Chicago Close - Thursday

05/01/17 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed a touch lower on the day. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange lowered the estimated Argentine soybean planted area 300,000 ha to 19.6 million ha. Dr Cordonnier has expressed concern that not all soybean acres will be planted this year due to the rains and flooding. Production there could end up in the 53-55 MMT region rather than the 57 MMT currently predicted by the USDA some are suggesting. Everything looks rosy in Brazil though. One of Brazil’s largest farming groups (Grupo Bom Futuro) said that they expect their soybean yields to come in 10 percent above the previous season. Trade ideas on the Brazilian crop are said to be in the 103-105 MMT area versus the December WASDE forecast of 102 MMT. Trade ideas for tomorrow's weekly export sales report for beans are around 800 TMT to 1.2 MMT. Jan 17 Soybeans settled at $10.03 1/2, down 2 3/4 cents; Mar 17 Soybeans settled at $10.12 1/2, down 2 3/4 cents; Jan 17 Soybean Meal settled at $314.40, down $0.90; Jan 17 Soybean Oil settled at 35.00, up 2 points.

Corn: Corn closed around a cent or two higher. Weekly US ethanol production came out today, up 15k barrels to nearly 1.04m barrels per day. This was a new record high and the tenth consecutive week that production has been over 1 million barrels/day which was friendly for corn. Taiwan’s MFIG are said to have bought 65 TMT of corn believed to be of US origin for March/April shipment. Ukraine’s 2017 corn crop is estimated to be down 13%, or 3.5 MMT, to 23.5 MMT, according to UkrAgroConsult. Weekly US corn export sales are estimated at 650-850 TMT for tomorrow's report. In other news, a potential drier outlook for Brazil over the coming weeks could provide resistance to corn, as this dryness should allow safrinha corn in Brazil to go in 2-3 weeks early. This timing should allow maximum yield potential for this shorter season double crop corn, offsetting potential losses from excessive rain in Argentina, said Water Street Solutions. Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.61 1/4, up 1 1/2 cents; May 17 Corn settled at $3.67 1/2, up 1 3/4 cents.

Wheat: Wheat closed with fair gains. Algeria were said to have bought 475 TMT of mixed optional origin wheat, paying around $200/tonne C&F. Jordan, Japan, Morocco and Ethiopia are among others in the market tendering for wheat. Argentina’s wheat harvest is 94.9% complete according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. In Ukraine, temperatures are reaching -20C with insufficient snow cover in some areas, a threat to winter wheat. "Wheat plantings in Ukraine as at 1 December are pegged at 6.1 million ha, up from 6.0 million at the same point last year – although this would still be a smaller winter wheat area than all other years at least back to 2008," say the HGCA. Ukraine wheat output in 2017 is expected to decline 3.5 MMT to 23.5 MMT, say UkrAgroConsult. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report for wheat are a modest 200-500 TMT. Mar 17 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.26 1/4, up 7 3/4 cents; Mar 17 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.34 1/2, up 8 cents; Mar 17 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.50 1/4, up 5 3/4 cents.