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Mar 28, 2014

Wheat eases but set for weekly rise on U.S. drought

CHICAGO, March 28 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures fell 2.2
percent on Friday as investors awaited key U.S. planting and
stocks data but stayed on course for a small weekly rise as the
market worried about dry weather in the U.S. Plains.
Corn and soybeans inched higher in subdued trading in the
run-up to Monday’s spring planting and quarterly stocks
estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a data
release that often generates sharp price movements.
Wheat futures were headed for their biggest daily drop in 10
days, but rallies early this week had prices on track for their
fourth straight weekly gain. Investors made bullish bets on
concerns that drought will hurt wheat crops in major producing
states like Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, adding to recent support
from tensions between major grain exporters Russia and Ukraine.
But forecasts for some rain in parts of the U.S. grain belt
and the prospect of large global harvests in 2014 have acted as
a brake on wheat prices ahead of Monday’s USDA numbers.
“There are more-than-adequate supplies of old-crop coarse
grains, and we see the likelihood of another large global 2014
wheat and corn harvest,” David Sheppard, managing director of UK
merchant Gleadell, said in a note.
“However, as we have seen over the past few weeks, we should
never underestimate the power of politics and the impact of
perceived or real weather events.”
Wheat for delivery in May on the Chicago Board of Trade
was down 16-1/2 cents at $6.94 a bushel at 11:20 a.m. CDT
(1620 GMT).
Traders were also unwinding wheat and corn spreads, said
analyst Terry Linn of the Linn Group brokerage in Chicago.
“Some technical signals suggest we may have a top in the
spread,” Linn said. “Absolutely, that spread is a factor.
“The wheat market hasn’t broken down; we are just
consolidating in a range. We probably won’t break down in front
of the (USDA) number, but we have a shot across the bow.”
CBOT May corn was up 1 cent at $4.93 a bushel after
hitting a nearly three-week high of $4.96-1/4 on strong U.S.
exports. Corn is up 3 percent this week, its ninth increase in
10 weeks.
U.S. corn sales last week stood at 1.4 million tonnes, well
above analysts’ expectations that ranged from 525,000 to 725,000
tonnes, a USDA report showed.
Soybeans were up 3 cents at $14.39-1/2 per bushel and
on track for a weekly gain of 2 percent.
U.S. soybean export sales last week reached only 11,900
tonnes, near the marketing-year low hit in mid-February and
suggesting tight U.S. stocks may be curbing demand after brisk
demand so far this season.
Analysts expect Monday’s USDA report to show U.S. soybean
stocks by March 1 were 989 million bushels, which would be the
smallest since 2004.
U.S. corn stockpiles are seen at 7.099 billion bushels, the
biggest since 2010, and wheat stocks at a five-year low of 1.042
billion bushels.

Prices at 11:20 a.m. CDT (1620 GMT)

LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
CBOT corn 493.00 1.00 0.2% 16.8%
CBOT soy 1439.50 3.00 0.2% 9.7%
CBOT meal 470.10 -0.40 -0.1% 7.4%
CBOT soyoil 40.56 0.13 0.3% 4.5%
CBOT wheat 694.00 -16.50 -2.3% 14.7%
CBOT rice 1548.50 1.50 0.1% -0.2%
EU wheat 210.25 -1.25 -0.6% 0.6%

Mar 25, 2014

Corn edges lower in consolidation ahead of USDA report

CHICAGO, March 25 (Reuters) – U.S. corn futures were
narrowly lower on Tuesday, easing after a steep climb in prices
in the previous session as investors squared positions ahead of
a major government crop report due next week.
Wheat also declined slightly while soybeans headed for
modest gains, with futures for each commodity trading in both
positive and negative territory at the Chicago Board of Trade.
“Every so often, the market needs to take a break and
consolidate,” said Bob Utterback, analyst at Utterback Marketing
in New Richmond, Indiana.
Closely watched analytics firm Informa Economics at midday
reduced its forecast for U.S. corn plantings to 93.029 million
acres and trimmed its soybean estimate to 81.204 million acres,
trade sources said.
The estimates came in advance of the U.S. Agriculture
Department’s annual spring plantings report slated for release
on Monday that will estimate how many acres U.S. farmers will
plant of each of the major crops.
“The market is just anticipating the March 31 report, and
that’s what we’re waiting for,” said Chris Manns, analyst at the
Traders Group in Chicago.
Corn and wheat futures had surged in the first session of
the week on worries that bitter winter conditions in the United
States could harm the wheat crop and delay corn plantings. But
investors were reluctant to expand positions ahead of the crop
report that typically results in wild gyrations in prices.
“We’re going to see a lot of evening up,” Manns said.
CBOT May corn fell 2-1/4 cents to $4.87-3/4 per bushel
while CBOT May wheat was down 1-1/4 cent at $7.13-1/4 per
bushel as of 11:02 a.m. CST (1702 GMT).
Soybeans for May delivery were 6-1/4 cents higher at
$14.31-3/4 per bushel.
Warmer weather was forecast in the U.S. Corn Belt while
rains were expected on Wednesday in the parched winter wheat
belt in the southern U.S. Plains, an agriculture meteorologist
said.
Meanwhile, China has turned away more U.S. corn after
detecting an unapproved genetically modified strain in
shipments, with buyers waiting for sales from the country’s huge
state reserves or shifting to cheap grain from Ukraine.

Prices at 11:02 a.m. CDT (1602 GMT)

LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
CBOT corn 487.75 -2.25 -0.5% 15.6%
CBOT soy 1431.75 6.25 0.4% 9.1%
CBOT meal 465.50 3.50 0.8% 6.4%
CBOT soyoil 40.97 0.13 0.3% 5.5%
CBOT wheat 713.25 -1.25 -0.2% 17.8%
CBOT rice 1542.50 -9.50 -0.6% -0.5%
EU wheat 213.25 -0.50 -0.2% 2.0%

Mar 24, 2014

U.S. ethanol’s premium to gasoline largest since 2011

CHICAGO, March 24 (Reuters) – U.S. ethanol futures climbed
in the sixth straight session on Monday, expanding their premium
to gasoline futures to the largest in 2-1/2 years as gridlock on
the nation’s railroads continued to slow shipments of the
grain-based biofuel, traders and analysts said.

Slow turnover of tanker cars has kept a lid on ethanol
production this year, with the ethanol stockpile last week
falling to the smallest since November and just above the lowest
levels in records dating back to 2010.

Mar 14, 2014

Winter rail traffic snarl jams ethanol plants, raises prices

CHICAGO/NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) – A winter-long traffic
jam on U.S. railways is hampering transport of ethanol, forcing
production cuts and ratcheting up prices in supply-deprived
regions.

The coldest winter in three decades has stalled locomotives,
frozen track switches and delayed crews, causing snarls in
Chicago and other major hubs across the continent and slowing
much of the eastbound ethanol trade.

Mar 7, 2014

U.S. cash corn bids plunge after big farmer sales

CHICAGO, March 7 (Reuters) – Basis bids for U.S. corn posted
their largest declines of 2014 this week after a rally in
futures triggered some of the biggest farmer sales since last
year’s autumn harvest, grain buyers and analysts said on Friday.

Farmers that were holding tightly to supplies left over from
a record-large U.S. harvest sold semi trucks full of the grain
when cash prices jumped above the psychological threshold of $5
per bushel in much of the U.S. Corn Belt.

Feb 26, 2014

Wheat falls second day on export worries, soy hits new high

CHICAGO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures shed 1.3
percent on Wednesday, pressured by worries that the recent
run-up in prices to a two-month high would make supplies from
the United States less competitive in global markets.
Soybean and corn futures each were narrowly higher, after
notching new five-month peaks as rain delays to the harvest in
South America kept the United States as the top export market
for now.
Chicago Board of Trade March wheat was down 8 cents at
$6.07 per bushel. Futures were on pace for the second straight
session of lower prices in the wake of an announcement on
Tuesday that top wheat importer Egypt canceled a purchase of two
cargoes of U.S. wheat.
“We’ve exhausted buying interest and there’s concerns that
we could be pushing demand away from the market, especially on
the export side,” Jefferies Bache analyst Shawn McCambridge said
of wheat futures.
“We could get a disappointing number tomorrow. End users are
not willing to chase the market higher,” McCambridge added,
referring to the U.S. Agriculture Department’s weekly grain
export data release due early on Thursday.
CBOT March soybeans were up 3 cents at $14.02 per
bushel while March corn gained 1/2 cent to $4.56-1/4 per
bushel as of 11:13 a.m. CST (1713 GMT).
“Despite this time of the year when overseas buyers should
be eyeing the South American record harvest, the focus is still
on U.S. soybeans supplies,” said Vanessa Tan, investment analyst
at Phillip Futures in a market note.
“This is because South America is dealing with harvest
delays of the region’s record large crop.”

Prices at 11:13 a.m. CST (1713 GMT)

LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
CBOT corn 456.25 0.50 0.1% 8.1%
CBOT soy 1402.00 3.00 0.2% 6.8%
CBOT meal 465.90 -3.70 -0.8% 6.4%
CBOT soyoil 41.31 0.73 1.8% 6.4%
CBOT wheat 607.00 -8.00 -1.3% 0.3%
CBOT rice 1560.00 -15.00 -1.0% 0.6%
EU wheat 200.25 1.25 0.6% -4.2%

Feb 18, 2014

DSM says Iowa cellulosic ethanol plant running by June

Feb 18 (Reuters) – An Iowa ethanol plant that will be one of
the first producers of biofuels made from crop waste will be
operating by June, a general manager of the plant said in an
interview on Tuesday.

POET-DSM, a joint operation between leading U.S. ethanol
maker POET LLC and Dutch food and chemicals group DSM,
will be among the largest to make so-called advanced biofuels on
a commercial scale.

Feb 7, 2014

Icy Illinois River impedes barge traffic, little relief seen

CHICAGO, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Icy waters on the Illinois River
brought barge traffic to a virtual halt this week, slowing
transportation of grains and other raw materials to export
terminals at the U.S. Gulf with no relief expected as forecasts
call for more bitter cold weather in the coming days, officials
said on Friday.

Some barge operators were “tying up” their vessels while
other shippers were traveling single-file through a pathway in
the ice on the Illinois River near Peoria Lake in the central
part of the state. Shippers were also restricting tows to six or
eight barges, down from 15 or more normally, as ice buildup
narrowed chambers on the river’s locks.

Jan 30, 2014

Corn up most in three weeks on big US export sales

CHICAGO, Jan 30 (Reuters) – U.S. corn futures jumped 1.5
percent on Thursday, heading for their largest gains in about
three weeks after government data showed larger-than-expected
export sales, analysts said.
Soybean and wheat also rose at the Chicago Board of Trade,
rebounding from recent lows amid strong weekly export sales
results for the crops in a U.S. Agriculture Department report.
CBOT March corn gained 6-1/2 cents to $4.34 per
bushel, touching the highest level in two weeks and closing in
on their first two-month streak of gains in 1-1/2 years.
“We were the cheapest corn in the world, just below Ukraine,
and it certainly showed up in the export sales,” said U.S.
Commodities analyst Don Roose. “Bull spreads have been working
on corn, so the market told you we were fighting for value.”
U.S. exporters sold 1.8 million tonnes of corn last week,
the largest amount in the current 2013/14 marketing season. Top
global corn buyer Japan purchased 797,800 tonnes of the grain,
USDA data showed.
The dip in prices earlier this month to the lowest level in
3-1/2 years has made corn more competitive in global markets
even as the strong demand has lifted futures by more than 6
percent since hitting the low watermark on Jan. 10.
“We’re in a market that’s moving to the top of the trading
range – there’s a little resistance all the way,” Roose added.
Corn futures hit a session high of $4.34-1/2 before hitting
resistance at their 100-day moving average.
CBOT March soybeans were 11-1/2 cents higher at
$12.80-3/4 per bushel, a gain of 0.9 percent after earlier
trading as low as $12.60. CBOT March wheat firmed by 3-3/4
cents to $5.55-1/4 as of 10:38 a.m. CST (1638 GMT).
U.S. soybean exports of 494,800 tonnes were below analyst
expectations in a Reuters poll but some traders were bracing for
a net negative result as importers “switch” supplies to Brazil.

The surge in corn futures coupled with the positive export
results helped lift soy futures from their 2-1/2 month low
notched early in the trading session amid harvest in Brazil.
“We are going to see increasing availability of South
American (soy) supplies in the coming weeks which is going to
relieve the near-term supply tightness,” said Luke Mathews,
commodities strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
In Brazil, strong yields in the country’s top soy-growing
state Mato Grosso should guarantee a record harvest for the
country in the 2013/14 crop year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture attache in Brazil on
Tuesday estimated the 2013/14 soybean crop there at 89.5 million
tonnes, above the USDA’s official forecast of 89 million tonnes
and sharply up from 81.6 million tonnes last year.
U.S. exports of all varieties of wheat totalled 794,900
tonnes, the largest since September and above the high end of
analyst estimates that ranged from 300,000 to 500,000 tonnes.

Jan 27, 2014

U.S. soymeal shipments surge amid Argentina peso plunge

Jan 24 (Reuters) – U.S. exporters shipped the most soymeal
in nearly 16 years last week as farmers in Argentina, the top
exporter of the animal feed, hoarded soybeans amid a plunging
peso, analysts said on Friday.

The U.S. exporters loaded out 398,591 tonnes of soymeal,
primarily to Asian destinations such as South Korea, Thailand
and the Philippines. That was the biggest weekly shipment since
April 1998, when exporters loaded 433,498 tonnes, according to
U.S. Agriculture Department data.