Corn: The market closed higher on the day and versus last Friday. In Chicago the Mar 17 contract closed at the best levels on a front month since late June 2016. The USDA this week raised their estimate for the size of the global 2016/17 crop by more than 2 MMT to 1040 MMT. However they also upped consumption by 6 MMT and cut carryout by 2.5 MMT. Chinese corn usage was projected 4 MMT larger, mostly from increased feed usage. The USDA also reduced the size of this season's EU-28 corn crop, marking that down to 60.3 MMT, with ending stocks cut to 4.75 MMT, the lowest level since 2007. Record corn production for 2016/17 reflected larger crops in both Ukraine and Mexico more than offsetting lower production in the EU, they said. "Robust demand in both Iran and Vietnam support a higher volume of global exports. Moreover, a smaller barley crop in Iran boosts the demand for (other) imported feedstuffs," they added. Mar 17 Corn settled at $3.74 1/2, up 5 cents; May 17 Corn settled at $3.82, up 4 3/4 cents. For the week that puts Mar 17 corn up 9 1/4 cents.
Wheat: The wheat market closed higher, with Mar 17 CBOT Wheat settling at $4.49, up 5 1/2 cents; Mar 17 KCBT Wheat ending at $4.60 1/2, up 9 1/4 cents and Mar 17 MGEX Wheat finishing the day at $5.72 1/2, up 4 cents. For the week that puts nearby Chicago wheat up 18 3/4 cents, with the Kansas market 20 cents higher and Minneapolis up 14/14 cents. For Chicago wheat this was a more than 7-month closing high for a nearby contract. In their February WASDE report the USDA said that "prices for most wheat classes were up during the month of January, underpinned by 2017/18 US crop prospects as well as a weakening dollar." They also noted that "the growing gap between HRS and most other wheat classes is indicative of tight supplies of high-protein wheat in the global market." US 2016/17 wheat exports were raised 1.5 MMT to 27.5 MMT, whilst Russia's were lowered 0.5 MMT to 28.5 MMT. World ending stocks were lowered from 253.3 MMT to 248.6 MMT.