Chicago Closing Comments - Thursday

19/01/17 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed lower. A Farm Futures Magazine survey estimated 2017 US soybean spring plantings at 90.52 million acres, up a hefty 7.12m, or 8.5% versus 83.4 million acres in 2016. The Buenos Aries Grain Exchange cut their forecast for Argentine plantings this season to 19.2m hectares, a drop of 900,000 hectares year on year. The Rosario Exchange cut its forecast for output by 1.5 MMT to 52.9 MMT. Trade estimates for tomorrow's one day delayed weekly export sales report for beans are 400,000 to 750,000 MT. Mar 17 Soybeans settled at $10.70 1/4, down 4 3/4 cents; May 17 Soybeans settled at $10.78 1/2, down 5 1/4 cents; Mar 17 Soybean Meal settled at $348.20, down $2.90; Mar 17 Soybean Oil settled at 35.44, down 14 points.

Corn: The market closed around a cent higher. The USDA reported export sales of 110,400 MT of US corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2016/17 marketing year. Trade ideas for tomorrow's weekly export sales are pretty strong at 1.0 to 1.5 MMT. US weekly ethanol production data topped trade expectations at an impressive 1.054 billion barrels/day, setting another new weekly record volume. Ukraine think tank UNIAN forecast the country's 2016/17 corn exports rising to 20.9 MMT this season. Worries remain over the relationship between the US and China, especially vis-a-vis corn, ahead of the inauguration of President Trump tomorrow. Whilst Chinese US corn imports are only minimal, they have been a significant importer of US DDGs and ethanol in the last 12 months. The sudden imposition of anti-dumping import duties threatens to slash this business by half, or more. Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.66 1/4, up 1 1/4 cents; May 17 Corn settled at $3.73 1/4, up 1 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market closed mixed, with Kansas down the most, Minneapolis nudging higher, and Chicago in the middle. Trade forecasts for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are between 250,000-550,000 MT. Japan bought 117,605 MT of US/Canadian wheat in their regular weekly tender. Taiwan are in the market or 93,600 MT of what will probably turn out to be US milling wheat, Morocco are reported to have bought 363,636 MT of EU soft wheat in a tender. Jordan bought 50,000 MT of hard wheat. Egypt are tendering for wheat for Feb 22 - Mar 3 shipment, having bought a mixture of mainly Russian and Romanian wheat recently. Results of that are expected Friday afternoon. The Buenos Aries Grain Exchange estimated final wheat production in Argentina this year at 15 MMT, up 39% on a year ago largely due to increased plantings. Mar 17 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.23 1/2, down 7 1/2 cents; Mar 17 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.42 1/4, down 10 cents; Mar 17 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.76 1/2, up 3 cents.