November Soybeans closed at USD10.57, down 49 3/4 cents; October soybean meal closed at USD285.70, down USD16.40; October soybean oil closed at 43.49, down 121 points. It was a bit of a car crash tonight, and on the week overall with beans finishing 69 cents lower for the week. The US weather outlook is conducive to further rapid harvest progress. The market is still hungover from yesterday's bearish USDA corn stocks numbers. China will be on holiday until next Friday, so there will most likely be limited export business from the main buyer of US soybeans for a few days.
December corn closed at USD4.65 3/4, down 30 cents; March corn closed USD4.78 1/4, down 30 cents. The first four contract months closed down the thirty cent limit tonight. Dec corn was 56 cents lower on the week. Yesterday's USDA stocks report showed old crop corn stocks at 1.71 billion bushels, surprising the trade which was expecting a much lower number. More than one news wire is pointing out that these extra stocks are sufficient to counteract 2010 yields coming in 4 bu/acre lower than the USDA's September estimate, as many in the trade are forecasting.
December CBOT wheat closed at USD6.55, down 19 cents; December KCBT wheat closed ay USD6.79 1/4, down 18 1/2 cents; December MGEX wheat closed at USD7.06, down 15 cents. Spillover weakness from corn depressed wheat, which found itself in the strange position of being the strongest leg of what has to be said was a very weak three tonight. It finished 65 cents lower for the week on the CBOT. This afternoon’s CFTC report showed Managed Money have decreased their net long position by 18,912 contracts from Tuesday to Tuesday.
Nov London wheat closed GBP0.75 lower at GBP152.25/tonne, with Nov Paris wheat EUR4.75 lower at EUR203.25/tonne.
On the week overall London wheat declined a fraction under GBP10.00/tonne and Paris futures fell just over EUR20.00/tonne.
A surprisingly high Sept 1st corn stocks estimate from the USDA yesterday has got the died in the wool US corn bulls spooked. That has triggered a sharp downwards correction in heavily overbought conditions, undermining EU grains as well. US wheat stocks were also towards the upper end of expectations and the largest since the 1987-88 crop year.
The corn number suggests that US prices at two year highs are indeed rationing demand.
A sharply higher euro has accelerated French wheat declines, relative to those in London, despite a robust start to the 2010/11 exporting marketing year. The pound slumped below 1.15 against the euro today for the first time since May.
Brussels granted export licences for a 2010 marketing year record of just over a million tonnes of soft wheat this past week, taking the year-to-date total to 6.35 MMT compared to 4.7 MMT at this point last season. Most, if not all, of that was probably sold some time ago at substantially lower levels.
Crop conditions in Argentina are improving and a wheat crop 50% higher than last season is on the cards. Meanwhile potential production in Australia is a moot point, with output in the west likely to be sharply lower on drought, Southern Australia state was hit by a frost this week, whilst crops in the east look like being at of near record levels.
Basis FOB Lower Rhine in euros/tonne:
Nov/Jan 11 207,00
May/1st h.July 196,00
Aug/Oct 11 181,00
The overnight trade closed mostly lower. Crude oil is staging it's own quiet little mini-rally, around a dollar higher at USD81/barrel, its best level since 11th August.
On the week as a whole so far (excluding the overnights) we see Dec wheat down 46c, Dec corn down 26c, Nov beans down 19 1/4c, Dec meal down USD10.10 and Dec soyoil up 20 points.
Corn is still under pressure from yesterday's shock stocks number from the USDA. More than one news wire is pointing out that these extra stocks are sufficient to counteract 2010 yields coming in 4 bu/acre lower than the USDA's September estimate, as many in the trade are forecasting.
That has taken a lot of wind out of the bulls sails. The much higher stocks figure also implies that usage has slowed at these prices. The weight of existing spec length is also a potentially bearish factor. Will funds continue to pile into corn now we are into a new month and new quarter, given the size of longs they already hold?
For beans we have the ongoing US harvest, which isn't throwing up any yield concerns, assisted by warm and dry conditions. Soaking rains are on the horizon for Brazil too, although Chinese demand continues unabated with weekly sales of 1,295,200 MT yesterday.
FCStone are reportedly out with their crop production numbers later this afternoon, ahead of the USDA's WASDE report next Friday.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn down 6-8c, beans down 5-7c, wheat down 2-4c.
Halloween. The supermarkets have been full of Halloween stuff for a couple of weeks now as they attempt to squeeze more blood out of our stone-like wallets and purses.
A report on Reuters today reveals that as far as Tesco are concerned only Christmas and Easter are bigger earning events. They expect to sell GBP55 million of Halloween-related products this year, the money-grabbing cynical parasites.
We used to dunk for apples when we were kids, not wander the streets begging for sweets. Trick or treat my arse. Get in and get your homework done.
Mind you, MrsN#1 always came in useful at Halloween. I'm not saying she was ugly, but if she'd have been a font she'd have been wingdings. It was a right palaver trying to get the kids to sleep at night after she'd read them a bedtime story I can tell you. No wonder our electricity bill was so high.
Brussels have granted export licences for just over a million tonnes of soft wheat this past week, taking the year-to-date total to 6.35 MMT compared to 4.7 MMT at this point last season.
Wow, demand for wheat is huge isn't it even at these prices, we're going to run out by Christmas at this rate.
Hang on a minute, when was all this wheat sold exactly? Was it last week or six months ago? When Johnny Grain Trader was so keen on getting his name in the papers he was giving the stuff away, at the bottom of the market, to all manner of exotic destinations?
Argentine farmers have finished their wheat plantings and can expect a crop of "at least 11.3 MMT" according to the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange. That's an increase of more than 50% on last season's crop.
Planted area is seen at 3.2 million hectares by the Exchange, more than 30% up on last season when sowings slumped to just 3.2 million hectares on drought and farmer dissatisfaction with on-off government export meddling.
Corn plantings are 26% done and are expected to cover 3 million hectares this season, 11% up on last year.
A well-timed bit of weakness by the pound will doubtless provide a welcome boost for British farmers for the second year running. The exchange rate for the Single Farm Payment Scheme has been set at 0.85995, or just over 1.16 if you prefer it that way round.
That's not quite as good as last year, but a lot better than the 1.22 (0.82p) level that the pound was running at just a month ago.
I assume then that I can expect a flood of "beer donations" when the cheques start to arrive?
November soybeans closed USD11.06 3/4, up 7 3/4 cents; October soybean meal closed USD302.10, down USD0.40; October soybean oil closed 44.70, up 64 points. The USDA pegged soybean stocks at 151 million, exactly in line with trade estimates. Weekly export sales were substantial at 1,737,600 MT. China took 1,295,200 MT of that.
December corn closed at USD4.95 3/4, down 9 1/4 cents; March corn closed at USD5.08 1/4, down 9 cents. Net weekly export sales of 925,900 MT were up 65 percent from the previous week and beat expectations for sales of 650-850 TMT. The USDA's quarterly stocks report pegged September 1st corn stocks at 1.708 billion bushels, well above trade expectations of 1.407 billion.
December CBOT wheat closed USD6.74, down 9 1/2 cents; December KCBT wheat closed USD7.07 3/4, down 9 1/4 cents; December MGEX wheat closed USD7.21, down 3 cents. Export sales came in at 630,800 MT for the 2010/11 marketing year. Egypt took 123,900 MT of that. Expectations were for sales of 650-850 TMT. The USDA reported 2.46 billion bushels of wheat stocks, slightly above expectations of 2.44 billion bushels.
Nov London wheat closed GBP1.50 lower at GBP153.00/tonne, with Nov Paris wheat down EUR0.75 at EUR208.00/tonne.
It was another volatile day with EU wheat futures opening higher in consolidation from recent steep losses, but coming under pressure later in the session following bearish stocks data from the USDA.
Nov London wheat traded within a fairly wide GBP6.00/tonne trading range, with Paris wheat fluctuating in a EUR11.50/tonne range.
The USDA's quarterly stocks report pegged September 1st wheat inventories higher than trade ideas at 2.459 billion bushels, the largest since the 1987-88 crop year. Corn stocks came in at 1.708 billion bushels, well above trade expectations of 1.407 billion.
That pressured grain prices later in the afternoon, with corn and wheat under heavy pressure in early trade on the CBOT.
US and Canadian weather forecasts call for unseasonably warm and dry conditions over the coming week. That should help harvest progress.
Defra reported the UK wheat planted area up 8.8% for the 2010 harvest, with the total planted barley area down by 19.3%.
Unsurprisingly, as they're only in a position now to tell us what happened twelve months ago, they aren't forthcoming on forecasts for the 2010 harvest. For wheat a crop of somewhere between 14.5 and 15 MMT looks likely.
The USDA's quarterly stocks report pegged September 1st wheat inventories a little higher than trade ideas at 2.459 billion bushels, compared with expectations of 2.44 billion. Soybean stocks were pegged at 151 million, exactly in line with trade estimates. Corn stocks came in at 1.708 billion bushels, well above trade expectations of 1.407 billion.
On the back of that early calls for Chicago this afternoon are 10-15c down on corn, 5-7c lower on wheat, with soybeans flat.
For the period September 17-23 the USDA have reported the following weekly export sales:
630,800 MT for the 2010/11 marketing year and net sales reductions of 2,500 MT reported for delivery in 2011/12. Egypt took 123,900 MT of the 2010/11 sales. Expectations were for sales of 650-850 TMT.
Net sales of 925,900 MT were up 65 percent from the previous week and beat expectations for sales of 650-850 TMT.
Net sales of 1,737,600 MT were up 60 percent from the previous week, and comfortably exclipsed expectations of 950-1,200 TMT. China took 1,295,200 MT.
November soybeans closed ended 11 cents lower at USD10.99. ; October soybean meal ended USD1.00 lower at USD307.50 ; October soybean oil settled 49 points lower at 44.44. Fund liquidation was probably the main contributing factor to the price drop. Tomorrow's quarterly stocks report is expected to show soybean stocks at 151 million bushels. Private exporters announced the sale of 165,000 MT of soybeans to China for 2010/11 marketing year.
December corn ended up 5 cents at USD5.05 per bushel; March corn closed up 4 3/4 cents at USD5.17 1/4. Corn reversed the overnight trend, having traded well below USD5/bu at one point. Tomorrow's quarterly stocks report is expected to show corn stocks at 1.407 billion bushels. Trade estimates range from 1.35 to 1.489 billion bushels. Funds bought an estimated 9,000 contracts on the day.
CBOT Dec wheat closed down 1 1/4 cents at USD6.83 1/2 a bushel; KCBT Dec wheat settled up 1 cent at USD$7.17; MGEX Dec wheat fell 3/4 cent to USD7.24. The overnight low on CBOT wheat was 20 1/4c under tonight's close. Tomorrow's quarterly stocks report is expected to show wheat stocks at 2.44 billion bushels. Private exporters announced the sale of 110,000 MT of soft white wheat to Egypt for the 2010/11 marketing year.
Nov London wheat closed GBP1.95 lower at GBP154.50/tonne, with Nov Paris wheat EUR2.00 down at EUR208.75/tonne.
It could have been, and indeed was at one stage, a lot worse. London wheat fell as low as GBP151.00/tonne and Paris wheat touched EUR201.25/tonne at one point earlier in the day.
Month and quarter-end book-squaring and/or profit-taking was likely a feature today. What we don't know is whether spec money will be back re-entering the market next month. Today's price action suggest that it possibly will.
The pound fell below 1.16 against the euro, as the UK currency remained friendless on the outlook for more QE and inflation staying steadfastly above target levels.
The National Australia Bank upped their 2010 wheat crop estimate to 23.8 MMT. Conditions have also improved in eastern Ukraine and parts of the Volga region of Russia to encourage further winter planting progress.
The market is cautious ahead of tomorrow's USDA grain stocks and export sales reports.
The overnight grains have ended sharply lower, with beans around 20c down, wheat 18-20c easier and corn off around 12-13c.
Wall Street is seen opening lower on European debt concerns.
A combination of month-end, quarter-end and pre-report profit-taking seems to be behind the move. There may also have been some computer-generated selling too I suspect.
CBOT Dec wheat is now almost 90c below last Monday's high and more than two dollars below the early August high. Corn and beans are also more than 10c under what was supposed to be support at USD5 and USD11 respectively.
The six million dollar question now is will the money that is now exiting the arena be straight back in again once we are into October to push everything higher again?
Tomorrow's quarterly stocks report is expected to show corn stocks at 1.407 billion bushels, soybeans at 151 million bushels, and wheat at 2.44 billion bushels.
There is a school of thought that the early harvest means that corn and bean stocks will in fact come in higher than these estimates.
Tomorrow's weekly export sales will also be of particular importance after last week's disappointing effort from corn and wheat. Will that provide further evidence that price is indeed rationing demand?
News out today that the Chinese yuan is set to post it's biggest monthly gain against the dollar since 2005 may foster ideas that demand from there may wane a little. Their soybean harvest is well advanced and new crop corn is also now starting to arrive onto the domestic market.
The US weather outlook is fine and dry for the next 10 days, with warmer and drier conditions in Canada also likely to enable good harvest progress to be made in the ensuing week.
Conditions have also improved in eastern Ukraine and parts of the Volga region of Russia to encourage further winter planting progress.
Some forecasters are now plugging in rain for central Brazil a little earlier than the mid-October time frame that had been mooted.
All these factors seem to be placing more than a few question marks as to the validity of the recent price spike, so I guess it's a good time to take some money off the table.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn down 10-12 cents, soybeans down 18-20 cents, and wheat down 18-20 cents.
The price boards are a sea of red today, with Nov London wheat threatening to close below GBP150/tonne and Paris within sight of ending the session starting with a one instead of a two for the first time the beginning of August.
The overnight eCBOT market isn't lending any support, with wheat well below seven dollars, 17 3/4c lower at USD6.67 a bushel. Corn has crashed back below five dollars, currently 12 1/2c down at USD4.87 1/2 a bushel, and even soybeans dragged into the abyss below eleven dollars at USD10.96/bushel.
It would seem that the weight of spec longs is finally beginning to tell. It is of course month end, quarter end and we have the USDA out tomorrow with export sales and their quarterly stocks report. The latter could throw up some bigger numbers than the market had been expecting for corn and beans given the advanced harvest pace.
The big question now is will this been seen as a buying opportunity, and will October herald a fresh wave of fund money flowing back into the market?
The one thing I think we can be sure of is that further volatility lies ahead.
Basis FOB Lower Rhine in euros/tonne:
Oct 218,00 unch
Nov/Jan 11 209,00 -0,50
Feb/Apr 204,00 -4,00
May/1st h.July 201,00 -4,00
Aug/Oct 11 185,00 -3,00
The Russian grain harvest currently stands at 58.2 MMT off 86% of the total area to be harvested, according to the Ag Ministry.
Wheat output accounts for 39.1 MMT and barley 8.0 MMT so far, they say.
Harvesting is still ongoing in Siberia, the Urals and Krasnodar Krai, but should be finished within about a fortnight, say the Ministry.
Once the final results of the harvest are known the existing export ban will be lifted "from the food safety point of view" according to the Russian Minister of Agriculture, Elena Skrynnik.
That should be interesting. Presumably exports will be blocked by some other political means. They aren't exactly going to throw the barn doors open and start honouring existing commitments to Egypt and all are they? Lifting the embargo will be nothing more than a cosmetic move in my opinion.
The National Australia Bank have upped their 2010 wheat crop estimate for the nation to 23.8 MMT. That's up from 23.1 MMT a week ago and 22.4 MMT a month ago.
Although still falling some way below ABARE's recent 25.1 MMT estimate, it indicates that crop potential is clearly moving in the right direction despite drought in Western Australia.
They went on to say that ABARE's estimate "certainly is possible" but it is "too early to call" a crop of that size, which would be within a whisker of Australia's all-time record wheat output.
November soybeans closed USD11.10, down 18 1/2 cents; October soybean meal closed at USD303.50 down USD7.90; October soybean oil closed at 44.56, down 2 points. The market is nervous ahead of Thursday's USDA quarterly stocks report. Analysts average estimate is 151 million bushels for soybeans. With a range of 139 to 165 million bushels. The Brazilian drought appears to have been broken with rains in southern areas spreading into the centre-west as the week wears on.
December corn closed at USD5.00, down 12 3/4 cents; March corn closed USD5.12 1/2, down 12 3/4 cents. Almost all of the western corn belt in the US will see dry conditions for the next 10-14 days, which will help the harvest move on at a pace. The east coast will be inundated with water that will stretch into Ohio postponing harvest there. On Thursday the USDA will release the quarterly grain stocks report. Analysts are expecting an increase in stocks with an average guess of 1.407 billion bushels that would compare to 1.673 billion last year.
December CBOT wheat closed USD6.84 3/4, down 21 3/4 cents; December KCBT wheat closed USD7.16, down 23 3/4 cents; December MGEX wheat closed USD7.24 3/4, down 21 3/4 cents. Rain is moving into eastern Ukraine which has also been too dry, and some of the parched areas of Russia although more is needed here in particular. Egypt purchased 230,000 MT of US and French wheat. The USDA will release the quarterly grain and small grains stocks report on Thursday. Wheat estimates average 2.44 billion bushels.
Nov London wheat closed GBP4.85 lower at GBP156.45/tonne, with Nov Paris wheat EUR9.75 easier at EUR210.75/tonne.
It was London wheat's lowest close since the 2nd September and Paris wheat's worst since the 20th August. It seems that the weight of speculative longs in the nearby positions is finally beginning to tell.
Whilst the market hasn't suddenly turned massively bearish, the recent price action is perhaps proof that prices should never have really got this high in the first place.
The Nov/Jan inverse on the Paris market continues to erode, closing at just EUR1.50/tonne tonight with Nov/Mar down to EUR2.25, at the start of the month the latter was trading at EUR7.00/tonne.
The sudden surge in export activity that followed Russia's withdrawal from the market has dissipated. Egypt split what is now becoming it's routine weekly tender between US and French wheat. A sign that EU wheat doesn't have things all it's own way in the light of a weak dollar. Algeria have indicated that they are now covered until well into 2011.
The fact that London wheat shed so much despite the pound falling to it's lowest levels against the euro since May also speaks volumes.
Brussels have said it they will begin releasing intervention grain stocks onto the market starting in March 2011.
Crop conditions in the US and Canada have improved to facilitate decent harvest progress in the next fortnight if the forecasts hold true. Winter wheat plantings should also pick up.
The overnights closed lower, with wheat around 8-10c easier, beans down 6c and corn 3-4c lower. Crude is also weaker.
European debt concerns are re-emerging, the Brazilian drought appears to have been broken with rains in southern areas spreading into the centre-west as the week wears on.
Rain is also moving into eastern Ukraine which has also been too dry, and some of the parched areas of Russia although more is needed here in particular.
Meanwhile almost all of the western corn belt in the US will see dry conditions for the next 10-14 days, which will help the harvest move on at a pace. Similar conditions in Canada will speed things up there too.
Brussels is set to release it's nigh on 6 MMT of grain intervention stocks onto the market starting in the spring (one or two reports say possibly earlier than that).
Egypt is in the market for wheat, given the weakness of the dollar US grain might fit the bill. Iraq are also shopping.
EU wheat futures are sharply lower with Paris hitting a five week low today.
China sold 35% of the corn it offered in it's weekly government auction today, that's a bit better than offtake of late, but nothing like what was being snapped up a few months ago.
Japan says that it probably won't need to issue it's normal Thursday tender for wheat this week.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: wheat down 8-10c, corn down 3-4c, beans down 4-6c.
Premier Foods have apparently been fined GBP5,500 plus GBP11,109.47 in costs after a man found a mouse in a loaf of bread as he was rustling up a few sandwiches for the kids.
Some people will find simply anything to moan about won't they? I bet he didn't get a squeak out of the kids though.
Latest figures from Defra show that UK prime cattle slaughterings were 15 percent higher in August than twelve months previously at 158 thousand head. Beef and veal production was 68 thousand tonnes, 17 percent higher than in August 2009.
UK clean pig slaughterings were 4 percent higher than in August 2009 at 717 thousand head. Pigmeat production was 59 thousand tonnes, a rise of 4 percent on August 2009.
You can draw your own conclusions from that methinks.
Basis FOB Lower Rhine in euros/tonne:
Oct 218,00 unch
Nov/Jan 11 209,50 -2,50
Feb/Apr 208,00 -2,00
May/1st h.July 205,00 -3,00
Aug/Oct 11 188,00 -2,00
The overnights are mostly a little firmer, with beans continuing to lead the way 4-5c higher. Wheat and corn are mostly just a cent or fractions of a cent higher. Crude oil is 62c lower at USD75.90/barrel. the dollar is a bit firmer.
"Brazil’s leading soybean state is expecting heavy rainfall the last half of this week. Two-3 inches of rainfall is expected in the key center-west area ending a prolonged hot and dry period in September. This may be perceived as the start of the rainy season," say Martell Crop Projections.
Beneficial rain fell over the weekend in Cordoba in Argentina, whilst Western Buenos Aires is projected to get heavy rain this week, they add.
Egypt are back in the market for wheat today along with Iraq. We won't know the results of the latter tender for a couple of weeks yet though.
The USDA's quarterly stocks report and weekly export sales are due Thursday.
Brussels have said it they will begin releasing it's near 6 MMT of mostly barley intervention stocks onto the market starting in March 2011. Over 1.5 MMT of those stocks are in Germany and almost 1 MMT is in France.
Open interest in Nov Paris wheat fell by around 3,000 contracts yesterday as longs continue to exit, there's only 117,000 left to go now! Plus 139,000 lots of call options and 85,000 puts as of yesterday morning, my chums at MF Global tell me.
No matter what the fundamentals might say, and even they don't look that bullish to me, it's hard to envisage EU wheat doing anything but continuing to ease lower in this sort of scenario. Yesterday's performance was hardly inspiring either.
In the UK there aren't too many consumers wanting wheat at these levels. Feed compounders certainly aren't banging the door down. The word on the streets is that the flour millers are finally coming out as fairly keen sellers of wheatfeed now as flour production picks up for Christmas.
That will further cap consumer interest in wheat. Mind you, after a difficult summer on wheatfeed availability, more than one compounder I know has told me they are cutting back on wheatfeed inclusion rates for October anyway!
November soybeans closed USD11.28 1/2, up 2 1/2 cents; October soybean meal closed USD311.40, down USD1.80; October soybean oil closed at 44.58, up 10 points. Weekly USDA export inspections were well above trade estimates at 18.6 million bushels, but weakness in wheat and corn weighed on beans. The market is also wary ahead of the grain stocks report due out Thursday. The USDA crop progress report showed soybeans dropping leaves at 77%, up 17 points and ahead of average. Harvested was at 17%, up 9 points and ahead of last year and average. Good/excellent conditions were unchanged at 63%.
December corn closed USD5.12 3/4, down 9 cents; March Corn closed USD5.25 1/4, also down 9 cents. Prospects for good harvest weather in the Midwest weighed on prices. Crude oil was also weaker as was ethanol. The market is nervous ahead of Thursday's USDA stocks report, after futures hit their highest levels in more than two years in overnight trade. Weekly USDA export inspections were 34 million bushels, in line with trade estimates. The USDA crop progress report showed corn mature at 85%, up 16 points from last week and well ahead of last year and the average. Harvested was at 27%, up 9 points and 21 points from last year. Good/excellent conditions were down 2 points to 66%.
December CBOT wheat closed at USD7.06 1/2, down 13 1/2 cents; December KCBT wheat closed USD7.39 3/4, down 17 3/4 cents; December MGEX wheat closed USD7.46 1/2, down 16 cents. Weekly USDA export inspections were 24.28 million bushels this morning compared to last week’s inspections of 33.15 million bushels. The USDA crop progress report showed winter wheat planted at 33%, up 13 points from last week but behind average. Winter wheat emerged was at 10%, spring wheat harvested was up 2 points to 89%. The USDA are out Thursday with their quarterly stocks report making wheat bulls nervous.
Nov London wheat ended GBP0.70 easier at GBP161.30/tonne, with Nov Paris wheat EUR3.50 lower at EUR220.50/tonne.
London opened around GBP3 higher, with Paris EUR2-3 firmer, but prices just couldn't hold at those levels and slipped away as the day wore on. A weak opening by Chicago wheat sent prices into negative territory towards the end of the session.
The large volume of open interest in Nov Paris wheat appears to be undermining the front month contract. The inverse keeps continuing to erode, with the Nov/Jan spread down to EUR1.25/tonne at the close, and Nov/Mar narrowing to EUR2.75/tonne.
The bull run seems to be waning, the Paris market simply isn't liquid enough to cope with open interest of more than 120,000 lots in front month November it would seem.
The strong euro and weak US dollar are also capping gains.
There's still some bullish information filtering through from the supply side, but current prices seem to be rationing the demand side of the equation too.
German trading house Toepfer pegged the wheat crop there at 23 MMT, 0.4 MMT down on their August estimate and 2.2 MMT below output in 2009. Coceral are a bit more optimistic estimating 23.8 MMT. Toepfer said that some of the crop in the north won't even make feed grade and will be suitable only for biogas production.
The world wheat crop will come in at 643 MMT, 2.7 MMT down on last month's estimate and 37.3 MMT down on 2009, said Toepfer.
Coceral pegged the UK wheat crop at just 14.4 MMT on Friday, similar to last season despite a 6% increase in planted area.
Basis FOB Lower Rhine in euros/tonne:
Oct 218,00 unch
Nov 216,00 unch
Nov/Jan 11 212,00 -1,00
Feb/Apr 210,00 unch
May/1st h.July 208,00 +1,00
Aug/Oct 11 190,00 unch
The overnights closed mostly firmer but off session highs, with beans up 6-8c, wheat mostly 4-5c higher and corn mixed mostly a cent or so up.
Crude is supportive at USD76.80 and the dollar remains weak.
Fresh "investment" money continues to flood into the market, with only a passing regard for the fundamentals.
Corn and beans hit fresh highs overnight, with corn touching levels not seen since 2008.
Beans still look the most likely of being able to hold at these levels, with wheat looking the least likely, and corn hovering somewhere in the middle.
Given that Dec corn closed 6 1/4c off the overnight session highs at just 3/4c higher, you could easily make out a case that this was a disappointing "bouncing on the ceiling" display.
Tonight we will get the USDA's latest missive on harvest progress for corn and beans, plus winter wheat plantings.
Thursday brings export sales and the quarterly stocks reports, and at the end of next week we have the October production numbers. Ninety nine percent of the trade is adamant that corn yields will be significantly lower than the USDA's latest estimate. That they may be, but also we will have two more week's worth of export sales under our belts by then too. The USDA may find themselves lowering the demand side of the coin too.
Meanwhile spec longs in the grains sector are thought to be now be running even higher than the 2008 boom.
The USDA today announced 108,712 MT of corn sold by private exporters to Japan.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn flat to up 2c, wheat up 4-6c, beans up 6-8c.
It's up, up and away again this morning. May London wheat opens GBP3.50 higher, with Paris slightly more subdued at around EUR2.00-3.25 higher.
In Paris the Nov/Mar inverse is still there, but has narrowed to EUR3.00/tonne. Open interest in Nov is currently running at around 120,000 lots, or 6 MMT.
What we don't know is how much of the open interest is commercially owned as opposed to fund held. My chum at FCStone tells me that there is talk on the continent that some of those commercial longs may be prepared to take physical delivery.
The fact that the sole delivery point against the Paris contract is Rouen, and that there is only around a sixth of this open interest volume physically available in the port makes this a very interesting conundrum.
The EU markets seem to be following through from Friday's strong CBOT close, with added impetus from the overnight eCBOT grains showing wheat around 8c higher and corn up 5-6c.
Russian winter plantings continue to lag. Reports are circulating that they might be in the market to buy US corn, but nothing has been confirmed. The Russian Ag Minister has re-iterated that they have adequate grain stocks at 26 MMT of carry-in plus around 64 MMT of production, against a domestic requirement of around 77 MMT.
The market however is choosing to ignore that, as fresh fund money moves into agri-commodities.
The USDA are out Thursday with their quarterly stocks report, plus the usual weekly export sales. You will recall that the latter were pretty disappointing for corn and wheat last week, sending prices tumbling.
The US dollar looks set to remain weak, with a "not quite so sick" pound looking like it may attempt a move towards resistance at 1.60 against the US unit. Neither seem like they could fight their way out of a paper bag at the moment it has to be said.
It's October on Friday, which means that we only have three weeks to go before we find out exactly what spending cuts new Chancellor George Osborne has in store for us. It seems that the coalition government are intent on getting as much of the bad news out as early as possible. They can only use the "it's not our fault" excuse for so long after all.
The market almost certainly isn't going to like what he's got to say, with all this talk of a double dip recession, more QE and inflation remaining above it's target. The pound looks vulnerable to taking a pasting later next month and beyond methinks. A winter of discontent might lie ahead as the spending cuts lead to increased unemployment, pay freezes (at best) and increased inflation.
You could argue a case for domestic grain prices going either way in such a scenario. Livestock numbers could easily fall quite sharply, but a sinking pound should mean wheat prices going up not down surely?
Not necessarily, the pound was at 1.10 against the euro back in March (and below 1.50 against the dollar), when UK wheat prices were also at their lowest levels of the year. Two years previously, in March 08 when UK wheat prices peaked at close to GBP200/tonne we were running at 1.28 against the single currency and the dizzy heights of 2.0 against the dollar.
German trading house Toepfer International say that their domestic wheat crop this season will total 23 MMT, 0.4 MMT down on their August estimate and 2.2 MMT below output in 2009.
Persistent rains throughout August have been so bad that some of the crop isn't even going to make feed grade, they say.
The world wheat crop will come in at 643 MMT, 2.7 MMT down on last month's estimate and 37.3 MMT down on 2009, they add.