Chicago Grains End With Small Gains - Led By Soybeans

19/10/16 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed higher helped by continued firmness in palm oil levels. On the continuous chart palm oil closed at a 31-month high today. The USDA announced 185 TMT of US soybean sales to "unknown" destinations for 2016/17, keeping the strong demand theme going. With the US 2016 soybean harvest now mostly in the bag, the trade will soon start to fix it's attention on South America, weather and plantings. Argentine soybean planting is just beginning. The trade is divided as to have many fewer acres of soybeans might get planted there, if any, as growers switch to corn. Brazilian soybeans are said to be 17% planted nationally (13% a year ago and 16% on average). Mato Grosso is 31% done versus 17% a year ago. Parana is 31% done versus 23% a year ago. "South American weather prospects improved for the soybean growing areas for the South and Central areas of Brazil in the 10 day forecast. Argentina’s soy areas are expected to get broad coverage of needed showers over the next 15 days," said FCStone. We've not had a crop disaster for a while now have we? Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales for beans are 1.0-1.3 MMT. Nov 16 Soybeans settled at $9.81 1/2, up 9 cents; Jan 17 Soybeans settled at $9.90 1/2, up 9 1/4 cents; Dec 16 Soybean Meal settled at $306.40, up $3.00; Dec 16 Soybean Oil settled at 35.40, up 33 points.

Corn: Corn closed higher, helped by weekly ethanol production of 998,000 barrels per day, up an impressive 37,000 bpd from the previous week. Crude oil was firmer, closing at the best levels since July 2015, which also helped corn's cause. Argentine corn is reported 32% planted versus 28% a year ago and 29% on average at this time. The trade is expecting a large jump in corn plantings of something in the region of 25% in Argentina this year. This comes following the Argentine government's decision to stall on their promise of reducing the soybean export tax (exports on corn were changed to duty free at the beginning of the year). Brazil are also expecting a sharp rebound in corn production for 2016/17 thanks to a return to normal yields. A report released by UN weather forecasters indicates they expect a 50-60% chance for weak La Nina conditions to form in the coming months. Ukraine said that it's 2016 corn harvest is 41% complete at 9.85 MMT. A crop of around 26 MMT is expected. Russia's 2016 corn harvest is 42.9% complete at 6.8 MMT. Indonesia are said to have purchased 200,000 MT of US corn in a tender for delivery before Christmas. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales for corn are in the region of 700,000 MT to 900,000 MT. Dec 16 Corn settled at $3.57 1/2, up 3 3/4 cents; Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.67 1/4, up 3 3/4 cents.

Wheat: Wheat closed with small gains. Worries over the late Canadian harvest remain, with quantity and quality likely being harmed by adverse weather conditions. The US could do with any export help it can get. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales are only 350-550,000 MT. Still, cumulative exports to date are running 26% ahead of a year ago. Late in the day Russia said that they'd now harvested 93.5% of this year's grain crop, bringing in 116.6 MMT so far. Final production of around 120 MMT is expected - a post-Soviet era record. Wheat harvesting is 97.9% complete at 75.7 MMT. Barley adds a further 19.0 MMT to the mix (96.9% harvested). Winter plantings of mostly wheat for the 2017 harvest are now 91% complete on 15.8 million ha. Egypt said that they have sufficient wheat reserves to last them 5 months and immediately tendered for wheat for Nov 21-30 shipment with the results expected tomorrow. Heavy rain in Brazil's second largest wheat state of Rio Grande do Sul is said to be having a negative impact on the wheat harvest. "Some areas of central Rio Grande do Sul have already received as much as 15 inches of rain this week and there is more rain in the forecast for the remainder of this week and next week as well. Estimates are that 10% of the wheat crop has already been lost and loses could be as high as 30% if the forecast for heavy rains again next week verifies," said Dr Cordonnier. Dec 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.20 1/4, up 1/4 cent; Dec 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.25 1/4, up 3 1/2 cents; Dec 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.30 3/4, up 3 cents.