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Sep 4, 2014

Corn, soy fall to 4-year lows ahead of record harvests

CHICAGO, Sept 4 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybeans futures
fell more than 1 percent to their lowest levels in four years on
Thursday in a technical selloff sparked by the looming harvest
of record-large crops.

Wheat futures also were mostly lower after notching contract
lows in the previous session. The dollar climbed to its
highest point in more than a year against a basket of other
currencies, further weighing on U.S. grains as importers could
more cheaply source supplies priced in other currencies.

Sep 3, 2014

Corn, soy tumble to contract lows on record U.S. yield prospects

CHICAGO, Sept 3 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybean futures
fell as much as 3 percent on Wednesday after the government
unexpectedly lifted condition ratings for the crops and analysts
increased outlooks for what already were expected to be
record-large harvests in the United States.
Wheat futures also fell, with prices extending early losses
after no U.S. supplies were offered in a tender to top global
importer Egypt. A rising U.S. dollar was also bearish as
international buyers can source cheaper grain from other
shippers in the European Union and Black Sea region.
“We’re pricing in bigger crops before the next report,” said
Global Commodities Analytics analyst Mike Zuzolo, referring to
the U.S. Agriculture Department’s monthly supply and demand
report due on Sept. 11.
In a report after the close of trading late on Monday, USDA
increased so-called good-to-excellent ratings for the corn and
soybean crops, surprising analysts, who had expected steady
ratings.
Brokerages INTL FCStone and Allendale Inc also boosted yield
and production forecasts above the most recent USDA outlook.

Mild summer weather was a boon to the crops, Allendale Inc
analyst Rich Nelson told the Thomson Reuters Global Ag Forum.
“Across the board, the numbers were impressive. This year’s
pollination was one of the coolest of the past 30 years,” he
said.
Most-active Chicago Board of Trade December corn was
down 9-3/4 cents, or 2.7 percent, at $3.54 per bushel, just
above its contract low of $3.53-1/2 reached earlier in the
session. Benchmark November soybeans were down 17-1/2
cents, or 1.7 percent, at $10.14-1/2 as of 11:10 a.m. CDT (1610
GMT) after earlier falling to a contract low of $10.12-1/2.
CBOT wheat for December delivery was 17-3/4 cents, or
3.2 percent lower, at $5.37-1/2, near its earlier contract low
of $5.36-1/4.
The main buying agency for top wheat buyer Egypt announced
that it bought two cargos of wheat – one from France and one
from Romania. No U.S. wheat was offered with freight costs
making supplies from the United States uncompetitive to many top
buyers of the grain in Africa and the Middle East.
“Wheat demand is not showing up and the market is seeking
new lows to find demand,” Zuzolo said.

Sep 2, 2014

Wheat falls 1 percent on fund selling, Ukraine shipments

CHICAGO, Sept 2 (Reuters) – U.S. grains fell on Tuesday,
with wheat futures down more than 1 percent on pressure from
plentiful global supplies and selling by investment funds on the
first trading day of the month, analysts said.

Wheat futures, which rose to a three-week high last
Thursday on short-covering tied to escalating Ukraine-Russia
tensions, reversed course and notched their largest two-session
decline since Aug. 13.

Aug 28, 2014

Chicago wholesale gasoline prices rise on BP Whiting refinery fire

, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Wholesale gasoline prices
surged in Chicago on Thursday after a fire hit a piece of
equipment used to produce gasoline at BP Plc’s refinery
in nearby Whiting, Indiana, trade and industry sources said.

BP said the fire was extinguished at its biggest U.S. plant
and it expects little impact on production. The 413,500 barrel
per day (bpd) refinery, which BP spent $4 billion expanding to
handle more heavy Canadian crude, was still operating.

Aug 1, 2014

Valero buying corn to restart Indiana ethanol plant -trade

Aug 1 (Reuters) – Valero Energy Corp is buying corn
ahead of the expected startup within the next month of the
company’s 110-million-gallon a year ethanol plant in Mount
Vernon, Indiana, U.S. cash grains sources said on Friday.

The plant is the largest corn-based ethanol plant not
currently operating in the U.S. and will add capacity to an
industry that produced a record amount of the biofuel earlier
this summer.

Jul 28, 2014

U.S. corn, soybean futures rise as demand strengthens

CHICAGO, July 28 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybean futures
rose on Monday with both markets supported by strengthening
demand and isolated dry areas that could hamper development of
the crops in the Midwest.

Wheat futures were lower but trimmed losses in the wake of a
U.S. Agriculture Department announcement showing a wheat sale to
Nigeria and a soybean sale to top importer China.

Jul 16, 2014

Sugar rush at ethanol plant fuels fight with Nebraska corn farmers

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An ethanol plant in Nebraska corn country is pumping out fuel made from sugar beets, and corn farmers are suing to stop it – a small-town dispute that offers an unusual take on the debate over the market-distorting impact of sugar and corn subsidies.

The dispute in Aurora, population about 4,400, brings into conflict two of the largest U.S. farm programs, one promoting sugar production and the other corn-based ethanol. Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc, a privately held Illinois firm, is reaping profits producing ethanol with cheap sugar, thanks to a U.S. Agriculture Department subsidy of beet sugar.

Jun 30, 2014

U.S. Army Corps to close upper Mississippi as waters rise

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Rising flood waters were expected to make 11 locks and dams impassable on the mid- and upper-Mississippi River and force the closure of the river later on Monday from Bellevue, Iowa, to Saverton, Missouri, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.

The closure would be the most extensive since 2008 on that stretch of the country’s busiest waterway, said Ron Fournier, public affairs officer for the Army Corps’ Rock Island district. At least 80 barge tows are expected to be affected by the closure.

May 30, 2014

Wheat set for biggest monthly drop since 2011 on weather hopes

CHICAGO, May 30 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat eased on Friday to
the lowest in nearly three months, capping the futures’ biggest
monthly decline in almost three years as improving weather for
crops kept the market focused on comfortable global supply.
Corn fell also fell to a roughly three-month low while
soybeans declined on favorable weather forecasts for final
spring sowings and for early crop development in the United
States.
“Generally, the weather for growing conditions is excellent
in most areas,” said Sterling Smith, futures strategist at
Citigroup in Chicago. “If you draw a line from central Nebraska
to central Ohio, there’s a good mix of rain and sunshine for the
next several days.”
Wheat was also pressured by cheaper supplies elsewhere in
the world. The U.S. Agriculture Department showed exports of
wheat last week at a net cancellation of 52,400 tonnes for the
current marketing season, below analysts’ expectations.

“We are pretty noncompetitive globally,” Smith said of U.S.
wheat prices.
Benchmark Chicago Board of Trade July wheat fell 5-1/4
cents to $6.27-1/4 per bushel, lowest since March 4. Wheat
fell about 12 percent for the month for the largest such decline
since September 2011.
July corn eased from earlier gains to shed 3-3/4 cents
at $4.65-3/4 per bushel, lowest since Feb. 28. Futures
snapped a six-month streak of monthly gains for the largest
monthly decline since September of last year.
“The U.S. market is still under the pressure of the
improving weather conditions which enable farmers to end corn
sowing. The wheat crops are benefiting from rains which favor
their development,” French consultancy Agritel said in a note.
The improved crop conditions in the United States come as
countries such as Ukraine and Russia have undercut U.S. shippers
in international markets, despite concern that tensions between
the two countries would disrupt grain trade.
“There is hardly any purchase of U.S. wheat at these levels
so there is potential for more downside in wheat prices,” said
Kaname Gokon, general manager of research at brokerage Okato
Shoji in Tokyo. “We might see the price fall below $6.30 and
then $6.00 a bushel in June.”
Soybeans edged lower as the market continued to weigh up
tight old-crop supply against prospects for large U.S. and
global production this year.
CBOT July soybeans were 5-3/4 cents lower at
$14.93-1/4 per bushel. Soy lost 2.5 percent for the month, the
first monthly decline in four months.

May 29, 2014

Wheat falls 7th day, corn nears 3-mth low on weather

CHICAGO, May 29 (Reuters) – U.S. grains slumped on Thursday,
with wheat futures heading for their seventh straight session of
declines on investor long liquidation tied to favorable weather
for crops and cheaper supplies on offer in Europe and the Black
Sea region.
Wheat futures have fallen sharply from the more than
10-month high they notched early this month amid a deep drought
in the southern U.S. Plains hard red winter wheat belt. But
crop-friendly rains fell over the weekend, while a weekly
weather report early on Thursday showed drought conditions
moderating.
Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures for July delivery
eased 7-1/4 cents to $6.31-1/2 per bushel, the lowest in about
three months. Wheat on a continuous chart was on track to
shed about 11.5 percent this month for the worst such
performance since September 2011.
Corn futures for July delivery were down 4-1/2 cents
at $4.68 per bushel as of 11:46 a.m. CDT (1646 GMT). Corn was
hovering just above the near three-month low notched in the
previous session.
Showers were lingering in the Midwestern crop belt, while
further precipitation forecast next week should benefit recently
planted corn seeds, the Commodity Weather Group said in a note.
The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor showed a slight expansion of
abnormally dry areas in the Midwest even as the most severe
drought conditions eased in the Plains.
“The reality is hitting the market,” said Don Roose, analyst
at U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa. “Funds have been
big longs throughout the spring and they’re sitting with a
sizable position in a more favorable weather environment.”
U.S. regulatory data last week showed that speculative
investors, a category that includes hedge funds, reduced their
long bullish bets in corn for a third straight week and switched
to a net short, or bearish, position on wheat futures.
The better conditions in the United States come as countries
such as Ukraine have undercut U.S. shippers in international
markets.
“Ukraine is selling wheat in our backyard to Mexico. We have
Europe beating everyone to the punch. The competition is keen,”
Roose added.
CBOT July soybean futures edged 1-3/4 cents higher to
$14.99-1/2 per bushel, boosted by snug supplies and strong bids
by domestic processing plants.
“Soybeans are getting a boost from tight U.S. stocks,” said
Andrew Woodhouse, a grains analyst at Advance Trading
Australasia. “Crush margins in China have improved over the last
couple of weeks, before which soybean cargoes were being
diverted from South America to the U.S.”
China has more than 5 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans on the
books for 2014/15, on its way to an estimated 72 million tonnes
from all suppliers for the year. It now represents about two
thirds of global soybean imports.

Prices at 11:46 a.m. CDT (1646 GMT)

LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
CBOT corn 468.00 -4.50 -1.0% 10.9%
CBOT soy 1499.50 1.75 0.1% 14.2%
CBOT meal 498.30 -0.20 0.0% 13.8%
CBOT soyoil 39.41 -0.22 -0.6% 1.5%
CBOT wheat 631.50 -7.25 -1.1% 4.3%
CBOT rice 1504.00 -1.00 -0.1% -3.0%
EU wheat 191.75 -0.75 -0.4% -8.3%