We're So Happy We Can Hardly Count - Fund Manager

We've not had a good old fashioned panic since when was it now, early August? That seems like ages ago now doesn't it? Front month London wheat trading at GBP169/tonne as I recall. Well even whichever muppet bought that is finally back in profit today, with Nov hitting the dizzy heights of GBP171.50 this morning.

Even Nov11 is getting in on the act today posting a fresh life of contract high of GBP140.00/tonne, up GBP4.50/tonne on the day.

The battle for acres is on you see, that's what the newswires are telling us. We need corn to go to USD6, or maybe even USD7, to ration demand, says another. You could of course stop using it to make ethanol with, that would ration as much demand as you want, over 100 million tonnes of it in the US alone in fact. But that's not going to happen is it.

You could stop fund money buying it, they've dabbled with that idea but the exchanges aren't keen. All the funds are doing is providing liquidity you see, that's what they say. They're doing us all a favour.

So remember that when you pop down the shops for a loaf of bread, two pints of milk and a half pound of bacon only to find you need your credit card with you because the twenty pound note you carelessly only brought with you isn't enough.

The futures market is clearly broken, but it's all we've got, and we're stuck with it.

UK ex farm prices for wheat have widened from a "normal" GBP7 under London wheat to more like GBP10-12 under now. In Minneapolis the gap has gone from being 20c/bu under to 90c/bu in a week, Agrimoney.com reported last week.

Meanwhile EU pig numbers are in decline as farmers liquidate herds due to rising feed prices and tighter animal welfare red tape. Analysts predict the EU-27 pig herd to fall to 150.7 million head by the end of 2010, a drop of 11 million in five years.

The Farmers' Weekly reported last week that UK deadweight pigs prices have fallen for ten weeks in succession, declining 3% since the end of June, coincidentally (or not as the case may be) exactly when the price of wheat started to go up.

Meanwhile deadweight cattle prices have reached their lowest level since August 2008, they report, as slaughterings are up and the usual seasonal decrease in throughput in July and August failed to materialise this year.

The powers that be probably think that this is a good thing, the fewer of those nasty methane farting beasts that are about the better. Indeed, we can use the fields upon which they normally stand around stinking all day in, to grow crops that nobody but the fund managers and ethanol/biodiesel refineries want instead.

MrsN#3 has just brought be a ham sandwich, I'd better go, this might be the last one I ever get.