CBOT Closing Comments


May Soybeans closed at USD9.52 ¼, up 5 ¾ cents; May Soybean Meal at USD265.30, up USD2.70/ton; May Soybean Oil at USD40.04, up 12 points. The USDA's monthly supply and demand report pegged soybean ending stocks at 190 million bushels, slightly below the average trade guess of 209 million bushels. Soybean exports were forecast to reach 1.445 billion bushels, which would set a new record topping the 2008/09 record by 13%. South American production numbers keep increasing, with the USDA's attache in Brazil raising his soybean estimate to 67.25 MMT.


May Corn futures closed at USD3.45 ¾, down 2 ½ cents; December Corn futures finished at USD3.78 ¾, down 2 ½ cents. The USDA's monthly supply and demand report pegged corn ending stocks at 1.899 billion bushels, slightly below the average trade guess of 1.909 billion bushels. World corn production was raised 2 MMT from last month, with higher output expected from Brazil and South Africa with good growing conditions this past season. The USDA announced that Mexico had purchased 144,780MT of US corn today, split roughly 50:50 between old crop and new crop. China said it will sell 1 MMT of it's reserves in the NE of the country in an effort to contain rising domestic prices.


May CBOT Wheat finished at USD4.65 ¾, down 3 ½ cents; May KCBT Wheat at USD4.83 ½, down 2 cents; May MGEX Wheat at USD5.01 ¼, down 2 ½ cents. The USDA's monthly supply and demand report lowered wheat ending stocks to 950 million bushels, compared to the average guess of 1.001 billion bushels. Higher domestic use and exports were responsible for the decline. World ending stocks were reduced by 1.0 MMT to 195.8 MMT. Commodity funds have sold an estimated 2,000 wheat contracts at CBOT today. Analysts estimate that wheat production in Texas could almost double, despite a 12% decline in winter wheat plantings, after a winter of abundant rainfall and near ideal growing conditions.

EU Wheat Closing Comments

May London wheat ended GBP0.85 higher at GBP97.25/tonne, with May Paris wheat closing EUR0.75 lower at EUR127.00/tonne.

The USDA dropped US 2009/10 wheat ending stocks to 950 million bushels, although that was less than the one billion bushels that the trade had been expecting it's still a recent high.

This was a result of increased US exports and higher feed and residual usage.

World wheat ending stocks were also reduced slightly, falling by 1 MMT to 195.8 MMT, again though still a recent high. The reduction in US stocks was largely responsible.

UK ex farm levels have improved somewhat, with mid-GBP90's now reportedly available for remaining old crop supplies for summer collection.

That might be close to as good as it gets for those left with grain to sell. Harvesting will start in some parts of Europe in a little over two months.

The pound, and even the euro, both gained on a weak dollar during the course of the week, with sterling posting advances of over 3% to close at 1.5375 against the greenback.

The Grand National

Everybody's favourite race is wide open as ever this year. I like the look of THE PACKAGE, although it is a bit young for me at seven.

MALJIMAR, the one above it also has appeal, but the one that tickles my particular fancy and will be getting some of my each way cash at decent odds is....FLINTOFF at 66/1.

Don't worry about the fact that it pulled up last time out (in the Welsh National), it seems to be a quirky sort of a horse who has pulled up on several occasions before, then ran extremely well subsequently.

Like it's namesake and owner Freddie, it can clearly either be a world beater or a pig in a wig, with little apparent warning which one you are going to get. Let's hope it's the former tomorrow.

Prior to that it had been placed in the Midlands and Scottish Nationals. In the latter race it was around 30 lengths in front of last season's winner Mon Mome and is now a stone better off at the weights.

It has also finished a creditable 6th in the Irish version, so staying isn't going to be a problem tomorrow. It is obviously a bit of a "national" specialist.

OK, I'm not suggesting that it's a certainty or anything, but worth a punt at those odds.

USDA Crop Report Highlights

This afternoon's USDA reports proved to be a bit of a mixed bag. US ending stocks came in lower than expectations for corn, wheat and beans.

World ending stocks were increased from last month's estimates for beans and corn, but lowered slightly for wheat.

US 2009/10 ending stocks (billion bushels):
Apr 2010 Avg Trade Guess
Soybeans 0.190 0.209
Corn 1.899 1.909
Wheat 0.950 1.001
World 2009/10 ending stocks (MMT):
Apr 2010 Mar 2010
Soybeans 62.96 60.67
Corn 144.2 140.2
Wheat 195.8 196.8

The Brazilian soybean crop was upped half a million tonnes to 67.5 MMT, whilst output in Argentina was increased by 1 MMT to 54 MMT. South African corn production was raised half a million tonnes to 14 MMT.

Other than that there were no significant production changes. Chinese wheat output was left unchanged at a questionable 114.5 MMT, corn output for 2009/10 was also unchanged at 155 MMT.

CBOT Closing Comments


May Soybeans closed at USD9.46 ½, down 6 cents; May Soybean Meal at USD262.60, down USD3.00/ton; May Soybean Oil at USD39.92, down 11 points. A weaker crude oil market and firmer dollar hit beans. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchanged upped it's estimate for Argy soybean production to 54.5 MMT, 70% up on last year and almost 12% higher than the previous record crop of 2006/07. Weekly export sales from the USDA were above trade expectations. The USDA will release the monthly supply demand and crop production report before the opening Friday. Average guesses for soybean ending stocks are 209 million bushels compared to the March USDA number of 190 million bushels.


May Corn futures closed at USD3.48 ¼, down 8 ¼ cents; December Corn futures at USD3.81 ¼, down 7 cents. Corn gave up most of yesterday's gains after the Chinese government said that it would sell some of it's corn reserves domestically to help keep prices down. Even so, some trade companies may still be looking to import corn into the south west of the country, but this is not necessarily going to be US corn. There are potential problems over the GM issue. Weekly export sales of 1,357,800 MT were robust. In Friday's USDA report 2009/10 ending stocks are expect to increase to 1.909 billion bushels, up from a March estimate of 1.799 billion.


May CBOT Wheat closed at USD4.69 ¼, down 6 cents; May KCBT Wheat at USD4.85 ½, down 6 ½ cents; May MGEX Wheat at USD5.03 ¾, down 2 ½ cents. Wheat export sales were 323,700 MT for delivery in 2009/10 and a further 209,700 MT for delivery in 2010/11. That was above pre-report estimates for total sales of 250,000 – 450,000 MT. Of note on the wheat sales was that China featured for the second week running, this time booking 55,600 MT of old crop and 50,600 MT of new crop. Trade estimates for tomorrow's monthly USDA WASDE report for wheat ending stocks average 1.001 billion bushels.

EU Wheat Closing Comments

May London wheat ends GBP0.15 higher at GBP96.40/tonne, with May Paris wheat closing EUR1.25 higher at EUR127.75/tonne.

Prices nudged mostly higher on ideas that EU wheat is now finally amongst the most competitive in the world.

Paris wheat benefited from the continuing weakness of the euro as the Greek problems rear their ugly head again.

The spring weather is improving, and farmers and agronomists are taking stock of what damage might have been done across a fairly harsh winter.

All eyes are on the USDA Friday, who are expected to peg US wheat 2009/10 ending stocks above a billion bushels. There are some who think that the recent pick up in US export pace could warrant a small reduction in ending stocks from last months report.

Yesterday's USDA weekly export sales came in above expectations. It was also interesting to note China buying both old and new crop US wheat.

They're At It Yet Again Those Cheeky Chinese Chaps

Ever keen on making a quick yuan, regardless of the risk to public health, it seems that the Chinese are stunningly at it yet again. Seemingly unperturbed by minutae like the death sentence being dished out to some of those involved in the melamine in baby milk scam, the latest whimsical ruse consists of adding pulverised lime to bleaching agents for flour.

No I don't mean the sort of lime you pop into the top of your bottle of Sol to keep the flies out either.

Good old inedible pulverised lime is not only cheaper than its edible counterpart corn starch, but it also weighs more. Double bubble, you might say.

Sure, there's a few minor side effects, like complete failure of the entire respiratory system, but hey you could get knocked down by a rickshaw tomorrow couldn't you?

Read more here: "One wedge or two?"

Pakistan To Sell Wheat To Weatherspoons

No sooner have the Indian Ministry of Lying come out with a statement saying that they'd been knocked over with buying interest for their carefully stored wheat surplus, than arch rivals and neighbours Pakistan chip in.

They might sell 2 MMT of wheat for export, they say. They're supposed to have 5 MMT of wheat in store (although they might find that some of it has already left the country "unofficially"), and quite fancy offloading some before new crop comes in, they reckon.

I'll be surprised if they find a huge queue of willing takers.

It was only a few days ago that they admitted that they have problems adequately storing wheat for more than a year. So why not sell it off ten minutes before the sell-by date runs out eh? Maybe they should give Weatherspoons a ring?

Incidentally, my old Weatherspoons local used to be known with affection as "The Three Dings" on account of when you heard three dings you knew that your food was about to leave the kitchen.

USDA Stocks Estimates

Ending Stocks Estimates for tomorrows USDA Report in billion bushels:

Average Range March 08/09
Beans 0.209 0.170-0.242 0.190 0.138
Corn 1.911 1.718-2.149 1.799 1.673
Wheat 1.001 0.971-1.100 1.001 0.657

USDA Weekly Export Sales

The USDA's weekly export sales report came in better than expected across the board. Soybean sales were 205,700 MT for delivery in 2009/10 and 238,100 MT for delivery in 2010/11 (mainly for China with 225,000 MT). The trade had been expecting sales of only 150,000 – 350,000 MT.

Corn sales of 1,357,800 MT for delivery in 2009/10 were very respectable, although there was a net reduction of 59,800 MT for delivery in 2010/11. Trade estimates were for sales of 600,000 – 900,000 MT.

Wheat sales were 323,700 MT for delivery in 2009/10 and a further 209,700 MT for delivery in 2010/11. Pre-report estimates were for sales of 250,000 – 450,000 MT.

Of note on the wheat sales was that China featured for the second week running, this time booking 55,600 MT of old crop and 50,600 MT of new crop.

And So The Lost Shall Be Found

Wooohooo, my email addresses back-up has now been successfully imported after a fair old bit of pratting about it has to be said.

Now all I have to do is recover all the recent "please add me to your mailing list Nogger" emails and we are cooking on gas.

Thanks to Chris Tye of Dalmark for his kind and generous offer of an old Spectrum ZX to tide me over though.

Further laughs and jollity can be had from the Indian farm minister today I see:

"India has received inquiries from a number of countries for exporting wheat (to), federal Farm Minister Sharad Pawar said Thursday," reports Dow Jones.

Who's going to want to buy that heap of festering old rubbish then? Sharad old chum, fifteen million tonnes of soggy, black rubbish IS fifteen million tonnes of soggy black rubbish, NOT fifteen million tonnes of exportable wheat.

Ukraine Crop Conditions

How true are the reports of widespread winterkill in Ukraine? See for yourself, with a quick look at some winter OSR and wheat. An invaluable inside look at what crops are really looking like from my newest chum Mike Lee in Kiev:

If you can't see the video go over to YouTube, if your internet police will let you here

UK Crop Conditions

UK crops are around 10-14 days behind schedule according to the HGCA/ADAS. Widespread cold and wet conditions during March mean that crops have been slow to start spring growth they say. Winter wheats have "generally survived the winter well", whilst winter oilseed rape crops have "improved considerably" after looking "poor and stressed" a month ago, they add.

Full story here

CBOT Closing Comments


May Soybeans closed at USD9.52 ½, up 8 cents; Nov Soybeans at USD9.41 ¼, up 9 ½ cents; May Soybean Meal at USD265.60, up USD2.50/tonne; May Soybean Oil at USD40.03, up 26 points. Conab surprisingly trimmed their Brazilian crop estimate slightly to 67.5 MMT. Maybe that validates some private estimates that although this seasons crop will easily set a record, yields in the south are below what farmers had hoped for. Estimates for Thursday's export sales range from 150,000 to 350,000 MT.


May Corn futures closed at USD3.56 ½, up 10 cents; December Corn futures at USD3.88 ¼, up 8 ½ cents. Corn futures jumped as rumours swept the floor that China was looking to import corn. Fund buying was estimated at 15,000 contracts. It would seem that Chinese firms are looking to import 1-2 MMT of corn to the south of the country. China consumes around 159 MMT or corn per annum, according to the USDA, who peg last season's crop at 155 MMT. Some private analysts say that drought cut production last season closer to 145-150 MMT. An ongoing drought in the SW of the country, although not a major corn area, is also a concern.


May CBOT Wheat finished at USD4.75 ¼, up 11 ½ cents; May KCBT Wheat at USD4.92, up 10 ½ cents; May MGEX Wheat at USD506 ¼, up 8 ½ cents. Spillover strength from corn got wheat going, and heavily oversold shorts came in to cover an estimated 5,000 contracts during the session. The USDA are out Friday with their latest stocks report, they are expected to reconfirm US ending stocks at a large 1 billion bushels for 2009/10. World wheat ending stocks will also be under the microscope, last months estimate was 196.8 MMT.

EU Wheat Closing Comments

May London feed wheat closed GBP0.80 lower Wednesday at GBP96.25/tonne; May Paris milling wheat EUR0.25 higher at EUR126.50/tonne; Paris corn was up EUR0.25 at EUR137.50/tonne; Paris rapeseed EUR0.50 higher at EUR311.00/tonne.

Euro weakness helped to keep Paris grains in positive territory, although a firmer pound pressured London wheat.

A gap is opening up between the Tories and Labour in the opinion polls, which seems to indicate that a hung parliament is less likely at the upcoming election. That lent a bit of strength to sterling, at least for the time being.

Spillover support came from last week's news of French, and even UK wheat, managing to find it's way into a variety of unusual exotic export locations from the Philippines to Thailand and assorted South American destinations.

That seems to have fostered the belief that EU wheat is now cheap enough to compete with anything.

Whilst Ukraine seems to have effectively more or less run out of wheat to export until new crop comes along, reports of Russian defaults may have been exaggerated. Certainly they won the lion's share of a 400,000 Iraqi tender a few days ago.

Now that the weather has finally warmed up and turned a bit more spring-like EU farmers seem generally happy to forget about the markets and get on with some fieldwork. So if you want spot wheat you are going to have to pay up.


Just in case you hadn't noticed the blog is only being updated with the bare minimum of info and effort this week. It is the Easter holidays after all. Also my old PC has died and gone to heaven.

My new(ish) PC, which had been sat unused in a box upstairs like an expectant father for at least twelve months, simply couldn't cut the mustard either. It was pre-installed with Windows Vista, which frankly is about as much use as a snake with t!ts.

So that has also been consigned to the computer scrap heap in the sky (well put to one side until I have the time to "downgrade" it to "comfy as a pair of slippers" XP).

My latest brand spanking new XP Pro PC is faster than that runner chap, no not the Jamaican bloke with only a very small todger who runs in the women's events, that Eugene Thingamejig or something. Eugene Bolt, is that the guy? I can't spell his real name so I can't very well look it up on Google can I, so we'll call him Eugene for now. Well it's faster than him.

So the good news is that I can now also work twice as fast as I did before.

More good news is that I will shortly resurrect the emailing of the blog headlines daily.

The bad news is that anyone who has requested them fairly recently may find that their incoming carefully saved email address will now have been lost to cyberspace. So if you want them, please fill in the form on the right, down a bit. Apologies for the inconvenience like, don't go straining you scroll down finger or anything will you.

Of course I'm not the sort of idiot who doesn't back up his email address book am I? No, I'm the sort of idiot who backs it up and assumes that one version of windows can easily read what another version of windows has piped out. My faith it seems may have been misplaced. I've far from given up on this yet, but it seems like file/import doesn't quite work. Leave it with me.

More bad news (for me) is that I will now have to pay for the privilege of providing you with these free headlines. You simply can't by-pass all this anti spam stuff without paying through the nose any more. I know that you will do the decent thing once those headlines start popping up in your inbox again.

Of course I may decide instead to allow a sponsor to pay for the outgoing emailing software & credits, in exchange for a stack of worldwide exposure. If only I could think of somebody who'd be interested in reaching the kind of discerning audience that this blog attracts.

Nope, I can't, so it looks like it's my round again.



CBOT Closing Comments


May soybeans closed 8 1/2 cents higher at USD9.44 1/2 a bushel. A firmer dollar was a negative feature, but higher crude oil lent support. Crop production estimates out of South America just keep on coming in higher. Despite the weight of bearish output forecasts, beans are holding up surprisingly well.


May corn finished up 3/4 cent at USD3.46 1/2 per bushel. Weather forecasts are mixed, whilst warmer temperatures are beneficial, wetter conditions are not. Production estimates sure aren't bullish though. The Argentina Ministry of Agriculture raised its estimate of corn production to 22 MMT.


CBOT May wheat closed up 10 cents at USD4.63 1/2 per bushel. KCBT May wheat rose 9 3/4 cents to USD4.81 1/2. MGEX May wheat gained 8 cents to USD4.97 1/2. There wasn't much change to the fundamentals, wheat is heavily oversold and liable to stage these sharp corrections from time to time. US winter wheat conditions are the best for five years.

EU Wheat Closing Comments

London wheat closed GBP0.30 higher at GBP97.05/tonne, Paris wheat ended up EUR0.75 at EUR126.75/tonne.

It was hardly what you would call thrill a minute stuff, with most of the trade still in Easter holiday mood.

US wheat futures rebounded from contract lows, which bolstered EU levels. Both the euro and the pound were lower against the dollar which also helped today.

EU farmers are busy with fieldwork, and seem to remain reluctant sellers at current levels. End users and shippers are similarly reticent, unless they need the stuff tomorrow that is in which case they might pay up a little.

Despite a harsh winter, EU crops seem to have emerged with little in the way of serious damage.

Stocks are high, and that doesn't look set to change any time soon.

CBOT Closing Comments


May soybeans closed 6 cents lower at USD9.36 per bushel. November soybeans ended 3 1/2 cents lower at USD9.22 1/4 per bushel. Rapid progress with the soybean harvest in South America, and the resolution of the dock workers strike in Argentina weighed on futures today. "Virtually no rain is predicted in the upcoming week in South America soybean farms due to a large area of cool High Pressure. Dry conditions will hasten the soybean harvest in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay," said Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections. Informa now peg the 2009/10 Brazilian soybean crop at a huge 68.1 MMT, up 1.6 MMT from its March forecast, with 75% of the crop harvested as of March 31.


May corn was up 1 1/4 cents at USD3.45 3/4 a bushel, and July corn was up 1 1/2 cents to USD3.57 1/2. A weaker dollar and crude oil pushing above USD85/barrel was supportive for corn. The outlook for improved weather conditions across the Midwest, and the potential therefore for timely planting is likely to cap any gains. It's not all perfect though. "A band of very heavy rainfall is expected to develop along a warm front from central Iowa to southern Michigan. Showers will begin tonight. Some thunderstorms may be severe, causing 2-inch rains in east Iowa, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and Michigan," says Gail Martell.


CBOT May wheat ended down 1 1/4 cents at USD4.53 1/2 a bushel. KCBT May wheat was 1 3/4 cents higher at USD4.71 3/4. MGEX May wheat was up 1/2 cent to USD4.89 1/2. CBOT wheat set fresh contract lows yet again during the session. Despite reduced plantings US stocks are too high and prices are uncompetitive. What has gone into the ground looks to be in largely pretty good shape. In its first weekly crop ratings report of 2010 the USDA said that the winter crop was only 6% very poor/poor, 29% fair, and 65% good to excellent after the close. A year ago only 43% of the crop was rated good to excellent. "Wheat jointing is 75% under way in Oklahoma and accelerating to 35% in Kansas. The Texas wheat crop is thriving with ample field moisture and could make a surprisingly high yield," says Gail Martell.