WHEAT

- Mar 15 - Syria seeks 200,000 MT of soft milling wheat using a credit line from Iran for payment

- Mar 6 - The lowest offer in Iraq's tender for 50,000 MT of hard wheat came in at 236.91 $/mt c&f free out from Richardsons for Canadian wheat. Other offers: 238 $/mt for US and 238.5 $/mt for Australian wheat from Nidera; 239.85 $/mt for Australian wheat from Graincorp; 246 and 250 $/mt for US from Al Ghurair; 258 $/mt for US and 261 $/mt for Australian wheat from ADM and 258 $/mt for Canadian wheat from Invivo. The tender closed on March 6 and offers must remain valid up to March 10

- Egypt has appointed a new head of its agriculture quarantine authority, replacing Saad Moussa, a figure who has been at the centre of a controversy over the country's wheat import requirements. Egypt will allow wheat imports with trace levels of the ergot fungus of up to 0.05%, the agriculture ministry said on Monday, a day after the head of its agriculture quarantine authority was changed. Egypt's agriculture ministry also said it would work with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on its wheat import policy

- US wheat export inspections for week, ending March 3, recorded 443,190 MT, just above the market forecasts (300-435 TMT). Inspections for 2015/16 are running 12.3% behind year-ago

- European Commission (EC) forecasts 2016 EU soft wheat crop at 142.45 MMT vs. 150.77 MMT last year. EU's executive forecasts EU soft wheat exports at 27 MMT in 2016/17, down from 29.11 MMT current season. Soft wheat inventories in the region are forecasted at 17.43 MMT by the end of June 2017, slightly above 17.17 MMT estimated for 2015/16

CORN

- Mar 11 - Morocco's ONICL seeks 149,500 MT of barley from the local market. The barley, which could be imported or come from the local harvest, will be redistributed as a subsidized grain

- The Philippines has approved a new set of rules on genetically modified organisms. The five ministers had signed rules as of Monday. The new rules will now be forwarded to the Department of Agriculture and would likely take effect by April

- US corn export inspections for week, ending Mar 3, reported 953,062 MT, topped market expectations (615-825 TMT). Inspections for 2015/16 are running 20.5% behind year-ago

- China's agriculture sector needs to undertake supply side reform, especially in corn production, given bumper harvests and surplus grain stockpiles

- China says it would strictly implement laws prohibiting the planting of illegal GMO crops

- EC expects 2016 EU corn harvest at 67.04 MMT, up 16% from 57.83 MMT in 2015. EC forecasts EU 2016/17 corn imports at 10.47 MMT vs. 10.99 MMT in 2015/16 and ending stock at 14.2 MMT vs. 14.88 MMT last season

- EC expects 2016 EU barley harvest at 60.98 MMT, just above 60.75 MMT in 2015. EC forecasts EU 2016/17 barley exports at 9.19 MMT vs. 10.98 MMT in 2015/16 and ending stock at 9.43 MMT vs. 7.31 MMT last season

SOYBEAN

- US soybean export inspections for week, ending Mar 3, reported 1,067,366 MT, matched trade forecasts that ranged from 0.725 to 1.15 MMT. Inspections for the 2015/16 marketing year are running 7.1% behind year-ago

- China imported 4.51 MMT of soybeans in February, down 20% from January's imports of 5.66 MMT but up 6% on a year earlier (4.26 MMT in Feb 2015)

- China imported 400,000 MT of edible vegetable oils in February, down 24.5% from January's imports of 530,000 MT but up 14.8% on year. China imports mainly palm oil, soyoil and rapeseed oil

- AgRural estimated the 2015/16 Brazilian soybean crop at 55% sold so far compared to 40% last year. Harvesting came in at 41% complete, in line with year-ago levels but above 5-yr average of 39%

- Strategie Grains raised its 2016 EU rapeseed crop estimate to 21.5 MMT up 100,000 MT from previous estimate, but still down 2% from the 2015 harvest (21.94 MMT)

- Strategie Grains left its 2016 EU sunflower seed crop forecast at 8.44 MMT, unchanged from previous and up 10.6% on year (7.63 MMT in 2015)

- Strategie Grains lifted its 2016 EU soybean crop estimate to 2.5 MMT from previous estimate of 2.44 MMT, up 11.9% from the 2015 harvest (2.23 MMT)

- EC expects 2016 EU rapeseed harvest at 21.29 MMT, slightly down from 21.37 MMT in 2015

- EC forecasts 2016 EU sunflower seed crop at 8.06 MMT, up 11% from 7.24 MMT in 2015

- EC forecasts 2016 EU soybean harvest at 2.07 MMT, down 6% from 2.2 MMT in 2015

- Indonesia may produce about 2.5 MMT of palm oil-based biodiesel in 2016, about a third of its targeted volume (6.6 MMT), because of the widening spread between biodiesel and gasoil

- Malaysia is expected to produce 1 MMT of biodiesel in 2016 if the 10% blend is mandated, up from about 700,000 MT consumed last year under the B7 programme

- India's oilmeal exports fell 74% from a year ago to 53,866 MT in February on lower crushing of soybean (51,197 MT in Jan 2016 and 208,499 MT in Feb 2015). India's export of oilmeals during April-Feb 2015/16 dropped 52% to 1.093 MMT compared to 2.256 MMT during the same period of last year

- India exported 1,127 MT of soybean meal in February vs. 7,707 MT a month ago and 64,514 MT a year ago. India's Apr-Feb 2015/16 soymeal exports at 70,390 MT vs. 613,676 MT a year ago

- India exported 9,803 MT of rapeseed meal in January vs. 1,990 MT a month ago and 62,545 MT a year ago. India's Apr-Feb 2015/16 rapeseed meal exports at 323,941 MT vs. 1.002 MMT a year ago

- India exported 40,440 MT of castor seed meal in January vs. 3,349 a month ago and 51,494 MT a year ago. India's Apr-Feb 2015/16 castor seed meal exports at 414,311 MT vs. 386,831 MT a year ago