Chicago Grains Mixed, Trade Ponders Accuracy Of USDA Corn Acreage Number

04/04/15 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower. Weekly export inspections of 204,974 MT were the lowest for some time, and down by almost 2/3rds on a week ago and a year ago. A report on Reuters indicated that Chinese farmers may increase soybean acreage by 10% this year due to the government's move to reduce support levels on corn. Ag Rural said that 76% of the Brazilian soybean crop has been harvested, and that an estimated 60% of it is sold, versus 53% at this time a year ago. Demand is clearly switching to Brazil. They logged 30% greater exports in March versus a year ago and that is expected to continue through this month. Worker disputes, strikes and/or other port delays due to machinery breakdown/weather and Acts of God etc have been relatively minimal so far. May 16 Soybeans settled at $9.13 1/2, down 4 3/4 cents; Jul 16 Soybeans settled at $9.21 1/2, down 4 1/2 cents; May 16 Soybean Meal settled at $268.20, down $4.10; May 16 Soybean Oil settled at 34.69, up 24 points.

Corn: The corn market closed relatively flat. Weekly export inspections of just over 1 MMT were in line with recent performances. Season to date inspections are 16% down on this time a year ago. The market is still wondering how realistic the USDA's 93.6 million acres spring planting estimate for corn will be. The USDA themselves are due to begin reporting on corn planting progress tomorrow. It's a bit early for beans just yet. A cooler, wetter outlook will likely impede fieldwork progress a bit over the next couple weeks. Russia reported that they'd exported 3.8 MMT of corn so far this year, and are on target for a record volume of foreign sales in 2015/16. Ukraine won't set any records, but their corn shipments for far in 2015/16 are strong at 13.4 MMT. They are also expected to "go large" with corn plantings this spring due to a large increase in unsown winter crops. Brazil's corn exports have been running at a record pace too, but there are now signs of these slowing up, and actually being replaced by imports as hog producers squeal for supplies. Corn imports from Argentina in 2016 should be the highest in 15 years, says Dr Cordonnier. May 16 Corn settled at $3.54 1/2, up 1/2 cent; Jul 16 Corn settled at $3.57 3/4, unchanged.

Wheat: The wheat market closed narrowly mixed. Weekly export inspections came in at 318,348 MT - in line with trade forecasts. YTD inspections are now 12.3% behind the pace of the 2014/15 marketing year and are only supposed to be 5.5% down by the end of it on May 31, so this now looks a touch unlikely. Crop progress is delayed until tomorrow. The trade is expecting 55% of the national winter wheat crop to be in good to excellent condition versus 58% this time last year. Dr Cordonnier reported that Brazil's wheat production in 2016/17 could rise despite lower plantings (down 9.5%). This could be the result of better yields and improved quality if the weather plays ball. Both yields and quality have been hid badly in the last two years. Production could rise 14% to 6.3 MMT, according to local analysts Trigo & Farnihas, he says. US wheat has picked up some good business on the back of these problems in recent year. They'd like to have those chances again. EU, Russian and Ukraine wheat exports continue brisk, keeping US export chances restricted. Jul 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.81 1/4, down 1 3/4 cents; Jul 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.86 1/2, down 2 cents; Jul 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.38, unchanged.