20/05/11 -- Soybeans: Jul 11 soybeans closed at USD13.80 1/4, up 3/4 cent; Nov 11 soybeans closed at USD13.50 1/2, up 1 cent; Jul 11 soybean meal closed at USD360.60, down USD0.80; Jul 11 soybean oil closed at 57.46, unchanged. Beans were up around 40-50c on the week. Crude oil ended around a dollar higher, having traded either side during the session. A firm US dollar was a bit negative for beans, especially in the wake of some pretty disappointing export numbers this past few weeks. More rain is in the forecast for the Midwest next week, which may see some acres get switched into beans, although corn growers will be doing their level best to get their crop in the ground on the "rain makes grain" ethos.
Corn: Jul 11 corn closed at USD7.59 1/2, up 11 1/4 cents; Dec 11 corn closed at USD6.66 1/2, up 4 1/2 cents. Old crop July was 77 1/2c higher on the week and Dec up 39 1/2c. Funds bought an estimated 10,000 contracts on the day as the US weather refuses to co-operate. "The 7-day forecast is incredibly wet in the Midwest, with up to 4 inches of rain possible Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio - a major disruption for corn and soybean planting," said Martell Crop Projections. Prices are now back close to contract highs - 7.82 1/4 for July and 6.83 for Dec, as funds regain their appetite for risk. The USDA will report on planting progress Monday night, last week we saw a 23 point increase to 63% complete.
Wheat: Jul 11 CBOT wheat closed at USD8.06 1/2, down 5 1/2 cents; Jul 11 KCBT wheat closed at USD9.33 1/4, down 11 1/2 cents; Jul 11 MGEX wheat closed at USD9.99 3/4, down 6 1/2 cents. Wheat was up around 60c to a dollar a bushel on the week as a whole, so a bit of consolidation ahead of the weekend was maybe due. The US market is faced with the double whammy of far too much rain in the spring wheat states, and far too little in the winter wheat states. Europe's crop seems to be losing potential by the day, and there are even a few little alarm bells ringing over Russia again. "Showers would be welcome now in the Volga and Black Earth region where topsoil is becoming dry with warm spring temperatures and no May rainfall," say Martell Crop Projections.
20/05/11 -- EU grains closed with May London wheat unchanged at GBP205.00/tonne and with new crop Nov up GBP0.50/tonne to GBP194.00/tonne. Nov Paris wheat closed EUR0.75/tonne higher at EUR244.75/tonne whilst May12 was down EUR0.25/tonne to EUR247.75/tonne.
It was a relatively quiet end to another torrid week that saw May London wheat finish with overall gains of GBP8.00/tonne and with Nov ending GBP18.75/tonne firmer in just five trading sessions. Nov Paris wheat was EUR19.00/tonne higher on the week.
Scattered showers fell across northern and western parts of the UK Friday afternoon. Central and eastern parts of France also saw some showers, heavy ones in places which are seen moving into Germany across the weekend. That will help those that get the rain, but it looks like plenty will also miss out entirely.
In the UK ex farm levels for new crop feed wheat are now up to around GBP180.00/tonne, with barley at around GBGP170.00/tonne and OSR pushing GBP400.00/tonne off the combine.
Brussels granted 173,000 MT of soft wheat export licences this week, bringing the marketing year to date total to 17.2 MMT, 9.5% up on last season as the pace continues to grind slowly lower.
FranceAgriMer once again raised it's forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the EU-27 to a new record 12.8 MMT, almost a third higher than last season's record effort. Ending stocks will now come in at 2.2 MMT, they added. That's 35% down on last season's 3.4 MMT.
US wheat continues to struggle with HRW areas on the Plains hot and dry and with spring wheat areas further north soaked and facing up to a further four inches of rain in the next seven days, according to Martell Crop Projections.
20/05/11 -- I'm out for most of the day today, so I thought I'd set up my lovely new sexy Samsung Galaxy S to pick up my emails. Piece of cake you'd have thought. Not so where this ballooning hippy is concerned. It seems that for some reason Virgin Media don't really want you to pick up your emails in this way. So I Googled it and came across this: AAAAaaaaaaaarrrrgggghhh!!!! I couldn't have put it better myself.
20/05/11 -- Here's an update on what's going on in Romania from my eyes and ears man on the ground over there:
Weather seems to be the theme of this week. Essentially Romania has had a very wet in some areas, dry in others, cold (apparently coldest on record for 15 years) spring. Crops were simply not growing on our higher land in the north east as it was plain too cold and too dry and no plants were accessing nitrogen.
Some rainfall in the north of approx 40mm over a 10 day spell fixed that and now its sunny. Crops are now growing at such a rate that growth stages whizz through in hours and certainly a lot faster than our sprayers !!
Crops in general look better in the north than the south. Our wheats in the last few days have started to cheer me up and now range from crap to very good versus previously crap to average. I am hoping the crap will improve. Rape is mixed with half of it really good and half average.
Overall our winter crops look better than last year now albeit they are 2–3 weeks behind.
Most of our sunflower is now in the ground and has emerged well, approx half our corn is in and just emerging. We will finish all seeding in the next 5 days and our spring situation is dramatically better than last year.
Local forecasts show us dry and warm for the next 10 days which should help. Rumours of a dry June and very hot July are around in triplicate but who knows that!
20/05/11 -- The overnights are mixed, but mostly a little higher in fairly quiet trade to end the week. NYMEX crude is up a bit too, although still under USD100/barrel.
The Ukraine Ag Ministry are so excited by rising world grain prices that they can hardly contain themselves. Exports will return to a "normal" crash, bang, wallop 19-20 MMT in 2011/12, they say. Wheat will account for 8-9 MMT of that with a further 5-6 MMT coming from barley.
Ukraine's deputy agriculture minister, Mykola Bezugly, forecast the country's grains harvest coming in "significantly higher" than 45 MMT this season, according to Agrimoney yesterday.
The First Minister, Nikolay Prysiazhnyuk, says that it's the government's target to increase production to 80 MMT by 2017.
Western Australia wheat and rapeseed farms got beneficial rain over the past several days, with 0.75 to 1.5 inch totals, that was the heaviest rain in months and enough to kick-start wheat planting in many areas, say Martell Crop Projections.
For WA wheat plantings "the end of June is the general cut-off point, some have gone into early July before but you end up flowering in the heat, which is a bad idea in Australia," says my Australian correspondent.
A return to even average production in WA would almost certainly mean record wheat and rapeseed production Down Under in 2011.
G. Wallace F. McCain, co-founder and Vice Chairman, McCain Foods died this week I hear aged 81, he was a chip off the old block he was. That presents a bit of a dilemma for the family doesn't it? If they bury him he might keep coming back every year, but on the other hand if it's cremation what type of oil are they going to use and will they have him crinkle cut first?
19/05/11 -- Soybeans: Jul 11 soybeans closed unchanged at USD13.79 1/2; Nov 11 soybeans closed at USD13.49 1/2, down 3 3/4 cents; Jul 11 soybean meal closed at USD361.40, up USD0.40; Jul 11 soybean oil closed at 57.46, up 16 points. Weekly export sales came in at at a combined 166,232 MT, not exactly stunning, although better than recently - once again though none of those sales were for China. The USDA did however separately announce the sale of 110,000 MT for 2011/12 delivery to China under the daily reporting system, prior to that it's been three of four weeks since they showed up buying anything.
Corn: Jul 11 corn closed at USD7.48 1/4, down 1 1/2 cents; Dec 11 corn closed at USD6.62, down 10 3/4 cents. Funds sold an estimated 8,000 contracts on the day, possibly getting out early ahead of the weekend after a secession of up days. Weekly export sales were robust at 843,200 MT for 2010/11 delivery and 308,500 MT for 2011/12. "The corn weather outlook remains very wet for Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Missouri with two inches of rain possible in the coming days," say Martell Crop Projections.
Wheat: Jul 11 CBOT wheat closed at USD8.12, down 5 cents; Jul 11 KCBT wheat closed at USD9.44 3/4, up 6 3/4 cents; Jul 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD10.06 1/4, up 10 cents. The USDA announced weekly export sales of 126,700 MT of old crop wheat and 672,200 MT for delivery in 2011/2012, a little above trade expectations for combined sales of 450-750,000 MT. "US northern spring wheat areas are forecast to remain extremely wet, meaning that further planting delays certain," say Martell Crop Projections. European weather woes are also taking centre stage.
19/05/11 -- EU wheat futures closed higher, although well off session highs, with May London wheat up GBP6.00/tonne to GBP205.00/tonne and with new crop Nov up GBP2.50/tonne to GBP193.50/tonne. Nov Paris wheat rose EUR2.00/tonne to EUR244.00/tonne whilst May12 was EUR2.25/tonne higher at EUR248.00/tonne.
Nov London wheat peaked at GBP199.25/tonne, up GBP8.25/tonne on the day, a fresh lifetime contract high and just short of the magical GBP200.00/tonne mark on early bullish euphoria.
Gains were tempered somewhat later in the day however as NYMEX crude oil fell back below USD100.00/barrel and US futures retreated.
Dryness has undoubtedly harmed EU grain potential in most of the major producing nations, that is beyond question, what we don't know yet is by how much. Private estimates suggest that it may be by far more than the likes of the USDA and Coceral suggest.
Before the bulls get too carried away with high fives all round it should of course be noted that Ensus has opted to take a temporary shutdown rather than continue turning wheat into bioethanol at these levels.
It would also be very interesting to know what is going through the minds of the multi-nationals behind the under-construction Vivergo plant at Saltend right at this moment in time.
Meanwhile inflation here keeps creeping up, rising to a 2 1/2 year high of 4.5% in April, with food and fuel prices leading the way.
The cure for high prices is high prices, they say. I think that we must be wary of demand destruction at these levels.
19/05/11 -- There's a temporary problem uploading new posts from my PC so I'm posting this from my mobile. Everything should be back to normal soon. Early call on CBOT meanwhile is beans up 4-6c, corn up 5-7c and wheat up 10-12c.
Problem resolved. For info, as this may be relevant to some of you, out of the blue this afternoon whilst attempting to update the blog Google asked for my mobile number for security purposes. Saying that it was to prevent suspicious postings and would only be used for verification purposes.
So you think, ah well it's Google, it'll be all right. Except it wasn't.
You give them your number and press next (or whatever) and then you're left hung in permanent cyberspace unable to log into Blogger any more, as it's constantly trying to redirect you to a webpage the address of which is becoming increasingly longer by the millisecond. Your browser finally gives up and you get a Google 414 error page.
The way to extricate yourself from permanent cyber limbo is to delete the "lets go round and round in circles forever" cookie that Google have placed on your PC. Except you don't know exactly where it is and have no idea whatsoever what it's called.
Solution is to delete cookies, except deleting all your cookies will probably mean that every website that you use where you by-pass the log-in procedure will now want you to log-in again wont it? Which is at the very least a pain, and possibly more than that if you can't remember your log-in details.
Nogger solution (for IE): Tools > Internet Options > Under browsing history click Settings > View files. A long list of temporary internet files including cookies will appear, they will probably be sorted in the order of "last accessed" but if not click "last accessed" to make them so.
Figure out roughly when your problem started, and give yourself say another hour on top just to be sure, then delete everything from that point down to the bottom of the list. Sorted. Then next time they ask for your mobile number tell them to do one.
19/05/11 -- World agri-weather highlights from the excellent Martell Crop Projections:
- Strong warming Canada prairies improves field drying, planting conditions; US grain belt weather very cool, slowing field drying and seed germination; wet forecast very detrimental in northern spring wheat; not all the intended wheat will get planted
- Brazil continues extremely dry; no significant rainfall past 6 weeks in Mato Grosso and Parana; worries over damage late-developing corn (safrahina); forecast finally calling for some rain
- Argentina wheat planting conditions unfavourable, too cool and dry Buenos Aires province; forecast still dry next 7 days; April-May dryness favoured summer crop harvesting; not a great finish for soybeans filling pods
- Europe drought worries persist; way below normal rains the past 60s days; rapeseed and wheat prospects deteriorating; forecast a little more hopeful for showers the next week; heat would persist also, most pronounced in Eastern Europe
- Western Australia got light rain yesterday; subsoil drought still severe; farmers fearful of back to back droughts; frost developed overnight southeastern Australia; cold temps are slowing wheat growth; warmer and wetter weather in the forecast; weather pattern looks like La Nina
- China Manchurian Plain in a rainy weather pattern; bad for corn and soybean planting; temperatures normal Tuesday; rainy cool weather in the forecast; severe drought damaging rapeseed in Yangtze River Valley; reservoirs drying up, drinking water is short; rape area may finally get heavy rain upcoming week
- India showers are developing in southwest, northeast; may be a sign the monsoon circulation is getting going; June is the first official month for the monsoon; western states are baking in heat, temps 110-117 F Tuesday
- Russia May rainfall very heavy Black Sea winter wheat; makes up for dry April in Volgograd, Rostov districts; winter grain prospects in wheat and barley on the upswing; weather improving for spring grain planting, Volga and Black Earth; warmer and drier recently; seeding was delayed to start with, delayed snowmelt, wet conditions; watching Ukraine weather; winter wheat and rapeseed coming under increased moisture stress; spring has been very dry; suspect soil moisture for snowmelt is running out; reports indicate little if any winter kill
19/05/11 -- With the market still digesting yesterday's French crop production reductions from Agritel and Strategie Grains, the German farm co-operative group DRV have come out with some sharp cuts of their own.
German soft wheat output this season is now seen at 22.3 MMT, down 2.2 MMT from their previous forecast and 7.5% down on last season's far from perfect crop. Barley production is seen down 14.4% to 8.9 MMT and OSR output is now only expected to amount to 4.4 MMT, a drop of 22.8% on last year.
EU grains are sharply higher for a second day this morning, with Nov London wheat currently up GBP7.50/tonne for a gain of over 13% on the week so far.
18/05/11 -- Soybeans: Jul 11 soybeans closed at USD13.79 1/2, up 38 1/2 cents; Nov 11 Soybeans closed at USD13.53 1/4, up 32 3/4 cents; Jul 11 soybean meal closed at US361.00, up USD10.60; Jul 11 soybean oil closed at 57.30, up 126 points. Sharply higher crude oil helped, as too did other outside markets. Funds bought an estimated 9,000 soybean contracts on the day. Linn Group estimated this year's soybean plantings at 75.1 million acres, down 1.5 million from the USDA's March estimate.
Corn: Jul 11 corn closed at USD7.49 3/4, up 29 1/2 cents; Dec 11 corn closed at USD6.72 3/4, up 19 1/2 cents. Funds bought 20,000 lots on the day it is reckoned. Estimates for tomorrows weekly export sales report range from 800,000 to 1,000,000 MT. European weather remains a concern, as too does continued rainfall in the US Corn Belt. QT Weather say that a series of trapped upper lows over Colorado and Wisconsin will continue to dump heavy rains on the northern Plains and southern Canada.
Wheat: Jul 11 CBOT wheat closed at $8.17, up 53 cents; Jul 11 KCBT wheat closed at USD9.38, up 43 1/2 cents; Jul 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.96 1/4, up 60 cents. Wheat prices rose on European concerns, late US spring wheat plantings and a continued deterioration of US winter wheat ratings. Estimates for tomorrows weekly export sales report range from 450 to 750 thousand MT.
18/05/11 -- EU grains soared Wednesday as dealers, consumers and growers alike now seem resigned to sharply lower yields this summer. May London wheat closed GBP6.00/tonne higher at GBP199.00/tonne with new crop Nov up GBP10.50 to GBP191.00/tonne. Nov Paris wheat rose EUR10.50/tonne to EUR242.00/tonne whilst May climbed EUR10.75/tonne to EUR245.75/tonne.
Nov11 London wheat set a new lifetime contract high of GBP191.25/tonne and closed within GBP0.25/tonne of that. Nov12 closed at it's own new lifetime contract high of GBP166.50/tonne, up GBP6.50/tonne on the day.
It's amazing how the London wheat old crop/new crop spread has evaporated in just a couple of weeks. Jul11 was a GBP26.00/tonne premium to Nov11 at the beginning of May, at the close of today that differential has narrowed to just GBP4.00/tonne.
French analysts Agritel today estimated the soft wheat crop there at just 31.7 MMT this year, which they say is 11.5% down on last year despite a 2% rise in planted area. The reduction is "a direct consequence" of inadequate rains over the past three months, they add.
The French weather outlook for the next ten days remains dry.
"Europe is being dominated by a warm ridge of high pressure. A much stronger ridge in April intensified heat and dryness worsening stress on winter grains. In May, the ridge is weaker, permitting a few showers here and there. This week’s forecast calls for scattered rains. Abnormal heat will continue shifting to Eastern Europe," say Martell Crop Projections.
"The warm ridge over Poland extends into European Russia. This is good news for increased spring planting in the Russia Black Earth and Volga, very key growing areas. The spring started out cold and wet causing worries over whether all the intended grain would be sown," they add.
Meanwhile US wheat futures opened sharply higher in afternoon trade. A blocking ridge over Western Canada is seen keeping unusually wet weather in the Corn Belt and Central Plains. That means more planting delays for spring wheat, although there are some beneficial moisture chances for HRW wheat areas further south too.
18/05/11 -- London wheat has really got the bit between it's teeth this morning. With May12 currently GBP5.50/tonne higher at GBP191.00/tonne new crop is now dearer than old crop July. That's quite a turnaround considering that at the start of the month this July was a GBP26.00/tonne premium!
Malting barley seems beyond redemption, with Nov up EUR43.00/tonne since the start of May, with rapeseed not too far behind either. Yet much of the OSR round here still looks really rather good.
Even Nov12 London wheat is three quid up this morning and that crop is five months off even being planted yet. Will Vivergo be open by then? Will Ensus still be shut by then? Will they all have opened and shut down again by then?
Will there even be a European biofuel industry left?
Is GBP200/tonne, or the dollar equivalent, really the new normal? Or is it this:
17/05/11 -- Soybeans: Jul 11 soybeans closed at USD13.41, up 14 1/2 cents; Jul 11 soybean meal closed at USD350.40, up USD4.70; Jul 11 soybean oil closed at 56.04, up 13 points. Beans got dragged higher by corn and wheat despite reports of 6 MMT of soybeans sat at the quayside in China awaiting a home.
Corn: Jul 11 corn closed at USD7.20 1/4, up 22 3/4 cents; Dec 11 corn closed at USD6.53 1/4, up 17 3/4 cents. Slow planting in certain states remains the major news. Ohio is only 7% done compared with 70% normally. "Strong warming will return to the Midwest May 20-23, but this will be accompanied by stormy conditions and heavy rain potential," sat Martell Crop Projections.
Wheat: Jul 11 CBOT wheat closed at USD7.64, up 27 1/2 cents; Jul 11 KCBT wheat closed at USD8.94 1/2, up 18 1/2 cents; Jul 11 MGEX wheat closed at USD9.36 1/4, up 26 cents. Spring grain plantings in Russia and Ukraine seem to have caught up after a slow start. Ukraine in particular look nailed on for a decent harvest this season.
17/05/11 -- EU grains closed with May London wheat GBP4.00/tonne lower at GBP193.00/tonne and with new crop Nov up GBP2.75/tonne to GBP180.50/tonne. Nov Paris wheat closed EUR2.75/tonne higher at EUR231.50/tonne whilst May12 was up EUR2.75/tonne to EUR234.00/tonne.
In London the old crop/new crop spreads continued to narrow on the back of news of the Ensus shutdown as old crop longs feel less comfortable hanging onto their positions.
The May/Nov London spread has narrowed from being GBP43.75/tonne to GBP12.50/tonne in the past four weeks, whilst the Jul/Nov differential has gone from being GBP37.00/tonne to just GBP5.75/tonne in the same period.
Paris malting barley was sharply higher again on the back of ideas that this season's production is going to be very poor. Nov closed EUR12.00/tonne higher for a EUR45.00/tonne or 17% gain in a fortnight.
Customs data reveals that UK wheat exports are finally slowing down as stocks dwindle. March exports were just 100,673 MT, the lowest monthly total of the season so far. Marketing year to date exports (Jul/Mar) still come in at 2.34 MMT, up 35% on a year ago though.
Barley exports for the YTD are down from 818 TMT to 664 TMT, a decrease of 19%. The real surprise package is UK rapeseed exports up more than threefold to 326 TMT, with March exports close to a marketing year high of 71.6 TMT.
In March the Netherlands was the top UK wheat home at 27.4 TMT, with France in second at 20.9 TMT and Spain/Portugal equal third on 9.2 TMT.
A report on Bloomberg quotes Oil World as saying that "the deterioration of rapeseed production prospects (in the EU-27) is about to reach alarming proportions."
How "alarming" is alarming? They say that production here could fall to 19.5 MMT, that's "only" down 5.5%, and would actually be the third highest output on record, but it makes for a nice headline.
17/05/11 -- Crisis, What Crisis was as some of you may recall a 1975 album by Supertramp, with the title taken from a line in the 1973 film The Day of the Jackal. See, education mixed with a bit of culture, that's what you get here.
Well, French Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (she may sound foxy, but I've just Googled her and she isn't) says that they are in "a situation of crisis" over there after one of hottest and driest Aprils on record. The drama queen, but that's the French for you.
The women over there don't even shave their armpits, or is that the Germans? Or both? I don't want to find out. You can say what you like about MrsN#1 but at least she was scrupulous in that department. She may have been somewhat relaxed in others, but she never once failed a 7am pit hair inspection to my recollection. She may have had a face like a blind cobblers thumb, but she never let that affect her personal hygiene. At least not until near the end anyway.
I went there once, France that is not MrsN#1, at least not with the lights on, and you'll never believe this right but half the bars and restaurants only have one toilet in them. That's right, incredible isn't it? If you fancy a swift number two then there's every possibility that you're going to have you mojo upset by Ms Kosciusko-Morizet hammering on the door demanding to know how much longer you are going to be. Now that's a real crisis. She looks pretty mean in the publicity shots, so what's she going to be like when you've just settled down with a copy of the Paris Match for your afternoon Forest Gump?
They've imposed water consumption limits in 28 of their 96 administrative departments. That's just an excuse not to have a bath if you ask me. You can see a picture of Napoleon's bathroom here, it look pretty clean doesn't it? Suspiciously too clean if you ask me, like never been used clean. Ms Kosciusko-Morizet won't be needed to be getting the rubber gloves and Cillit Bang out for that one will she? They're a notoriously filthy bath-despising nation the French.
Never trust them, that's what me Grandad used to say. And he should know he fought with them in the war. Well when I say with them, they were supposed to be there but they never showed up, forgot to set their alarm or something. Muttered something about being a bit sorry, in French obviously, I mean they're not going to thank you for saving them in a language you can understand are they? That'd be too much to ask for wouldn't it.
Did you know that there's seventy-three different French words for "surrender" but only one for "soap"? It's true that, me Grandad told me that one.
It's probably lashing it down over there right now. When I went that's exactly what it did, so they clearly can't be trusted. Nobody even bothers to try and speak a little bit of English when you're over there you know right to this day, just to make you feel at home like. It's just French, French, French all day long.
And I still haven't forgiven Thierry Henry for that handball, and I'm not even Irish. Me Grandad was "a bit Irish" but we don't like to talk about it.
17/05/11 -- The overnight grains closed mixed, but mostly higher with corn and beans both around 4-6c firmer, and with wheat generally 2-6c lower.
Crude oil is a bit easier and the dollar slightly firmer, both negative influences.
Last night's planting progress was better than expected for beans and corn. For beans yesterday's crush data was negative and so too were weekly export inspections.
Spring wheat plantings continue to lag however, and winter wheat crop conditions continue to slip.
Spring grain plantings in Russia and Ukraine seem to have caught up after a slow start. Ukraine in particular look nailed on for a decent harvest and are likely to adopt a "hit the ground running" approach to the 2011/12 export campaign.
Cash-strapped Russia and Kazakhstan may not be too far behind either. Think the January sales in Primark, Matalan and TKMaxx and you're not too far away. If it's not nailed to the floor it'll be going on a boat for overseas.
European concerns remain.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn up 4-6c, beans up 3-5c, wheat flat to up 2c.
17/05/11 -- The overnights are mixed with beans around 4-6c higher, corn 2-3c firmer and wheat 3-6c weaker. Crude and other energies are lower.
Soybeans still look the weakest leg of the trilogy to me, and can't seemingly find much in the way of a bullish story. Chinese demand, or lack of it, is perhaps the key.
There's reputedly 6 MMT of soybeans sat at the quayside in China, much of it imported as a way of getting cheap credit to finance other totally unconnected industries. These beans are unwanted by crushers who's margins are getting squeezed by government imposed caps on vegoil prices.
Meanwhile the Chinese government appear to have kissed and made up with Argentina and agreed last week to import 500,000 MT of soyoil from the hand-balling work-shy South American nation this year, which will further hit domestic soybean demand.
There were no bids today for the 300,000 MT of soybeans on offer at this week's government soybean auction. Meanwhile they only sold 15% of the corn on offer too.
Despite the USDA acknowledging a slow down in the pace of Chinese soybean imports in last week's WASDE report (2010/11 imports were cut 2.5 MMT to 54.5 MMT) they still have them down to take a record 58 MMT in 2011/12. That's 60% of the entire global trade in soybeans and dwarfs demand from the second largest importer, the EU-27, who take around 14% of world exports.
The pound is up to the dizzy heights of 1.15 against a euro weighed down by talk of another bailout for Greece. To add to euro uncertainty IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, himself a keen advocate of recent European bailouts was arrested over the weekend over an alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid.
Australia are forecasting a near record 2.44 MMT rape crop in 2011/12, despite the state of WA being drier than a dead dingo's donger, according to ABARES. (Nice linkage there Nogger - Thanks, Nogger). In the east it's wetter than a, well never you mind what it's wetter than, it's wet that's all you need to know.
16/05/11 -- Soybeans: July soybeans finished down 3c at USD13.26 1/2 a bushel; Nov soybeans closed down 4 1/2c at USD13.06 1/4 a bushel; July soymeal settled USD0.30 higher at USD345.70; July soyoil ended down 23 points at 55.91. The NOPA monthly crush report for April was disappointing at 121.3 million bushels. Much lower than the 134.4 million crushed in March and 131.7 million a year ago. Weekly export sales continue to disappoint also, in addition the USDA's export inspections report this morning showed only 5.149 million bushels inspected for export for the week ending May 12th. Talk is that sales and crush numbers at this level mean that ending stocks will come in higher than current 2010/11 USDA estimates. Planting progress was better than anticipated at 22% done.
Corn: July corn rose 15 1/2c to USD6.97 1/2; Dec corn climbed 8 1/2c to USD6.35 1/2. Crude oil fell sharply again and the US dollar was firmer. The USDA confirmed the sale of 125,000 MT of corn to South Korea for the 2010/2011 marketing year. Rumours that China bought US corn last week persist. Funds were said to have bought 8,000 contracts on the day as weekly export inspections came in at 36.911 million bushels, better than trade estimates. After the close the USDA reported planting progress at 63% done, better than expected, although still lagging 75% normally. Ohio is only 7% done compared with 70% normally.
Wheat: CBOT July wheat gained 8 3/4c to USD7.36 1/2; KCBT July rose 6 1/2c to USD8.76 and MGEX July climbed 10c to USD9.10 1/4. For winter wheat poor/very poor conditions rose 2 pips from a week ago to 44%, good/excellent is now only 32%. Spring wheat plantings are only 36% complete compared to 76% normally. "There are worries about spring wheat receiving sufficient heat units to reach safe maturity in the fall, due to planting delays up to 3 weeks. North Dakota, the leading state, was only 15% planted compared to 68% normally. May 25 is the normal cut-off date for sowing," say Martell Crop Projections.
16/05/11 -- EU grains closed mostly higher with May London wheat unchanged at GBP197.00/tonne and with new crop Nov up GBP2.50/tonne to GBP177.75/tonne. Nov Paris wheat rose EUR3.00/tonne to EUR228.70/tonne whilst May12 was EUR3.25/tonne higher at EUR232.50/tonne.
In London old crop prices remain depressed following the news late last week that Ensus was to close for 2-4 months as producing bioethanol from wheat isn't economically viable at these levels.
The fact that they've decided to take such action little more than a year after opening a plant that cost GBP300 million to build is particularly interesting. What does this signal to similar other under construction, and planned, projects in the UK and elsewhere?
The old crop/new crop Jul/Nov spread has now narrowed from GBP37.00/tonne to under GBP10.00/tonne in less than four weeks.
Concerns over continued dryness in the South East of England, France and Germany seem particularly likely to harm rapeseed and spring barley yields. Paris rapeseed closed EUR6.50/tonne higher in new crop August, having now risen by more than EUR50.00/tonne from a low set only eight sessions ago. Aug malting barley closed EUR13.50/tonne higher, up EUR33.00/tonne in the last eight trading days.
France only got 29% of normal rainfall during April, with Germany faring little better at 38% of average during the month. Whilst there are showers in the forecasts for Germany tonight and tomorrow the remainder of the week is seen dry. In France there are no significant rains in the offing for the next two weeks.
16/05/11 -- The overnights closed higher with wheat up around 7-9c, corn up 6-9c and beans 3-4c firmer. Oil is down, gold steady and the US dollar a little higher.
Fresh news is limited, we won't have the USDA's planting progress and crop conditions data until after the close tonight. Soybean planting is expected at around 20% complete, with corn a little past halfway done.
QT Weather are forecasting drying where needed (except for Ohio) in the Western Corn Belt and welcome rains for HRW wheat areas on the Plains. Most areas will have lower than normal temperatures this week, they add.
Rumours that China bought US corn last week persist. They are just rumours, and they're possibly being put about by bulls unhappy to have seen prices fall 87c in the past three weeks despite the late plantings rhetoric.
Soybeans remain the weakest link after a succession of disappointing weekly export sales and ideas that any unplanted corn acres will get switched into beans. In addition the NOPA soybean crush for April was 121.3 million bushels, well below expectations of 127.8 million bushels. That's also much lower than the 134.4 million crushed in March and the 131.7 million in April 2010.
In the longer term, bulls should be mindful that here in Europe we've just seen one of our own flagship bioethanol refineries take some unscheduled downtime, little more than twelve months after opening. The vulnerability (and viability) of the US ethanol industry facing the withdrawal of the 45c/gallon subsidy at the end of the year may also be called into question.
The USDA have just confirmed the sale of 125,000 MT of corn to S. Korea for the 2010/2011 marketing year.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn Up 6-10c, Wheat Up 8-10c, Beans Up 3-5c. Beans could lag on the back of the NOPA crush data and anticipation of a corn planting number lower than the 50-60% that most are expecting.
16/05/11 -- I wish I had a pound for every time I've heard that one from a compounder over the last six months or so. The proof of the pudding as they say is in the eating, and sure enough Defra's latest numbers on compound feed manufacture seem to back it up.
The UK (excluding Northern Ireland) produced 7.5 MMT of compound feed from July 2010 to March 2011, up 5.6% on the previous season, and wheat was the major component of that feed at 2.1 MMT, little different from the 2.2 MMT utilised during 2009/10 despite it doubling in price.
It's probably true however that a fair amount of the wheat included into feed rations during this period was bought at, and priced in at, substantially lower levels than the prevailing market price at the time.
Now we are into summer-time however (supposedly, MrsN#3 wanted the heating on yesterday, she must think I'm made of money - no sorry I'm getting her mixed up with #1 and #2) it is also probably true that compound feed prices will have to more accurately reflect the cost of the individual components more closely. It will be interesting to see if wheat manages to hold onto it's 28% share of the ration when it's priced in at over GBP200/tonne.