The grains look like they’re coasting in to the end of the week, volumes continuing to slow down, as maybe the trade has found a comfort zone? Two full weeks are left before September brings the next round of crop estimates, and likely lots of early harvest results to fire up the trade.
South Korea purchased 49k tonnes of U.S. wheat from Columbia Grain this morning, for Nov-Dec arrival; Taiwan bought two separate lots of U.S. wheat, one at 49k tonnes from Toepfer, and one for 45,650 tonnes from Marubeni.
China sold all 402,375 tonnes of beans that it offered from state reserves this week, though the average price ($674/tonne) dropped off a bit from the record seen two weeks ago, slightly below import values. The government has liquidated 2.23 MMT of beans from state stocks since April, while the CNGOIC sees soybean imports at 4.7 MMT in August, down from 5.87 MMT in July.
U.S. Ag Secretary Vilsack yesterday said that the ethanol industry would “suffer” with a waived or modified ethanol mandate, something that at least 25 U.S. senators and 150 representatives are now calling for; Vilsack favors a “wait-and-see” approach with higher corn prices already cutting production.
Rabobank estimated the 2012/13 Australian wheat crop at 25 MMT, 1 MMT below the current USDA number, though ending stocks are seen at 8 MMT at the end of the new season, nearly 2 MMT above the USDA August figure. The USDA yesterday indicated that FSA data suggested 2012 crop plantings of around 3 MMT higher than current estimates, including another 1.2 million acres of soybeans and half a million additional acres of corn.
Argentina’s Ag Ministry cut their 2012/13 wheat plantings estimate by another 100k hectares this month, to 3.7 million ha (9.1 million acres), now down 20% from last year’s area. 95% of the intended planting was reported as complete, with 85% of that area in “good” to “very good” condition.