Tuesday Morning Markets

The overnight grains are higher with beans up around 8-10 cents, wheat 8 cents higher and corn up 2-3 cents as America emerges from yesterday's president's Day holiday.

The dollar is a little easier today, and crude oil a bit firmer, adding some support to the grains sector.

A two day meeting of euro zone finance ministers yesterday and today will attempt to "flesh out" plans to aid Greece's debt crisis. That's helping the euro firm a little from recent losses, although a failure to sufficiently assure the markets could easily see the single currency back under the cosh.

The Greek finance minister told the Telegraph that turning this ship around was no easy feat, it would be like trying to "change the course of the Titanic, it cannot be done in a day," he is quoted as saying.

EU markets have opened a little higher, encouraged by the lead from eCBOT. London wheat has come in 30-40 pence higher, with Paris wheat up 25-50 euro cents and rapeseed EUR2.50-2.75 firmer.

Kazakhstan says that it's grain stocks on Feb 1st were 15.1 MMT, of that 13.3 MMT was wheat, and of that 11 MMT was milling wheat.

Iran is tendering this week for at least 100,000 MT of wheat, certainly the Kazakhs will be one of the front-runners.

Japan is also tendering for 100,000 MT of wheat, of that 60,000 MT will be US origin, with the rest split equally between Canadian and Australian wheat.

Talking of Australia, ABARE cut it's estimate of the final size of the recently harvested wheat crop there to 21.7 MMT from 22 MMT yesterday. Barley output was also downgraded by 300,000 MT to 8 MMT.

Summer grain plantings there are seen sharply lower, down 27%, due to unfavourable hot and dry conditions around Christmas time.

As of Feb 3rd Ukraine had exported 16 MMT of grain during the current marketing year. The local Farmers' Confederation says that the country will export 6 MMT in the Jan/June portion of the MY, that gives us likely exports of 20.3 MMT in the 2009/10 MY, 4.9 MMT down from 2008/09. The Ag Ministry recently raised their forecast for exports this season from 20 MMT to 22 MMT, that's almost half of this year's production of 46 MMT.