.478 million bushels. If realised that would be the second largest June crush on record. The highest being set in 2007 at 141.583 million bushels. Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $10.39, down 6 1/4 cents; Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $10.25, down 3 1/2 cents; Jul 15 Soybean Meal closed at $374.80, up $8.80; Jul 15 Soybean Oil closed at 32.32, up a point.

Corn: The corn market closed sharply lower. As with beans fresh news was scarce, and perhaps this was a reaction to the fact that the USDA left crop condition ratings unchanged in the good to excellent category last night, when a one point fall was anticipated. Fund money is now heavily long Chicago corn, so there may also have been an element of profit-taking today. There's much debate about whether the old adage of "rain makes grain" will prove to be true of this year's US corn crop. "Widely divergent conditions are being reported in Midwest corn, worst where historic flooding has developed, and best in the drier areas," said Martell Crop Projections. "Corn prospects are most promising in the drier areas of the Midwest. Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin all have reported 77% - 85% good-excellent corn in the July 12th report from USDA. This is the offset to sub-standard corn in flooded areas," they said. Between today and Sunday the US should have normal temperatures across central areas, with more heat across the southwest third of the central US. Cooler conditions are on the cards after that. The NWS 6-10 and 8-14 day forecasts call for above to much above normal temperatures and normal to below normal rains east of the Rockies. Germany's DRV forecast corn production there unchanged from previously at 4.7 MMT, although that's more than 9% down on a year ago. Jul 15 Corn closed at $4.24, down 9 1/2 cents; Dec 15 Corn closed at $4.38 3/4, down 13 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed. The sharply lower move in corn didn't help wheat's cause today. Egypt's GASC bought 235,000 MT of Romanian and Russian wheat at around $200/tonne or less on an FOB basis. French wheat was comfortably out-priced. US wheat wasn't even offered. Egypt said that they now have enough wheat purchased to cover their needs through to February, so we can expect another tender from them next week! Algeria are also tendering for optional origin wheat for October delivery. Japan are in the market for 137,487 MT of food wheat from the US, Canada and Australia for Aug-Sept shipment in their regular weekly tender. The 2015 harvest in Russia and Ukraine is underway, but behind last year's pace. Ukraine has only harvested 2.25 million ha compared to over 4 million ha a year ago. Yields however are said to be up on year ago levels. The same is also said to be the case in Russia, where 3.7 million ha has been cut so far compared to 5.1 million ha a year ago. Yields there are said to be averaging 3.76 MT/ha on wheat versus 3.60 MT/ha this time last year. Germany's DRV cut their forecast for the country's 2015 wheat crop by 400,000 MT to 25.4 MMT, significantly below the previous year's figure of just under 27.8 MMT. The heat wave of the past two weeks "has led to some record high temperatures in an accelerated ripening and possibly reduced yields," they said. Wheat harvesting in some parts of the country is now underway, they added. Jul 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.83 1/2, up 2 cents; Jul 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.50, down 8 cents; Jul 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.79 1/4, down 7 1/4 cents.

EU Grains Decline, London Wheat Under Pressure As Pound Hits New Euro High

14/07/15 -- EU grains closed mostly lower, with Nov 15 London wheat down GBP1.75/tonne at GBP126.25/tonne, Sep 15 Paris wheat was EUR1.00/tonne easier at EUR192.50/tonne, Aug 15 Paris corn was down EUR0.75/tonne to EUR182.75/tonne, whilst Aug 15 Paris rapeseed slipped EUR0.25/tonne to EUR391.25/tonne.

The pound rose to a new highest level versus the euro since late 2007 as the IMF said Greece's public debt was now "highly unsustainable" and urged debt relief on a scale "well beyond what has been under consideration to date".

Once again, that saw London wheat come off the worst in comparison to the French markets.

News from the ONS that UK CPI inflation fell to 0% in June from the lofty heights of 0.1% in May also lent support to sterling.

Egypt's GASC were back in the market tendering for wheat for Aug 21-31 delivery. They finished up buying two cargoes each of Romanian and Russian wheat at levels around $200/tonne or just under on an FOB basis.

Algeria are also in the market, tendering for optional origin milling wheat for October delivery with the results expected tomorrow.

Germany's DRV cut their forecast for the country's 2015 grain crop to 47.2 MMT, down 0.5 MMT from their previous estimate and 9% down on 52 MMT a year ago.

That includes 25.4 MMT of wheat, down from 25.8 MMT previously and versus 27.8 MMT last year.

The 2015 German rapeseed harvest forecast was also revised down to 4.9 MMT, which is now 21% lower than the record 6.2 MMT produced in 2014.

The Czech Stats Office said that the country would harvest 4.6 MMT of wheat this year, almost 15% less than a year ago. Barley production is also seen down 15% at 1.7 MMT, whilst rapeseed output will decline 20% to 1.2 MMT, they said.

Oil World cut their 2015 EU-28 rapeseed production forecast by 0.4 MMT to 21.6 MMT, down 12% on a year ago. They have the German crop a little higher than DRV at 5.1 MMT, with France producing 5.07 MMT, Poland 2.85 MT and the UK 2.25 MMT, they predict.

They also estimate the Ukraine rapeseed crop at 1.9 MMT this year, some 18% below year ago levels.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that the country's early grain harvest was 22% complete on 2.25 million ha, producing a crop of 7 MMT to date. That includes 3.73 MMT of wheat with yields averaging 3.35 MT/ha.

Ukraine has harvested 37% of it's winter barley crop and 30% of it's winter rapeseed, they added.

The Russian harvest is now 7.9% complete, producing 13.8 MMT, with yields averaging 3.72 MT/ha versus 3.53 MT/ha a year ago.

That included 9.7% of the winter wheat area and 6.4% of the winter and spring barley area.

The Stavropol region in the south of the country is already past halfway done at 58% harvested.

Kazakhstan said that their Jul 1 grain stocks were 5.27 MMT, of which 4.68 MMT was wheat.

Chicago Closing Comments - Monday Night

13/07/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with modest gains as the USDA trimmed good to excellent crop ratings by one point from a week ago to 62% - in line with trade expectations and 10 points behind last year. Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri are the states with the poorest conditions - some of the largest producing states in the country. Illinois has 26% of the crop in poor to very poor condition, and that is the second largest producer in the US. They said that 6% of the crop is setting pods, one point behind the 5-year average, 38% is blooming, one point ahead of the 5-year average, and put emergence at 96% versus 100% normally at this time. "Soybean yields are more difficult to estimate than corn, but the crop is at a significant disadvantage from Kansas to Ohio. The crop has been slow to canopy to maximise sunlight and has been sitting in saturated soils in much of that area," said Arlan Suderman of Water Street Solutions. He estimates 2015 US soybean yields at closer to 44 bu/acre or less, versus the USDA's current 46 bu/acre. "That would suggest prices above current levels, perhaps much higher, depending on how the crop performs in the weeks ahead," he suggests. Having recently flipped to a long position in beans, fund money will be hoping for some upside themselves, and if they can help to kick the can along that way to suit themselves then they surely will. Customs data showed that China imported 8.09 MMT of soybeans in June, up sharply from 6.13 MMT in May. Weekly export inspections came in at 134,666 MT. Exporters have now shipped 97% of the USDA’s target for the season. Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $10.45 1/4, up 1 3/4 cents; Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $10.28 1/2, up 6 1/4 cents; Jul 15 Soybean Meal closed at $368.00, up $2.00; Jul 15 Soybean Oil closed at 32.65, up 34 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 6-7 cents higher. The trade was expecting the USDA to cut corn crop ratings by one point to 68% good to excellent. What they got after the close however was unchanged at 69%. Conditions are the poorest in Indian, North Carolina and Ohio. The USDA said that 27% of the crop was silking compared to 34% for the 5-year average at this time. "Field conditions have become excessively wet in a wide swath of the corn belt damaging yield potential in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Heavy rainfall developed once again last week in central Illinois and Indiana, 3-5 inches, worsening flood damage. This was the equivalent of a full month’s worth of July rainfall. Note that extremely heavy rain was received in June too, from 8 to 12 inches in the Eastern Midwest and Missouri," said Martell Crop Projections. "The time-worn motto for Midwest corn is that 'rain makes grain', though conditions have become excessively wet this season. Episodic flooding has flushed fertilizers out of the root zone, also stunting growth and drowning small plants in the low-lying areas. Corn prospects vary sharply across the Midwest depending on where flooding has developed," they add. Iowa, the largest corn state in the nation, has 82% of the crop rated good to excellent, but in Ohio only 41% of the crop is rated that high. Weekly export inspections came in at just over 1 MMT. Cumulative exports are running at 81% of the USDA's target for the season versus 82% typically at this time. "I think it is reasonable at this point to suggest that the national average yield is probably closer to 160 than to the USDA’s trend 166.8 bushel," said Arlan Suderman. Fund money was sitting on a net long in corn of 173,280 contracts as of last Tuesday night, a sharp reversal from the significant net short position that they had previously held. They will be hoping for some further weather-related upside. Jul 15 Corn closed at $4.33 1/2, up 6 1/4 cents; Dec 15 Corn closed at $4.51 3/4, up 6 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed. Expiring tomorrow July contracts are displaying some erratic behaviour. Weekly export inspections were a pretty modest affair at 249,787 MT, underlying the fact that the strong US dollar is keeping US wheat from being competitive on the export market. Exports for the new season so far are only 7% of the USDA's target for the season versus 10% normally at this time. The USDA reported the 2015 US winter wheat harvest at 65% done, 10 points up on the week, but 3 points behind the norm. The top producing state of Kansas is now 93% done. Spring wheat was estimated at 91% headed, well ahead of only 61% typically at this time. Spring wheat crop conditions were up a point on a week ago at 71% good to excellent. Russia said that it had shipped out 255 TMT of grains in the first week of the new season, some 83% less than in the same week in 2014. Whether this is simply due to weather-related harvest delays, or the new export duty on wheat is unclear. Russia has harvested 2.7 million ha so far this season, down from 3.5 million ha a year ago. That's produced a 10 MMT grain harvest so far, down from 12.4 MMT a year ago, although average yields are said to be up at 3.71 MT/ha compared to 3.53 MT/ha in 2014. Bloomberg report that Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergei Levin and the Deputy Head of Federal Customs Service Vladimir Malinin met representatives of Russian grain companies on Monday to discuss the wheat export tax, but the outcome of that meeting is unstated. Ukraine said that they'd exported 527 TMT of grains so far in the new season. APK Inform raised their estimate for Ukraine's 2014/15 grain ending stocks from 8.2 MMT to 8.5 MMT, slightly below 8.6 MMT a year previously. Jul 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.86 3/4, up 5 1/4 cents; Jul 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.58, up 1/2 cent; Jul 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.86 1/2, down 10 3/4 cents.

EU Grains End Lower Across The Board

13/07/15 -- EU grains closed lower across the board to start the week, as the market digested the news that Greece had been handed a third bailout by eurozone leaders. The euro didn't react with relief to the news, it was lower against both the pound and US dollar, perhaps on the notion that this is maybe throwing more good money after bad - and how long will it be before they need a fourth handout?

At the finish Nov 15 London wheat was down GBP3.30/tonne to GBP128.00/tonne, Sep 15 Paris wheat was EUR4.00/tonne easier at EUR193.50/tonne, Aug 15 Paris corn was down EUR1.00/tonne to EUR183.50/tonne, whilst Aug 15 Paris rapeseed fell EUR1.00onne to EUR391.50/tonne.

An EU statement mentioned up to around GBP60 billion of fresh money for Greece spread over the next three years. "There will not be a 'Grexit'," European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker was gleefully quoted as saying by the BBC.

Greece now needs to rush through the reforms needed to get the money, before it has to start repaying it back to the IMF and ECB as early as Monday next week.

At this point I am tempted to ask if anyone out there remembers the old Laurel and Hardy film "Thicker Than Water" in which Stan confuses everyone by paying his rent money to Ollie, in front of his domineering wife, that is in fact money that Ollie has already given him to pay to cross-eyed Mr. Finlayson the monthly payment for the furniture that the Hardy's are renting from him.

"Do you mean to say that the money that he gave to you that you gave to him that he gave to me was the same money that I gave to him to pay him?" Why certainly.

The pound pushed back up above 1.40 versus the single currency on the news. It remains to be seen if it will now push on and take out the recent highs in the 1.41-1.42 region as many analysts think it will.

Not that the weak euro seemed to provide too much support for the Paris grains, they were down too if not quite as much as London wheat in percentage terms.

UK customs data shows that we exported 148 TMT of wheat in May, a 4% fall compared to April, with Thailand the top home taking 66 TMT, followed by Spain on 28 TMT and the Netherlands on 27 TMT.

Imports weren't that far behind though at 125 TMT, up 16% compared with the previous month, although 33% below the level of a year previously.

Jul/May UK wheat exports are now 1.88 MMT versus 431 TMT in the whole of the previous season. Imports in the same period are 1.5 MMT versus 2.21 MMT in all of 2013/14.

Russia said that it's 2015 grain harvest was now 5.8% complete on 2.7 million ha producing a crop of 10 MMT to date, down from the 3.5 million ha that had been cut a year ago, producing 12.4 MMT.

Average yields are said to be up from 3.53 MT/ha in 2014 to 3.71 MT/ha.

Wheat accounts for 6.9 MMT of this year's harvest so far off 1.8 million ha with yields up 3% at 3.75 MT/ha versus 3.64 MT/ha a year ago.

The Russian Ag Ministry said that the country had exported 255 TMT of grains in the first week of the new marketing year, an 83% reduction compared to a year ago. Wheat accounted for 115 TMT of that total, barley added a further 58 TMT and corn another 80 TMT.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that the country had exported 527 TMT of grains so far in this new season, including 97 TMT of wheat, 85 TMT of barley and 343 TMT of corn.

APK Inform raised their estimate for Ukraine's 2014/15 grain ending stocks from 8.2 MMT to 8.5 MMT, slightly lower than 8.6 MMT a year previously.

Chicago Markets Reaction To The USDA Report

10/07/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with small gains. The USDA lowered US old crop soybean ending stocks by 75 million bushels, to 255 million from 330 million, and below the average trade guess of 287 million. They didn't however alter US 2014 soybean production, leaving that at 108 MMT. New crop production was estimated at 3.885 billion, up 35 million from June and higher than the average trade guess of 3.781 billion. Yields were seen unchanged at 46 bu/acre, contrary to trade expectations for a drop closer to 45 bu/acre. Reuters reported that the USDA had only changed its US soybean yield in July twice ever - in 1993 and 2012 - so it was maybe odds on that there wouldn't be any alterations this month. They are due to re-survey plantings in some of the wetter states and possibly adjust acreage numbers, and therefore production, in the August report. They cut 2015/16 ending stocks by 50 million bushels to 425 million, which was still 55 million above the average trade estimate of 370 million. They left Brazil's 2014/15 crop unchanged at 94 MMT, and raised Argentina by 0.5 MMT to 60 MMT. Production for both in 2015/16 was unchanged on a month ago at 97 MMT (a new record) and 57 MMT respectively. Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $10.43 1/2, up 5 3/4 cents; Nov 15 Soybeans closed at $10.22 1/4, up 6 1/2 cents; Jul 15 Soybean Meal closed at $366.00, up $2.00; Jul 15 Soybean Oil closed at 32.31, up 71 points. For the week, Jul 15 beans were down 1 3/4 cents, with Jul 15 meal up $8.60 and Jul 15 oil down 105 points.

Corn: The corn market closed around 6 cents higher. The USDA tightened old crop US stocks to 1.779 billion bushels versus 1.876 billion a month ago. New crop ending stocks were 1.599 billion bushels versus 1.771 billion a month ago and the average trade guess of 1.549 billion. They trimmed 2015 US corn production to 13.530 billion bushels, down 100 million from June. US yields this year were left unchanged at 166.8 bu/acre versus the average trade guess of 165.2 bu/acre. Brazilian 2015/16 corn production was raised 1 MMT to 82 MMT, but the Argentina figure was left unchanged. For 2015/16 they raised their forecast for Brazil's crop by 2 MMT to 77 MMT, but again Argentina was unchanged at 25 MMT. China's crop was increased by 1 MMT to 229 MMT. The EU was seen importing 2 MMT more corn than a month ago, with that increased to 14 MMT, up sharply from only 8.5 MMT in 2014/15. Production potential in Europe this year was adjusted down 2.37 MMT to 65.8 MMT on dryness. New crop world ending stocks were cut more than 5 MMT from a month ago to just under 190 MMT. CONAB estimated the Brazilian 2014/15 corn crop at 80.1 MMT, up 2.2%. FranceAgriMer slashed good to very good corn ratings there by 10 points in a week to 71%. Copa Cogeca estimated this year's EU corn crop at 66 MMT, down from 68.9 MMT previously and 7.8% below last year. The European Commission was a bit more bullish on corn's prospects coming out with a figure of 68.4 MMT. Jul 15 Corn closed at $4.27 1/4, up 6 cents; Dec 15 Corn closed at $4.45, up 6 cents. For the week that puts both Jul 15 and Dec 15 corn 6 cents higher.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mostly lower, save for the soon to expire front month Jul 15 in Chicago. The USDA put 2015/16 US ending stocks at 842 million bushels, up from last month but below the average trade guess of 860 billion. Russia's crop this year was raised 2 MMT to 57 MMT and Ukraine's was upped 1 MMT to 24 MMT. Europe's was cut 2.8 MMT to 147.8 MMT, and Canada's was seen down 1.5 MMT to 27.5 MMT. The global 2015/16 wheat crop was nudged a little higher to almost 722 MMT, but consumption was decreased from almost 720 MMT to a little over 714 MMT. World 2015/16 carryout was raised sharply, up from 202.4 MMT to 219.8 MMT. No shortage of wheat on the international market there then, even if there's a little less in Canada and Europe. The latter prompted the USDA to raise their forecast for US wheat exports in 2015/16 from 25.5 MMT to 26.25 MMT, despite the strong US dollar. That's also 15% more than in 2014/15. In other news, the European Commission estimated the EU soft wheat crop at 139.9 MMT. Copa Cogeca forecast it at 137.1 MMT, with an all wheat crop of 144.4 MMT, some 3.4 MMT below today's USDA offering. FranceAgriMer trimmed wheat crop condition ratings by 2 points on a week ago to 75% good to very good. They said that the 2015 French wheat harvest is 15% complete. Tunisia bought 117,000 MT of milling wheat and 75,000 MT of feed barley for Aug/Oct shipment, both of optional origin. Jul 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.81 1/2, up 9 1/4 cents; Jul 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.57 1/2, down 7 1/2 cents; Jul 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.97 1/4, down 8 1/2 cents. For the week, Chicago wheat was down 4 1/4 cents, with Kansas 18 1/2 cents lower and Minneapolis falling 9 cents.

EU Grains Mostly Higher As French Crop Conditions Decline

10/07/15 -- EU grains mostly higher on the day, but lower for the week, with Nov 15 London wheat down GBP0.20/tonne to GBP131.30/tonne, Sep 15 Paris wheat was EUR0.75/tonne firmer at EUR197.50/tonne, Aug 15 Paris corn was up EUR1.00/tonne at EUR184.75/tonne, whilst Aug 15 Paris rapeseed rose EUR3.75/tonne to EUR392.50/tonne.

For the week that puts London wheat down GBP3.20/tonne, with Paris wheat down EUR6.50/tonne, corn down EUR9.00/tonne and rapeseed EUR1.75/tonne easier.

French wheat conditions continue to decline, with FranceAgriMer today cutting the proportion of the crop rated good to very good by 2 points to 75%. The winter wheat harvest was 15% done as of Monday night, up 12 points in a week.

The French barley harvest moved on nicely, progressing from 47% done a week ago to 85% complete as of Monday. Crop ratings there remained unchanged at 86% good to very good.

The same most certainly isn't true of the French corn crop though, FranceAgriMer slashed the good to very good ratings for that by 10 points on the week to 71%, as that now seemingly bears the brunt of the recent heat/dryness.

Agritel said that the French corn situation is "worrying" due to the lack of water, noting that high temperatures are back in the forecast for next week. Further crop condition declines therefore look likely.

Copa Cogeca cut their forecast for this year's French corn crop from 15.9 MMT to 15.5 MMT, and also reduced their outlook on French rapeseed production this year from a previous estimate of 5.5 MMT to 5.0 MMT.

“There is in particular huge uncertainty surrounding this years’ corn crop due to the high temperatures and also lack of effective insecticides to protect the crop against worms and other pests," they said.

The new French corn estimate represents a 14% drop on production a year ago, whilst their rapeseed estimate is a 9.4% decline versus 2014. They also forecast the French soft wheat crop down from a previous estimate of 37.4 MMT to 35.6 MMT, a decrease of more than 5% year-on-year.

They now see the EU-28 soft wheat crop down from a previous forecast of 138.4 MMT to 137.1 MMT, a 7.2% fall versus 2014. All wheat production is seen at 144.4 MMT, a 6.8% drop compared with 2014.

The EU-28 corn crop forecast was cut from 68.9 MMT to 66.0 MMT, down 7.8% on lest year, with barley production down 6.1% to 53.5 MMT. The EU rapeseed crop was estimated at 21.1 MMT, down from 22 MMT previously and 10.6% lower than 23.7 MMT a year ago.

The downwards rapeseed revision came "mainly as a result of the neonicotinoid seed treatment ban, poor weather conditions and a lack of plant protection products," they said.

In the UK they estimate the 2015 wheat crop at 15.1 MMT versus 16.6 MMT a year ago, with barley output down slightly at 6.95 MMT, and the rapeseed crop falling from 2.46 MMT to 2.24 MMT.

Adverse weather conditions in Spain saw them cut their forecasts for soft wheat (down from 5.6 MMT previously) to 5.1 MMT, corn (down from 4.6 MMT to 4.3 MMT) and barley (down from 6.9 MMT to 6.0 MMT).

The French port of Rouen only exported just over 75 TMT of grains this past week, down 42% on the previous week. Wheat shipments only accounted for 4,350 MT of that total.

Brussels announced 467 TMT worth of soft wheat export licences for the first week of the new season, up from 350 TMT worth in the same week a year ago.