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Aug 29, 2014

Harvest expectations pressure corn, soybeans; wheat also weak

CHICAGO, Aug 29 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybeans fell on
Friday, flirting with contract lows on forecasts for rain that
boosted confidence of bumper harvests for both crops this fall.
The weather outlook, which called for rains across broad
stretches of U.S. growing areas, also weighed on wheat futures
as farmers prepared for seeding of the winter crops.
“All these rains that we are supposed to be getting,” said
Mark Gold, managing partner with Top Third Ag Marketing. “Not
only is it going to help the crops that are out there but it is
going to certainly replenish the soils for the winter wheat.”
Traders also noted some profit-taking as investors closed
out positions ahead of a long weekend. U.S. markets will be
closed on Monday for Labor Day.
Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for November delivery,
the most actively traded contract that tracks the crop that will
be harvested in the coming weeks, were 5-3/4 cents lower at
$10.23 a bushel at 11:34 a.m. CDT (1634 GMT).
Although new-crop contracts were lower, the front-month
September contract was up 10 cents at $10.83-3/4 a bushel
due to tight cash market supplies.
CBOT December corn was off 6-1/2 cents at $3.62-3/4 a
bushel, just above the contract low of $3.58 hit earlier this
CBOT December wheat was down 8-3/4 cents at $5.63 a
bushel, facing additional pressure from what traders said
appeared to be a lowering of tensions between Ukraine and
Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed that pro-Moscow
rebels allow surrounded Ukrainian troops to retreat from
rebellious eastern cities.
“We have seen some reasonable strength this week but with a
little decrease in tensions in Russia and Ukraine I think a lot
of guys are coming back and saying, ‘You know, I just do not
want to press the long side so I am liquidating my positions,’”
said Bill Gentry, a broker at Risk Management Commodities. “The
Russia-Ukraine situation is almost old hat.”
The prospect of plentiful global supplies acted as a drag on
the market. The International Grains Council raised its forecast
of 2014/15 world wheat production to 713 million tonnes, from
702 million previously, and boosted its outlook for corn by 4
million tonnes to 973 million.
CBOT corn futures were down 2.4 percent for the week,
and were flat for the month. Wheat has shed 0.8 percent
this week but was up 3.3 percent for August, on track for its
first positive month since April.
CBOT soybeans were 7.1 percent lower for the week and
11.5 percent lower for August, their fourth straight losing
Name Last Pct Net Pvs Close
Change Change
CORN SEP4 357.25 -1.24 -4.5 361.75
SOYBEANS SEP4 1083.75 0.93 10 1073.75
SOY MEAL SEP4 430.3 -0.67 -2.9 433.2
SOYBEAN OIL SEP4 32.06 -1.81 -0.59 32.64
WHEAT SRW SEP4 547.5 -1.62 -9 556.5
ROUGH RICE SEP4 12.61 -0.59 -0.075 12.685
M.WHEAT EUR NOV4 174 -0.57 -1 175
LIGHT CRUDE OCT4 95.4 0.9 0.85 94.55
DJ INDU AVERAGE 17078.28 -0.01 -1.29 17079.57
GOLD 1286.9 #N/A -2.84 1289.74
BALTIC EXCH DRY 1147 2.5 28 1119
US DOLLAR INDEX 82.683 0.25 0.206 82.477

In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and
soymeal (dollars). CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans per bushel,
rice per hundredweight, soymeal per ton and soyoil per lb.

Aug 7, 2014

U.S. wheat drops on profit-taking, corn also weak

CHICAGO, Aug 7 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures fell on
Thursday, dropping back from a 5-1/2 week high on a round of
profit-taking following a six-session rally that had pushed
prices up 9.2 percent, traders said.
“We came pretty far, pretty fast off our lows,” said Chris
Robinson, senior trader at Top Third Ag Marketing. “It is not
surprising that we get a little bit of a breather.”
Corn futures also fell, weighed down by light demand on the
export market. Soybeans were mixed, with the front-month
contract supported by tight supplies, while old-crop contracts
sagged on expectations of a huge harvest.
Traders said the wheat market was in focus due to concerns
about how the conflict between Russia and Ukraine would affect
exports from the Black Sea region.
In a sweeping response to Western sanctions imposed over
Russia’s support for rebels in Ukraine, Russian Prime Minister
Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday his country will ban fruit,
vegetable, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports from the United
States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway. Moscow
is the second-biggest importer of U.S. poultry.
Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat for September
delivery was down 4 cents at $5.64 a bushel at 12:05 p.m. CDT
(1705 GMT)
Some short-covering, spurred by speculation that the Ukraine
crisis could deepen in coming days, kept the declines in check
and pulled wheat from its session low. Traders also cited some
technical support for CBOT September wheat at its 40-day moving
CBOT September corn was 5-1/2 cents lower at $3.57-3/4 a
bushel, with expectations for a bumper harvest keeping bargain
buyers on the sidelines even with prices near four-year lows.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday morning
that new-crop export sales of corn were 758,700 tonnes in the
latest week, below trade estimates ranging from 800,000 to 1
million tonnes.
“The world has moved into a period of surplus in the corn
market, so the function of the market has become to weaken
farmer margins and discourage production,” Macquarie analyst
Christopher Gadd said.
An export trader said that most world buyers were more
interested in Black Sea corn, which was priced about 15 cents a
bushel lower than U.S. supplies.
CBOT soybeans for August delivery were 5-1/2 cents
higher at $12.42-1/2 a bushel, while the new-crop November
contract was 5-3/4 cents lower at $10.74-1/4 a bushel.

Prices at 12:06 p.m. CDT (1706 GMT)

CBOT corn 357.75 -5.50 -1.5% -15.2%
CBOT soy 1242.50 5.50 0.4% -5.3%
CBOT meal 389.70 1.70 0.4% -11.0%
CBOT soyoil 35.53 -0.26 -0.7% -8.5%
CBOT wheat 563.50 -4.50 -0.8% -6.9%
CBOT rice 1271.00 8.50 0.7% -18.1%
EU wheat 176.25 -2.00 -1.1% -15.7%

Aug 5, 2014

U.S. soybeans, corn fall following Midwest rains

CHICAGO, Aug 5 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures fell on
Tuesday as expectations for a bumper U.S. harvest rose on
overnight rains across a broad stretch of the Midwest as well as
a government report that showed the crop was in better shape
than expected, traders said.
The storms, which eased lingering concerns about dry weather
during the past few weeks reducing harvest yields, also weighed
on corn futures. Wheat futures fell in a profit-taking setback
after four straight days of gains pushed prices their highest in
more than two weeks.
The market remained focused on production, with the rain
bolstering expectations that huge harvests of both corn and
soybeans will replenish depleted supplies at elevators and
processors around the country.
“Good rains were seen overnight across a large portion of
the Midwest, which did serve to relive some of the weather
worries that were lending support to the market,” Sterling
smith, futures specialist at Citi, said in a note to clients.
At 10:29 a.m. CDT (1529 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade
soybeans for August delivery were down 10-1/2 cents at $12.22 a
bushel. The new-crop November contract, which tracks the
crop that will be harvested in the coming weeks, posted the
biggest decline, shedding 1.5 percent, or 16-1/4 cents, to
The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday afternoon
that the soybean crop was rated 71 percent good to excellent,
unchanged from a week ago and 1 percentage point above the
average of analysts’ forecasts.
“I think we are seeing the market react to the USDA’s crop
condition report, which was higher than expected,” said Andrew
Woodhouse, grains analyst at Advance Trading Australasia.
Some private production forecasts added to the bearish tone
hanging over the market.
INTL FCStone projected the U.S. 2014 soybean harvest at
3.865 billion bushels, with an average yield of 46.0 bushels per
acre, and Farm Futures Magazine estimated the crop at 3.857
billion bushels, with an average yield of 46.07 bushels per
acre. Both estimates are above USDA’s current forecasts.

For corn, both firms also issued forecasts above the USDA’s
outlook, with INTL FCStone estimating U.S. production at 14.455
billion bushels, with an average yield of 172.4 bushels per acre
and Farm Futures pegging the crop at 14.331 billion bushels,
with an average yield of 171.06 bushels an acre.
CBOT September corn futures were 3-3/4 cents lower at
$3.55 a bushel. Prices for the front-month contract found
support near the four-year lows hit earlier this week.
CBOT soft red winter wheat for September delivery was
down 1-1/4 cents at $5.42-3/4 a bushel. Prices had risen 4.6
percent during the four-day rally, which was the longest for the
front-month contract since April.

Aug 1, 2014

U.S. wheat gains on strong export prospects

CHICAGO, Aug 1 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures rose on Friday
for the third straight day on hopes U.S. supplies will gain more
traction on the export market owing to concerns about the
quality of European crops, traders said.
High-protein K.C. hard red winter wheat, prized by
exporters, led the gains with a 1.4 percent rally.
Corn and soybeans fell as the weather forecast turned wetter
for some of the drier areas of the U.S. Midwest, boosting
expectations for huge crops this fall.
Worries about the wheat harvest in Europe producing supplies
that are not suitable for export weighed on Euronext futures but
propped up the U.S. wheat contracts, which have treaded water
near four-year lows hit earlier this month.
“Better hopes for (U.S.) exports are finally emerging,
though the global market still looks like it has plenty of cheap
wheat,” said Bryce Knorr, senior editor at Farm Futures
The competitiveness of Russian wheat, which made a clean
sweep of sales in the Egyptian tender, could curb a rebound in
U.S. prices. Forecasts for good yields in the Canadian crop
despite heavy flooding early in the season also kept gains in
At 11:08 a.m. CDT (1608 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade wheat
for September delivery was up 4-1/4 cents at $5.34-1/2.
The K.C. September contract was up 8-1/2 cents at
$6.34-1/4 a bushel.
“People are buying into good quality U.S. wheat and selling
what is seen as mediocre EU wheat,” one European trader said.
CBOT front-month wheat was on track for a weekly loss of 0.7
CBOT September corn was down 3 cents at $3.54 a bushel
while August soybeans were 9-1/2 cents lower at $12.15 a
bushel. The new-crop November soybean contract shed 23-1/2
cents, or 2.2 percent, to $10.58-1/2 a bushel.
“Weather forecasts continue to trend more and more
beneficial as we enter the key soy development month,” said Matt
Zeller, director of market information at INTL FCStone said in a
note to clients.
For the week, soybeans were up 0.3 percent and corn was 2.7
percent lower. Corn has fallen for six weeks in a row, shedding
22 percent during that time.

Prices at 11:15 a.m. CDT (1615 GMT)

CBOT corn 353.50 -3.25 -1.0% -16.2%
CBOT soy 1212.25 -12.25 -1.0% -7.6%
CBOT meal 386.20 -5.10 -1.3% -11.8%
CBOT soyoil 35.48 -0.63 -1.7% -8.6%
CBOT wheat 535.25 5.00 0.9% -11.6%
CBOT rice 1282.00 -16.50 -1.3% -17.3%
EU wheat 171.25 0.75 0.4% -18.1%

Jul 31, 2014

Soybeans firm as exports keep supplies tight; corn weakens on weather

CHICAGO, July 31 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures rose on
Thursday on signs that demand will keep domestic supplies tight
until harvest while corn weakened due to forecasts for more
crop-boosting rain in the U.S. Midwest, traders said.
“The beans firmed up due to some speculators taking
advantage of the weakness earlier in light of the very strong
demand we are seeing,” said Terry Reilly, an analyst with
Futures International in Chicago. “It is basically a domestic
and export demand scenario that is driving this market higher.”
The weather forecast limited the gains in new-crop soybean
futures as the expected rains will come just as much of the crop
hits its key yield-determining phase of development.
Wheat was close to unchanged, consolidating near contract
lows hit earlier this week. Traders said the market was
technically oversold but strong competition on the export market
kept most buyers on the sidelines.
Egypt, the world’s largest purchaser of the grain, bought
all Russian wheat in its latest tender on Wednesday.

At 11:06 a.m. CDT (1606 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade
soybeans for August delivery were up 6-1/2 cent at $12.27
a bushel. CBOT November soybeans, which track what is
expected to be a record U.S. crop, were up just 1-3/4 cents at
$10.83 a bushel.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday morning
that old-crop export sales of soybeans were 187,400 tonnes in
the latest reporting week, near the high end of the range of
forecasts for 100,000 to 200,000. New-crop soymeal export sales
were 1.27 million tonnes, bigger than expected.
CBOT September corn was 4-1/4 cents lower at $3.57-1/2
a bushel while CBOT September wheat was off 1 cent at
$5.26-1/4 a bushel.
“The weather and the forecast for rains next week is
continuing to cap the corn market,” said Craig VanDyke, analyst
at Top Third Ag Marketing. “There’s not a lot of weather premium
in the corn market but we need the rain to put in the top end of
Soybeans have fallen 12.8 percent in July, on track for
their biggest monthly decline since September 2011. Corn was
down 15.7 percent for the month while wheat has fallen 6.7
Prices at 11:07 a.m. CDT (1607 GMT)

Jul 29, 2014

U.S. corn, soybeans, wheat drop after recent gains

CHICAGO, July 29 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures fell 2.8
percent to fresh contract lows on Tuesday due to plentiful
global supplies as well as strong competition on the export
market, traders said.
Corn and soybean futures also fell as forecasts for rain in
the U.S. Midwest next week alleviated concerns about dry
conditions reducing harvest prospects for both crops.
The drop in soybeans broke a string of five straight
positive closes. Traders noted investors putting more shorts
into the soy market after prices hit a two-week high on Monday.
Wheat posted the biggest losses, weighed down by big
production forecasts in Ukraine, Russia and Australia. Supplies
were moving from troubled countries in the Black Sea region with
no problem, adding further pressure to prices.
“With the increased sanctions (in Russia), we are not seeing
any risk premium coming into the wheat,” said Mike Zuzolo,
president at Global Commodity Analytics. “The trade just does
not have any fear factor or risk premium in these markets yet.”
Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat for September
delivery closed 14-3/4 cents lower at $5.20 a bushel after
hitting a contract low of $5.18-1/2 earlier in the session.
CBOT September corn dropped 6-1/4 cents to $3.61-1/2 a
bushel and CBOT August soybeans fell 10 cents to
$12.26-1/2 a bushel.
“Corn got hit again as weather forecasts went from dry to
rain promised for the end of next week,” Charlie Sernatinger,
analyst with ED&F Man Capital, said in a note to clients. “Beans
went from darling to deathbed in one day, as weather forecasts
fired up rains for the end of next week, and the shorts piled
back into the contract in style.”
Storms on Sunday and Monday should bring 0.5 inch (1.27 cm)
of rain to northwestern areas of the U.S. Corn Belt, including
Minnesota and Iowa. Showers expand into the rest of the Midwest
later in the week.
“It’s a little wetter than it was yesterday,” said Andy
Karst, an agricultural meteorologist at World Weather Inc. “It’s
not a big soaker for the whole Midwest, but it looks like
everybody is going to get some rain from Sunday into the middle
part of next week.”

Prices at 1412 CDT (1912 GMT):
CBOT corn 361.50 -6.25 -1.7 -14.3
CBOT soy 1229.00 -10.00 -0.8 -6.4
CBOT meal 396.50 -6.30 -1.6 -9.4
CBOT soyoil 36.28 -0.27 -0.7 -6.5
CBOT wheat 521.00 -14.75 -2.8 -13.9
CBOT rice 1312.00 20.50 1.6 -15.4
EU wheat 175.25 -3.00 -1.7 -16.1

Jul 22, 2014

U.S. export sales offer latest sign grains could halt slide

CHICAGO, July 22 (Reuters) – A flurry of grain export sales
to China and elsewhere since last week, totaling about 2 million
tonnes, is the latest sign U.S. soybean and corn prices may be
set to rebound from four-year lows.

Calling a trend for prices is often a fool’s errand, as
recent spikes on rising political tension in Ukraine, a major
wheat producer, ably demonstrate. But as both buyers and sellers
hold back, the next move is increasingly looking to be upward.

Jun 20, 2014

U.S. soy drops on China demand worries; corn, soy firm

CHICAGO, June 20 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures fell 1.2
percent on Friday, pressured by profit taking and concerns about
slowing demand from China, the world’s top buyer of the oilseed,
traders said.
Wheat also fell, weighed down by light technical selling and
seasonal harvest pressure, while corn firmed in consolidation
The drop in soybeans put the commodity on track for its
fourth straight weekly loss, the longest stretch of declines
since an equal streak that ended in early August of 2013.
“Beans are having trouble finishing the week on a positive
note,” INTL FCStone said in a note to clients. “The whole
complex is down as China appears to be slowing on demand for
feeding animals.”
At 10:57 a.m. CST (1557 GMT) CBOT July soybeans were
down 16-3/4 cents at $14.04 a bushel. Prices firmed during the
overnight session but failed to hold support above their 100-day
moving average.
New-crop soybean contracts also weakened, but declines were
limited by the unwinding of bull spreads as well as signs of
overseas demand. The U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday
morning said exporters sold 110,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to
unknown destinations for delivery in the 2014/15 crop year.

CBOT July corn was up 1-1/2 cents at $4.52 a bushel,
with traders citing $4.50 as a key support point. CBOT July soft
red winter wheat was 4-1/2 cents lower at $5.89 a bushel.
For the week, front-month soybeans were down 1.5
percent, front-month corn was up 1.1 percent and
front-month wheat was up 0.5 percent.
The weekly gains in corn and wheat would snap a five-week
string of declines for both commodities.
Concerns about recent rains in the U.S. Midwest and Plains
hurting the quality of the mature wheat crop limited declines in
wheat despite expectations of ample supplies following harvest.
“Precipitation is hurting the quality outlook for the
already reduced supply of hard red winter wheat in the U.S. -
the U.S. is already priced out of the international market so
this doesn’t necessarily warrant higher prices,” Macquarie
analyst Chris Gadd said.
“Our outlook remains bearish, the reality is the world looks
well supplied.”
The gains in corn were kept in check by expectations of good
crop weather during the next few weeks. No signs of damaging
heat were in the forecast for the U.S. Midwest. The crop will
start its key pollination phase of development in many areas in
the next few weeks and high heat during that period can rob corn
of its yield potential.
RIC Name Last Pct Net Pvs
Change Change Close
1Cc1 CORN JUL4 452 0.33 1.5 450.5
1Sc1 SOYBEANS JUL4 1420.75 0.83 11.75 1409
1SMc1 SOY MEAL JUL4 451.1 -0.44 -2 453.2
1BOc1 SOYBEAN OIL JUL4 40.55 1.2 0.48 40.13
1Wc1 WHEAT SRW JUL4 593.75 1.11 6.5 587
1RRc1 ROUGH RICE JUL4 14.71 -0.64 -0.095 14.785
BL2c1 M.WHEAT EUR NOV4 188.25 -0.13 -0.25 188.5
CLc1 LIGHT CRUDE JUL4 106.65 0.64 0.68 105.97
.DJI DJ INDU AVERAGE 16921.46 0.09 14.84 16906.
XAU= GOLD 1319.85 #N/A 42.35 1277.5
.BADI BALTIC EXCH DRY 902 4.04 35 867
.DXY US DOLLAR INDEX 80.306 -0.34 -0.278 80.584
In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and
soymeal (dollars). CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans per bushel,
rice per hundredweight, soymeal per ton and soyoil per lb

Jun 17, 2014

U.S. soy leads corn lower as supply concerns ease; wheat firms

CHICAGO, June 17 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures fell 1.6
percent at the Chicago Board of Trade on Tuesday, dropping below
$14 a bushel for the first time since March 24, on the easing of
pressure on the U.S. balance sheet, traders said.
Corn also weakened, hitting a 4-1/2-month low, while wheat
firmed on moderate bargain buying after touching their lowest
since Feb. 10.
Expectations of a large U.S. harvest of both corn and
soybeans also weighed on prices after the U.S. Agriculture
Department’s weekly conditions report on Monday afternoon showed
that both crops were thriving across the Midwest during their
early stages of development.
Soybean futures posted the biggest drop, with investment
funds selling on reports of weakness in the cash market that
indicated that elevators and processors will have enough
supplies to last them until harvest.
“We have got liquidation pressure,” said Bill Gentry, a
broker at Risk Management Commodities. “What we hear on the
commercial side of the equation is that the imports seem to be
satisfying the needs for the crushers and there is no sense of
urgency right this minute.”
At 11:15 a.m. CDT (1615 GMT), CBOT July soybeans were
down 23 cents at $13.98-3/4 a bushel. Prices hit a low of
$13.97-1/4 earlier in the session.
CBOT July corn was 4-1/2 cents lower at $4.36-1/2 a
bushel and CBOT July wheat was up 1 cent at $5.82 a
bushel after dipping to $5.76-3/4.
“Recent lows are under fire on the charts once again,” Matt
Zeller, director of market information at INTL FCStone said in a
note to clients.
The U.S. corn crop was rated 76 percent good to excellent as
of June 15, the best mid-June rating for the crop since a 77
percent reading in 1994, according to USDA’s weekly crop
conditions and progress report.
Soybean ratings weakened by 1 percentage point, dropping
below analysts’ expectations, to 73 percent good to excellent.
That was still the best mid-June rating for soybeans on record.

RIC Name Last Pct Net Close
Change Change
1Cc1 CORN JUL4 436.75 -0.96 -4.25 441
1Sc1 SOYBEANS JUL4 1398.75 -1.62 -23 1421.75
1SMc1 SOY MEAL JUL4 454.8 -1.64 -7.6 462.4
1BOc1 SOYBEAN OIL JUL4 39.42 -0.2 -0.08 39.5
1Wc1 WHEAT SRW JUL4 582.25 0.22 1.25 581
1RRc1 ROUGH RICE JUL4 14.63 -0.24 -0.035 14.665
BL2c1 M.WHEAT EUR NOV4 186.5 -0.67 -1.25 187.75
CLc1 LIGHT CRUDE JUL4 106.88 -0.02 -0.02 106.9
.DJI DJ INDU AVERAGE 16793.69 0.08 12.68 16781.01
XAU= GOLD 1270.16 #N/A -1.13 1271.29
.BADI BALTIC EXCH DRY 858 -2.5 -22 880
.DXY US DOLLAR INDEX 80.608 0.17 0.137 80.471
In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and
soymeal (dollars). CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans per bushel,
rice per hundredweight, soymeal per ton and soyoil per lb.

Jun 17, 2014

U.S. corn ratings rise above market view, soybean ratings dip

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. corn ratings were the best in 20 years because of warm weather and plentiful soil moisture in growing states such as Iowa, North Dakota and Illinois during the past week, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data released on Monday.

The U.S. corn crop was rated 76 percent good to excellent as of June 15, the best mid-June rating for the crop since a 77 percent reading in 1994, according to USDA’s weekly crop conditions and progress report.

    • About Mark

      "I cover grain futures out of Chicago, with a focus on the wheat market. Examining the effects of world crop production on prices and the vagaries of export demand for U.S. supplies takes up most of my time. Previously, I was a reporter on the equities desk in New York and I got my start as a news assistant in the Washington Bureau."
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