Chicago Grains Close - Friday

26/02/16 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower on the day and for the week. The USDA's Outlook Forum put 2016 US soybean yields at 46.7 bu/acre, with production potentially at 3.810 billion bu. There are only very early preliminary estimates. It is worth noting that they were at 46.0 bu/acre and 3.8 billion bu last February, before ending up at 48.0 bu/acre and 3.930 million for 2015. Soybean exports are expected to rebound to 1.825 billion bushels (from 1.69 billion in 2015/16). The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange predict Argentine soybean production at 58 MMT this year, unchanged from previously. The Argentine Ag Ministry are more bullish at 61.4 MMT. The latest Commitment of Traders report shows fund money cutting their net short position in beans in half for the week through to Tuesday night. They now stand around 22k short. Mar 16 Soybeans settled at $8.55, down 4 cents; May 16 Soybeans settled at $8.63 1/2, down 2 cents; Mar 16 Soybean Meal settled at $257.20, down $2.80; Mar 16 Soybean Oil settled at 31.03, up 38 points. For the week Mar 16 beans ended 23 1/4 cents lower, with meal falling $7.30 and oil losing 36 points.

Corn: The corn market ended the day around a cent lower on the day and 10 cents easier for the week. The Outlook Forum has 2016 US corn yields at 168.0 bu/acre and production of 13.820 billion bushels this year. Last February's numbers were 166.8 bu/acre and 13.595 billion bushels. They were ultimately 168.4 bu/acre and 13.601 billion bushels, so those weren't bad guesses at all. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange kept Argentina’s crop at unchanged at 25.0 MMT. The Ministry (forecasting all corn production) go for 33.8 MMT. Agroconsult raised their estimate for Brazilian all corn by 1.7 MMT to 87.3 MMT (1st crop, up 600 TMT to 28.5 MMT; 2nd crop up 1.1 MMT to 58.8 MMT). The USDA are currently only at 84 MMT which now looks a bit low. The latest Commitment of Traders report shows fund money trimming their overall net corn short position a little, but not by much (down 3.6k lots from a week ago). They are now net short 134k contracts as of Tuesday night. Mar 16 Corn settled at $3.54 1/2, down 1 cent; May 16 Corn settled at $3.59 1/2, down 1 cent. On the week Mar 16 was 11 cents easier and May 16 fell 9 3/4 cents.

Wheat: The wheat market closed a touch lower on the day, and lower across the board for the week. The Outlook Forum put average US all wheat yields in 2016 at 45.9 bu/acre (up from 43.6 bu/acre a year ago). Even so, a sharp drop in plantings will see production fall to 1.991 billion bushels from 2.052 billion in 2015, they suggest. Exports in 2016/17 will increase 75 million bushels to 850 million, they predict. That puts ending stocks at a hefty 989 million bu, up 23 million versus 2015/16. So, even with US growers planting the smallest wheat area in 46 years for 2016, ending stocks are still seen rising. FranceAgriMer rated 94% of their winter wheat crop as being in good to very good condition. The latest Commitment of Traders report shows fund money adding 14k lots to their overall net short in Chicago wheat, taking that up to nearly 99k contracts. May 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.52 1/4, down 1 3/4 cents; May 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.54 1/4, down 2 3/4 cents; May 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $4.90, down 1 3/4 cents. Chicago wheat finished the week 14 1/2 cents lower than it began it, with Kansas wheat down 12 cents and Minneapolis losing 7 3/4 cents.