WHEAT

- Syria needs more wheat from abroad despite healthy harvest and higher offer price. State has bought just 454,744 MT of local wheat vs. 523,000 MT last year and vs. around 2.5 MMT annually before the war. Government needs up to 1.5 MMT for areas it controls

- Russian Economy Ministry is opposed to cut in wheat export tax, which has held up the decision; traders have widely expected a reduction

- India's winter-sown (rabi) grains output is seen at 132.78 MMT in the current crop year 2015/16 ending next June, versus 130.75 MMT a year ago

- Continued dryness over Australia this month has the trade backing down production estimates to around 25 MMT from 26 MMT estimated in August

- Russian farmers have harvested 89.5 MMT of grain (incl. 58.6 MMT of wheat, 16.9 MMT of barley and 3.2 MMT of corn) as of September 22, down from 90.8 MMT (incl. 54.8 MMT of wheat, 19.7 MMT of barley and 3.5 MMT of corn) a year ago. Yields were at 2.45 mt/ha, down from 2.6 mt/ha a year ago. While 57.2% of winter crops were planted as of September 22

- Kazakhstan's Ag Min said Kazakhstan harvested 10.833 MMT as of September 23, up from 9.692 MMT a year ago. Yields were at 1.16 mt/ha, up from 1.09 mt/ha a year ago

- Kazakhstan's Ag Min said Kazakhstan exported 1.179 MMT of grain between July 1-Sept 20, 2015 vs. 1.165 MMT a year ago

- Kazakhstan's Ag Min forecasts 2015 grain crop at 17.5 MMT vs. 17.2 MMT in 2014 and 2015/16 grain exports at 7.0 MMT vs. 6.44 MMT in 2014/15

- Ukraine's Ag Min lowered its 2015 grain crop forecast by around 1% to 59.5 MMT. Ukrainian farmers have harvested 39.5 MMT of grain from 10.9 million hectares (ha), or 74% of the sown area, as of Sept 22

- Argentina last week issued new export quotas of 400,000 MT of 11.5% protein wheat (10.2% dry basis), of which some 275,000 MT was reportedly sold to Brazilian millers this week for blending, at prices as low as 170 $/mt fob

- Commerzbank said that the USDA was "too optimistic" with it's forecast for a record 2015/16 world wheat crop of 731.6 MMT

- Spain imported more than 1 MMT of grains in July, up 5% from a year previously. Wheat imports of 360 TMT were similar to those of a year ago, but barley imports of 161 TMT were up 75%, while corn imports fell 4% to 477 TMT. The largest supplier of grains to Spain in July was France with 354 TMT, followed by Ukraine with 143 TMT

CORN

- CNGOIC estimated China's 2015/16 corn imports at 2.8 MMT (5.4 MMT in 2014/15), sorghum imports at 8.0 MMT and feed barley imports at 5.0 MMT

- Dr. Michael Cordonnier left his US corn yield estimate at 165 bpa and crop at 13.33 billion bu, unchanged from previous week

- Dr. Cordonnier estimated Argentine 2015/16 plantings down 12.5% to 2.8 million ha, with production falling from 25.5 MMT to 21.6 MMT

- Dr. Cordonnier estimated Brazilian 2015/16 corn plantings to be unchanged at 15.7 million ha, with production also likely to be unchanged from a year previously at 84.3 MMT. His range of estimates, depending on exactly how favorable the growing season is, is between 81-88 MMT

- Safras estimated Brazilian summer corn planting 13% done vs. 9% at this time last year

- The strike of Brazilian federal agents is ongoing. As part of a wage dispute that began late last week (Sept 17), around 70% of federal agricultural inspectors have walked off the job, including all of the inspectors at the Port of Santos. Such situation could affect export of Brazilian corn

SOY

- Dr. Michael Cordonnier left his US soybean yield estimate at 46 bpa and crop at 3.81 billion bu, unchanged from previous week

- Dr Cordonnier estimates Argentine soybean plantings to rise 2% to 20.9 million ha, and sees production at 60 MMT, matching the 2014/15 record crop

- Dr. Cordonnier estimated Brazilian plantings to rise 3.3% to 33 million ha, with production jumping to a record 99 MMT