WHEAT

- Feb 18 - Japan seeks 150,817 MT of food wheat for Mar 21-Apr 20 shipment:

  • 10,800 MT of western white US wheat
  • 39,460 MT of hard red winter US wheat
  • 34,600 MT of (dark) northern spring US wheat
  • 32,927 MT of Canadian western red spring wheat
  • 33,030 MT of Australian standard white wheat for May shipment

- Feb 16 - Russia bought 23,895 MT of intervention grain (all wheat) via tender on the NTB (Moscow Exchange). Making the total bought since Aug 20 at 1,512,945 MT of Russian grain (1,474,740 MT of wheat, 17,685 MT of rye and 20,520 MT of barley). Separately Russia bought around 63,000 MT of Crimean wheat in intervention fund between Aug 19-Jan 28 via tenders on Crimean Exchange

- Russian wheat export prices fell last week, hit by concerns about future supply contracts to Egypt. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat, 12.5% protein, were at 179 $/mt fob at the end of last week, down $2 from a week earlier

- Rosselkhoznadzor estimated Russian grain exports between Jul 1- Feb 15, 2015/16 at 26.04 MMT (incl. 17.92 MMT of wheat) compared with 28.53 MMT (19.23 MMT) in Jul 1- Feb 28 of 2014/15

- Rusagrotrans expects Russia's grain exports in February may hit 2.2 MMT (incl. 1.5 MMT of wheat), a record high for this month

- Iran expects to buy 9 MMT of wheat from domestic farmers in the next harvest year beginning on March 20. Iran has enough strategic wheat reserves for more than six months. The country procured around 8 MMT from its local farmers this year, a 1.3 MMT increase over last year's purchases

- Ukraine's Ag Min reports that 89% (or 6.3 mln ha) of Ukraine's winter grain crop had sprouted as of February 11 vs. 98% (or 7.8 mln ha) a year ago. About 67% of emerged crops were in good to satisfactory condition, unchanged from prior month, but down from 82% last year

- Feb 16 - Thailand sold 152,377 MT of rice from state stockpiles in its first auction of the year. It had planned to sell 204,000 MT in the first lot

- Feb 21 - Iraq's state grains buyer seeks at least 90,000 MT of US rice. The closing date for the tender is Feb 21 and offers must be valid until Feb 25

- Iraq's acting trade minister has referred grain board chief Haitham al-Khishali and 16 unnamed individuals for investigation over suspected transportation of illegal wheat shipments

CORN

- The current lineup of ships to load soy and corn at Brazilian ports has grown to twice the number seen a year ago as excessive rains delayed loading and the weak currency boosts export sales. There are currently 163 ships waiting to load soy and corn at Brazilian ports with total grains volume of an estimated 9.73 MMT (incl. 2.22 MMT of corn, more than 400% above the same period 2015; 7.51 MMT of soybeans, +104% on year) vs. 66 ships and 4.1 MMT at this time last year

- Philippines' government agencies are aim to set new regulations on GMOs by Feb 23 with some current import permits starting to expire from March and corn farmers set to begin sowing in May. Around 70% of the Philippines' corn output, which stood at 7.5 MMT last year, is GM. The country's top GM import is soybean meal (about 2-2.4 MMT in year). The country was the first in the region to allow planting and commercialization of GM corn, which it did in 2002, and has permitted GM crop imports for more than a decade. But environmental activists say that after years of allowing GMO cultivation and imports, it is time the country took a step back

- There are some doubts about possibility GMO-free corn imports to India

SOYBEAN

- Egypt's agricultural quarantine authority has rejected four cargoes (around 120,000 MT) of US soybean, which were destined for private buyers, due to higher-than-permitted levels of ambrosia

- Rosario Grains Exchange raised its 2015/16 Argentine soybean crop estimate this month to 58.5 MMT from 55.0 MMT previously

- Buyers in China are expected to stock up soybeans as they return to the market after Lunar New Year holiday last week