FOB Gulf Grain-Soy basis firms, corn/wheat steady

CHICAGO, May 15 (Reuters) – U.S. FOB Gulf soybean basis offers were 5 cents a bushel firmer for old-crop loadings and 1-2 cents firmer for new-crop loadings after futures dropped sharply on Thursday, traders said.

* Corn and wheat basis offers were steady after futures fell on profit-taking. Exporters said inquiries for corn were still strong, but doubts about wheat demand were evident in the market.

* Persistent talk about imports of soybeans and wheat into the United States weighed on sentiment.

* Soybean basis gains were mainly a function of sharp losses in futures on profit-taking after a NOPA monthly crush came in the highest in April in five years. Speculators bought the rumor and sold the fact, traders said.

* FOB May and June soybeans were offered up 5 cents at 95 cents over July futures, new-crop November was up 2 at 107 cents over futures.

* July soybeans 16-1/2 lower at $14.70-1/4, November ended 4-3/4 down at $12.17-3/4.

* USDA said soy weekly export sales were 73,600 tonnes for old-crop, a surprise after dwindling sales the last four weeks. Sales for new-crop were 324,700 tonnes, including 53,000 tonnes to China. Shipments were 269,700 tonnes, up 17 percent on the four-week average.

* Traders said new-crop South American soybeans continue to set the pace in the world market and canceled Brazilian shipments for China continue to be expected in the U.S. over the coming months. But demand continues from new-crop. USDA reported on Thursday China bought 120,000 tonnes for 2014/15 delivery within the last the day.

* U.S. soy processor bids remain strong.

* FOB corn offers were unchanged with May at 95 over July futures and June-September at 85 over futures.

* CBOT July corn tracked soybeans lower, ending 11-1/4 down at $4.84-1/4.

* USDA reported old-crop corn sales of 343,000 tonnes, down 39 percent from the four-week average and included a cancellation of 155,000 tonnes by Spain. Shipments remain healthy at 1.02 million tonnes.

* USDA also reported on Thursday a fresh sale of 104,000 tonnes of 2013-14 corn to Mexico.

* Wheat basis offers were steady as futures crashed on improving crop prospects in the hard red winter wheat belt. Talk that more Canadian wheat was coming into the U.S. as farmers cleared bins that had been blocked by winter weather also weighed on the market.

* CBOT July wheat closed down 12 at $6.78-1/4. Kansas City July wheat ended down 27-1/2 at $7.78-3/4.

* USDA weekly export sales totaled on 54,900 tonnes of old-crop, down 83 percent from the four-week average. Export shipments of HRW last week totaled only 243,300 tonnes.

* Egypt’s GASC came in after the close and tendered for milling wheat for last half June shipment.

* FOB Texas Gulf HRW basis offers were 155 over KC July futures, with June at 148 over. SRW May first half was quoted 87 over CBOT and last half at 82 over – all unchanged. (Reporting by Christine Stebbins)

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