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Dec 12, 2014

U.S. distillers’ grains trade shrugs off Turkish rejections

Dec 12 (Reuters) – Rejections of U.S. distillers’ dried
grain (DDGs) shipments, first by China and then by Turkey, are
isolated events and not a sign of broader trade disruptions to
come, U.S. traders and industry sources said on Friday.

The U.S. Grains Council on Thursday confirmed that Turkey
has rejected three shipments of the feed ingredient and ethanol
byproduct as it steps up enforcement of rules on imports of
genetically modified corn. A fourth cargo was diverted from the
No. 6 buyer of U.S. DDGs.

Dec 5, 2014

Harsh winter could reverse post-harvest grain freight slump

CHICAGO, Dec 5 (Reuters) – U.S. grain transportation costs
have slumped to multi-year lows as last winter’s weather-related
shipping problems have so far failed to materialize, but even a
modest cold snap could still overwhelm the nation’s train, barge
and truck network and send costs soaring again.

Food company Kraft Foods Group Inc warned recently
that industry wide logistic problems would drag on earnings, and
grain processor Archer Daniels Midland Co said this week
that rail service troubles could flare up in the first quarter
of 2015.

Dec 2, 2014

U.S. ethanol makers at record rate despite rare gasoline premium

CHICAGO, Dec 2 (Reuters) – U.S. ethanol production is likely
to continue at a record rate despite its rare premium to
gasoline as cheap corn, high biofuel prices and even cool
weather provide ideal conditions and strong profit margins.

“There’s no sign that says we should slow production. The
mentality is that everyone is running,” said Todd Becker, chief
executive of Green Plains Inc, the fourth-largest U.S.
ethanol producer behind Archer Daniels Midland Co, POET
LLC and Valero Energy Corp.

Nov 21, 2014

U.S. corn, soy rally on short-covering, cash markets

CHICAGO, Nov 21 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybeans edged
higher on Friday, expanding gains from the previous session as
investors covered short positions and domestic end users hiked
bids in efforts to entice sales by farmers.
Futures for each commodity traded in both positive and
negative territory at the Chicago Board of Trade amid steep
gains in the dollar that could curb export demand for U.S.
supplies. Wheat futures were mostly higher while soymeal was
narrowly lower.
CBOT December corn, which had its largest gains of the
month on Thursday, was up 3-1/2 cents to $3.76-3/4 per bushel,
bolstered by strong cash bids, especially from ethanol makers.
“This is one of those years that you have abundant (corn)
supplies on paper but the cash market is going to reflect a
short supply because it’s in the farmers’ hands. If they are not
willing to sell, the cash markets are going to be short,” said
Jefferies Bache analyst Shawn McCambridge.
Ethanol futures were up 4.2 percent, extending gains
after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will not
finalize biofuel targets for 2014 until next year.

McCambridge and other analysts said the EPA announcement had
little effect on the corn market. “We are on a projected path to
produce just shy of 14 billion gallons (of ethanol), with what
we’ve produced already and expectations of a decent production
through the end of the year.”
Soybeans for January delivery were up 4-3/4 cents at
$10.25-1/4 as of 11:20 a.m. CST (1620 GMT) while CBOT December
wheat climbed 3-1/4 cents to $5.50-1/2.
“It’s hard to be particularly bullish about corn and
soybeans when you are looking at record U.S. production,” said
Sebastien Techer of French consultancy Agritel.
“Export demand may help prevent prices from collapsing but
the U.S. supply balance is very heavy,” he said.
A rise in the dollar index was tied to a sharp drop
in the euro as investors reacted to comments by European
Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on declining inflation
expectations, which also curbed Chicago crop futures.
A strong dollar makes U.S. commodities more expensive
overseas, and has been a drag on U.S. wheat exports this season
in the face of stiff competition from western European and Black
Sea origins.

Nov 20, 2014

Corn, soy rebound from 2-week lows on U.S. exports

CHICAGO, Nov 20 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybean futures
jumped as much as 2 percent on Thursday, rebounding from
two-week lows reached in the previous session, in a rally tied
to technical buying and renewed export demand for the crops.
Chicago Board of Trade corn rose for the first time in five
sessions, while soybeans snapped a two-session streak of losses.
Futures extended gains after the U.S. Agriculture Department
said exporters sold more than 100,000 tonnes of each crop to
unknown destinations.
The USDA release followed an earlier announcement of corn
export sales last week of 908,700 tonnes, the largest in a month
and above the high end of analysts’ expectations.

“The export sales were a good number on corn – a net-plus
because everyone has been talking down the exports in the corn
market,” said Agrivisor LLC analyst Dale Durchholz.
The drop in corn and soybean futures to two-week lows
chilled sales from farmers who had nearly finished harvests of
record-large U.S. crops. The slow pace of farmer sales forced
buyers to increase bids, further supporting futures, Durchholz
CBOT December corn was up 10 cents at $3.73-1/4 per
bushel as of 12:45 p.m. CST (1845 GMT), on pace for its largest
daily gain of the month. Soybeans for January delivery
gained 13-1/2 cents to $10.18-1/4 per bushel.
CBOT December wheat was up 7-3/4 cents, or 1.4
percent, at $5.45-1/2 while K.C. December hard red winter wheat
was up 2.3 percent at $6.00.
HRW was leading gains in the wheat complex after Saudi
Arabia, which favors that variety, announced a tender seeking
330,000 tonnes and closing on Friday.
Top wheat importer Egypt earlier said that it purchased
60,000 tonnes of soft wheat from France.

Nov 20, 2014

Ice to close upper Mississippi from November 20, earliest on record

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The shipping season on the upper Mississippi River will end on Thursday as ice surrounding locks and dams near Minnesota’s Twin Cities forced the earliest winter closure on records that date back to 1969, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.

“There’s so much ice through the whole system,” said Bryan Peterson, navigation manager for the Army Corps’ St. Paul district. “They’re getting the barges they can out and not risking getting stuck there all winter.”

Nov 19, 2014

Ethanol tumbles 7 pct on near-record U.S. production

CHICAGO, Nov 19 (Reuters) – U.S. ethanol futures
tumbled more than 7 percent on Wednesday after the Energy
Information Administration pegged production of the grain-based
biofuel last week at the second highest level on record.

The EIA said ethanol production in the week ending Nov. 14
averaged 970,000 barrels per day, the highest rate since the
record production of 972,000 bpd in the week of June 13.

Nov 18, 2014

Corn down most in 2 months as record harvest nears completion

CHICAGO, Nov 18 (Reuters) – U.S. grain and soybean futures
eased on Tuesday, with corn on pace for its worst slump in
nearly two months as investors took profits and record-large
corn and soybean harvests neared completion.
Chicago Board of Trade corn futures lost ground for the
third straight session while wheat eased for the second day.
Each contract declined following three-month highs last week.
Soybeans reversed from gains earlier in the session.
“When the market breaks like this, it tells me that buyers
have enough for now,” said Dave Fogel, a broker at Advance
Record export demand for soybeans and soymeal and strong
domestic demand for corn from ethanol producers helped limit the
declines, while bitter cold in the United States could damage
emerging wheat plants.
“We’ll find good support from end users and funds defending
their long positions,” Jefferies Bache analyst Shawn McCambridge
said of the corn pit. “I just don’t see heavy sellers coming
into this market.”
CBOT December corn was down 5-1/2 cents at $3.72 per
bushel and January soybeans were off 14-3/2 cents at
$10.21-1/2 as of 11:20 a.m. CST (1720 GMT).
CBOT December wheat fell 5-1/4 cents to $5.46-3/4
after the contract had its best week last week in two years.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said after the close of
trading on Monday that the corn harvest was 89 percent complete
and the soy harvest 94 percent complete, with cuttings of each
crop mostly on pace with recent years after a slow start.

The corn harvest lagged in the northern Corn Belt states of
Michigan, Wisconsin and portions of Minnesota, where snowfall
could delay the final phases of autumn fieldwork, agricultural
meteorologists said.
“Despite those three places, harvest is essentially over,”
Fogel said.
In wheat-growing regions in the U.S. Plains,
colder-than-normal conditions could persist for the next 10 days
before normal temperatures return, the Commodity Weather Group

Nov 17, 2014

Soybeans rally on record exports, big U.S. crush

CHICAGO, Nov 17 (Reuters) – U.S. soybeans trimmed early
losses and turned higher on Monday after government and private
reports showed larger-than-expected demand for the beans from
exporters and crushers.

Wheat and corn futures each fell more than 1 percent at the
Chicago Board of Trade, pressured by disappointing international
demand for U.S. grain.

Nov 5, 2014

Pasta prices on the boil after global durum crop disappoints

CHICAGO/LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Pasta lovers are not
savoring the lowest wheat prices in years.

This year’s wheat harvest was the biggest ever, but the
durum crop – the type of wheat used for pasta – was the smallest
in 13 years. As a result, makers of the Italian cuisine staple
face the highest costs in four years for the prized wheat
variety milled into the semolina flour that makes pasta noodles.