WHEAT

- Jan 5 - Morocco seeks 360,000 MT of US soft wheat and 315,000 MT of US durum wheat for May 31 arrival under reduced-tariff import quotas

- Informa raised its 2016 US winter wheat acreage forecast by 640,400 acres to 39.356 million acres, but down 105,000 acres from the year prior

- Ukraine's Ag Min reports that just 12% of Ukraine's grain crop had not sprouted as of December 17 versus a hefty 42% just a month earlier. About 67% of emerged crops were in good to satisfactory condition, unchanged from prior week, but down from 82% last year

- Buenos Aires Grain Exchange maintains its 2015/16 Argentine wheat crop forecast at 9.5 MMT, a 19% decline from 2014/15 (11.75 MMT). Harvesting of Argentine wheat crop was 50.4% completed as of Dec 17, behind of last year's pace of 65.6%

- European Commission (EC) slightly increased its 2015 soft wheat crop estimate from 149.1 to 149.15 MMT this month, exceeding a previous record of 148.7 MMT last year. EU's executive maintains its forecast of 2015/16 soft wheat exports at a three-year low of 27.9 MMT, a more than 16% decline on 33.3 MMT last season. EC expects soft wheat inventories in the region to climb 60% from a year earlier to 17.58 MMT by the end of June

CORN

- Dec 17 - South Korea's MFG and FLC bought 232,000 MT of optional origin yellow corn in private non-tender deals:

  • MFG bought:
    • 52 TMT of corn at 183.95 $/mt c&f for May 7 arrival
    • 69 TMT of corn at 182.49 $/mt c&f for May 20 arrival
    • 69 TMT of US or South American corn at 182.99 $/mt c&f for May 28 arrival
  • FLC bought:
    • 42 TMT of South American corn at 181.99 $/mt c&f for June 10 arrival. Each have a 1.25 $/tm surcharge for additional port unloading

- Dec 15 - China has formally accepted a petition from Chinese producers of distiller's dried grains (DDGS) seeking anti-dumping duties on imports of from the US. Under Chinese law, the commerce ministry must make a decision on whether to initiate an investigation within 60 days of accepting a complaint, but often makes decisions faster than that. Chinese imports of DDGS in the first ten months of 2015 came to 5.9 MMT, up 14.3% from the same period a year ago

- Informa Economics lowered its 2016 US corn acreage forecast to 88.926 million acres from 90.1 million previously, but still a 545,000-acre increase from the 2015 (88.381)

- Informa Economics estimates 2015 US corn crop at 13.725 billion bu

- US Grain Council said 2015 US corn, sorghum harvest is good quality

- Ukrainian farmers have harvested 61.1 MMT of grain from almost 100% of the area (14.6 mln ha) as of December 18. The yield averaged 4.19 mt/ha compared with 4.39 mt/ha in 2014. Ukraine threshed 23.25 MMT of corn from almost 100% (4.07 mln ha) of the area with yields of 5.71 mt/ha (6.04 mt/ha a year ago)

- Japan's use of corn in animal feed production stood at 45.9% in October, up 0.2 points from September and 1.1 points above year-ago (44.8% in Oct14). Users' reliance on alternatives such as sorghum, wheat and barley decreased this year

- Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated Argentine corn planting 59.3% done as of Dec 17 vs. 59.7% a year ago. The exchange raised its corn planting area estimate to 2.85 mln ha from 2.72 mln ha previously, but still down vs. 3.4 mln ha in 2014/15

- EC trimmed its outlook for this year's EU corn harvest to 56.6 MMT from 57.5 MMT last month, down 27% from a record 77.9 MMT in 2014

- EC increased marginally its estimate of this year's EU barley harvest to 60.88 MMT from 60.8 MMT previously, above last year's 60.2 MMT

SOYBEAN

- Dec 18 - USDA announced export sales of 220,046 MT of US soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during 2015/16

- Informa Economics lowered its 2016 US soybean acreage forecast to 84.537 million acres from 85.3 million last month, but still well above this year acreage (83.205 mln in 2015)

- Informa Economics estimates 2015 US soybean crop at 3.970 billion bu

- There are concerns that dry weather in Brazil may clip soy production

- Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated Argentine soybean planting 72.4% done as of Dec 17 vs. 75.1% a year ago. The exchange raised its soybean planting area estimate to 20.1 mln ha from 19.8 mln ha previously and now above than 20 mln ha in 2014/15

- EC maintains its 2015 EU rapeseed crop estimate at 21.3 MMT unchanged from previous estimate and down sharply from a record 2014 crop of 24.3 MMT. Sunflower crop is forecasted at 7.11 MMT vs. 9.06 MMT in 2014, while soybean estimate upped to 2.24 from 2.18 MMT previously and vs. 1.85 MMT a year ago