Grains were weaker overnight with wheat giving up 5 cents and corn down 3 cents. Soybeans had slim fractional losses in the night trade.
In beans, exports continue to be unusually brisk giving the market a reason to trade above $14 near term. Monday’s export inspections showed 732,132 MT for the week, bringing the total for the year to 39.6 MMT with USDA projecting 41.6 MMT for the entire marketing year. In Argentina, port problems continue to plague bean shippers there. About 80 ships were halted on Monday at Rosario as dredging activities were conducted to try and deepen the waterway. Three grain ships have run aground there prompting the Coast Guard to order dredging and halt ship movement.
For wheat, crop conditions declined again this week in the Southern Plains. In Kansas, 33% of the wheat was rated good/excellent, down from 34% a week earlier. Oklahoma was at 17% good/excellent, down from 18% the previous week. The amount rated poor/very poor rose to 42% from 37% a week earlier. For Texas, 11% of the wheat was rated good/excellent, down from 13% a week earlier. USDA said 55% of the Texas wheat crop was rated poor/very poor, up from 52% last week. Climate models show an increased chance of an El Nino weather event later this year, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Tuesday. The Pacific Ocean is "very likely to warm in the coming months", with models surveyed by the BOM calling for sea surface temperatures to reach El Nino threshold during the southern hemisphere winter. El Nino is associated with droughts in Southeast Asia and Australia and floods in South America.
Ukraine has kept up a high level of grain exports in March, shipping 2.4 MMT abroad so far this month, the agriculture ministry said, even while it has been embroiled in a conflict with Russia. In Russia, Sovecon sees 2014 grain crop at 88 MMT, up from its previous forecast of 86 MMT, but lowers its export forecast to 22 MMT from a previous figure of 24.1 MMT. Taiwan's MFIG corn purchasing group has rejected all offers and made no purchase in a tender to buy 60,000 MT of corn which closed on Tuesday. This marks the 2nd tender in a row that Taiwan has rejected on the basis of prices being too high. Overnight, China's quality watchdog at the northern city of Tianjin turned away 21,800 MT of U.S. corn after detecting an unapproved genetically modified corn strain (GMO), the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Monday.
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Morning Comments - Countdown to USDA report