Chicago Close

02/09/11 -- Soybeans: Sep 11 Soybeans closed at USD14.36, up 11 1/4 cents; Nov 11 Soybeans closed at USD14.45 3/4, up 11 1/4 cents; Sep 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD377.80, up USD1.20; Sep 11 Soybean Oil closed at 57.74, up 3 points. Beans gained 21 1/4 cents on the week, with meal up USD1.80 and oil rising 114 points. Spillover support came from corn although gains were capped by poor US jobs data which led crude oil to post losses in excess of USD2/barrel. Weekend rain potential varies from one forecaster to another. That gives the market the scope to do something dramatic when trading resumes on Tuesday after the long weekend.

Corn: Sep 11 Corn closed at USD7.50 1/4, up 21 1/2 cents; Dec 11 Corn closed at USD7.60, up 21 1/2 cents. What was expected to be a quiet pre-weekend book squaring session exploded into life when respected private analysts Lanworth released a corn yield estimate of 143.3 bu/acre, almost 10bpa lower than the current USDA estimate. An anticipated production estimate by Informa has now been put back to Tuesday. Despite today's sharp rise Sep corn was actually 2 1/4 cents lower on the week. Whatever weekend rain does materialise is likely to be of more benefit to beans than corn.

Wheat: Sep 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD7.30, up 14 1/2 cents; Sep 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD8.58, up 10 cents; Sep 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.84 1/4, up 13 1/2 cents. Chicago wheat fell 32 1/4 cents on the week, with Kansas down 8 cents and Minneapolis rising 28 cents. There wasn't much fresh news about for wheat, with Chicago opening lower but turning round after corn moved sharply higher. There are some chances of rain coming up for the dry southern Plains before winter planting begins, although what's in the forecast is hardly a drought-buster.

EU Wheat Close

02/09/11 -- EU grains finished mixed with Nov London wheat up GBP0.30/tonne at GBP173.05/tonne and Nov Paris wheat ending EUR0.50/tonne lower at EUR208.25/tonne.

On the week overall London wheat gained GBP1.30/tonne whilst Paris wheat fell EUR2.00/tonne.

The market regained some lost ground late in the day after America moved sharply higher on corn after respected private analyst Lanworth pegged US corn yields this season at 143.3 bu/acre, almost 10 bu/acre below last month's USDA estimate.

Closer to home the German Ag Ministry pegged the wheat crop there at a fraction under 23 MMT, 3.4% down on last season. Their rapeseed crop will plunge more than 30% to just 3.9 MMT, they added. That will likely mean substantial imports will be required by the domestic crushing industry.

UkrAgroConsult forecast that only 40-45% of the Ukraine wheat crop will make milling standard this year, down from 55% a year ago. Based on reports from my contacts over there that may be optimistic.

Russia exported 2.6 MMT of grain in July, followed by a mammoth 3.2 MMT in August, according to the Grain Union there.

So it looks like Russia, soon to be joined by Kazakhstan, will have the cheapest milling wheat in the world in 2011/12. Ukraine look set to monopolise feed wheat exports as soon as the sort out their internal red tape.

Bollocks To The Hungry - I Want A Speedboat

02/09/11 -- The CME gleefully report that August was an all-time record month for volume on the exchange with 393 million contracts trading, of which 84 percent was traded electronically.

That's 17.1 million contracts a day, up 46 percent from August 2010 they gush, whilst extolling the virtues of the vital liquidity that they provide "during times of high market volatility."

They don't mention any of this in their press release though: Secret Exemptions Allowed Speculators to Distort Futures Markets

Early Call On Chicago

02/09/11 -- The overnight grains finished higher, although only partially regaining some of Thursday night's steep losses. Wheat ended up 6-8 cents and corn & beans mostly 4-5 cents firmer.

Based on the overnight closes Sep CBOT wheat is down 38 cents on the week so far, with corn down 18 1/4 cents and beans 15 cents higher.

Crude oil is more than a dollar lower after the US non-farm payrolls data showed zero jobs were added during August, contrary to expectations for 70-90,000 additions. This was apparently the first time that there were zero jobs added since Feb 1945. Hardly an economy booster that one is it?

In addition the June number was revised down from +46k to +20k and the July figure revised down from +117k to +85k.

Additional downside pressure for crude may come from ideas that Libya will be attempting to pump as much as it can before long.

Yesterday's US crop production numbers from FCStone could be viewed as either bullish or bearish, in a kind of half full or half empty sort of a way. Informa may enlighten us further later this afternoon.

Weather watchers are monitoring a major depression in the Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana with a projected track due north into central Louisiana, then curving east across southern Mississippi. Landfall is expected midnight Sunday as a tropical storm with winds of 60 miles per hour.

"Given the current forecast, heavy, soaking tropical rains would avoid the Midwest, soaking Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama," say Martell Crop Projections.

Meanwhile a cool front tracking west-to-east across the Midwest this weekend should "bring some useful rainfall to soybeans but just how much is the question. If the front moves quickly through the grain belt rainfall would be slight, but a slow moving front could bring 1.2 inches of rainfall. The atmosphere has grown humid and unstable in the Midwest giving rise to hopes for scattered heavy rains," they add.

The poor jobs data appears to have got the stock market rattled heading into the long weekend. There may be enough weather uncertainty around too to maybe generate a bit more long liquidation meaning that we close lower than the opening calls which are: corn up 4-5 cents, beans up 5-7 cents and wheat up 6-8 cents.

The Morning Vibe

02/09/11 -- A heavy sell-off in the Chicago grains last night appears to have flushed out a few bottom pickers this morning with Globex wheat, corn and beans all up around 5-8 cents.

Where are we for the week so far? Including latest overnight action Sep CBOT wheat is down 38 cents, corn down 14 1/4 cents and beans up 14 3/4 cents.

Informa become the latest private analyst to release their yield and production estimates mid-session this afternoon. Latest weather forecasts for the long weekend may also help fashion market direction after lunch.

This afternoon also sees the release of the important US August jobs numbesr. A big jobs report if you like. The market is hoping for non-farm payrolls to have increased by 90,000 - but I have a funny feeling that it will be significantly less than that. That could see Wall Street under pressure this afternoon which may spill over into the grains.

Libya bought 50,000 MT of Russian wheat overnight. Thanks for releasing the money France, but your can stick your expensive wheat where the soleil don't shine.

Poor old Ukraine, all that grain to sell but nobody wants it after you've been stitched up by the government once again. The only thing to do is plant some more, and that's exactly what they're doing with winter rapeseed sowings already past the halfway point. How long before we see reports in the press that growers there say that winter plantings will be down due to lack of funds?

Nov London wheat has opened GBP0.30/tonne easier at GBP172.45/tonne, still that's GBP0.70/tonne higher on the week hardly matching Chicago's 38 cent drop.

Chicago Close

01/09/11 -- Soybeans: Sep 11 Soybeans closed at USD14.24 3/4, down 24 1/4 cents; Nov 11 Soybeans finished at $14.34 1/2, down 23 cents; Sep 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD376.60, down USD4.20; Sep 11 Soybean Oil closed at 57.71, down 84 points. Funds sold an estimated 8,000 beans on the day ahead of the long weekend. Weakness in corn also led to spillover selling in beans. FCStone lowered their soybean yield estimate to 41.05bpa from 42.4bpa, with production coming in at 3.03 billion bushels. Both are in line with last week's ProFarmer numbers. Weekly soybean export sales came in at 593,800 MT, towards the top end of the 350 to 600 thousand MT estimated.

Corn: Sep 11 Corn closed at USD7.28 3/4, down 28 3/4 cents; Dec 11 Corn fell to USD7.38 1/2, down 29 cents. Funds sold an estimated 18,000 contracts on the day, making them net sellers of around 10,000 on the week. The catalyst for the sell-off may have been FCStone estimating this season's corn yields at 146.3bpa, producing a crop of 12.35 billion bushels. Whilst below the recent ProFarmer number their yield estimate is much better than some of the "low 140's" numbers that have been flying around this week. Weekly export sales were a net 637,000 MT versus forecasts of 400 to 650 thousand MT.

Wheat: Sep 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD7.15 1/2, down 29 3/4 cents; Sep 11 KCBT Wheat was at USD8.48, down 23 cents; Sep 11 MGEX Wheat finished at USD9.70 3/4, up 3 3/4 cents. Minneapolis continues to lead. Chicago fell on spillover weakness from corn with funds selling an estimated 3,000 contracts on the day. Export sales of 369,200 MT were towards the low end of expectations of 350 to 550 thousand MT. This maybe reminded the market that US wheat is going to have a tough job matching USDA targets for 2011/12 at these prices.

EU Wheat Close

01/09/11 -- EU grains finished lower with Nov London wheat falling GBP2.00/tonne to GBP172.75/tonne and Nov Paris wheat losing EUR2.50/tonne to EUR208.75/tonne.

Fresh news was thin on the ground, and those bulls need to be fed every day. US futures were lower, pressuring EU grains, on profit-taking ahead of a long weekend in America.

The HGCA said that the UK wheat harvest is 75% done, whilst that of spring barley is 55% complete. The winter barley and rapeseed harvests are finished. In Scotland the harvest is later and slower than average, they added.

UK wheat yields have averaged 7.5-7.7 MT/ha, slightly under the five year average of 7.8 MT/ha, they say. A remarkable recovery compared to all those "25% of the crop is lost" reports that were circulating not that long ago?

Noises coming out of Ukraine suggest that the removal of export duties there is unlikely this side of Christmas. That will affect their ability to compete with Russia and Kazakhstan on the export market. It will however only delay the inevitable. When they do eventually emerge as eager sellers they will be ultra-competitive.

EU exports continue to chug away at an unspectacular rate. Brussels granted 276,000 MT of soft wheat export licences this week, which is 50,000 MT down on a week ago.

That brings the total MY to date total to 2.1 MMT, fully 1.2 MMT lower than where we were a year ago. Imports meanwhile now stand at 2.3 MMT, meaning that effectively we currently have more wheat in Europe nine weeks into the current campaign than we started with!

Early Call On Chicago

01/09/11 -- The overnight grains finished with wheat and beans around 10-12 cents lower and corn down 7-8 cents. Crude is a little weaker and the dollar slightly firmer, both negative for grains.

The USDA reported weekly wheat export sales of 369,200 MT, towards the low end of expectations for sales of 350 to 550 thousand MT. Corn sales were minus 320,900 MT for old crop and 957,900 MT for new crop giving a combined 637,000 MT versus forecasts of 400 to 650 thousand MT. Soybean sales came in at 593,800 MT of all new crop compared with the 350 to 600 thousand MT estimated.

In amongst a lot of corn switching was the sale of 116,000 MT to China switched from unknown.

It's the first of the month, but with a long weekend looming in the US it may be next week before we see any "new money" coming into the market. With the possibility of a wetter look to the weekend funds may decide that it would be prudent to regroup next week once the extent of weekend moisture is known.

That may give us some more long liquidation and profit-taking this afternoon.

FCStone are out later today with their slant on US corn and soybean production, followed by Informa tomorrow ahead of the USDA a week on Monday. Lower corn yields look like they are a given, but how much is already factored in?

Brazilian growers like the look of corn at these levels and are seen upping plantings accordingly.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn down 6-8 cents, wheat and beans down 8-10 cents.

Ukraine Export Duties

01/09/11 -- Ukraine is unlikely to lift it's existing grain export duties in the near-term it is being suggested on the HGCA website amongst others this morning. To do so would contravene agreements that the country has with the IMF, according to the Ministry of Finance. (As if Ukraine normally has a problem contravening anything).

The duties will "remain in place until the end of 2011" the Minister of Agrarian Policy suggests.

If so, that will probably depress domestic prices, much as last year's export embargo did in Russia. It may also mean that Ukraine will try and squeeze a years worth of exports into the first half of 2012, making them ultra-aggressive when the time comes.

It could also give Russia and Kazakhstan grain an additional route out into the Med and beyond via Ukraine ports, and provide Ukraine customs officials with some useful "backhanders" in the run-up to Christmas!

Saving The Planet Is So Bloody Boring Isn't It?

01/09/11 -- BOCM Pauls have secured a GBP90 million lending package from Lloyds TSB, according to this report.

Some of the money will be used to reduce CO2 emissions at its mills.

If it was down to me however, I'd draw out GBP89,999,999 immediately and spend it on essentials like having a "bit of a dabble" on the old gee gees and then use the rest of it to host a massive alcohol-fueled party in which naked dancing girls would be flown in from all around the globe to fill a jacuzzi the size of Bury St Edmunds.

Then, once the girls had been flown back home again and we'd tidied the place up a bit, we could sit down and see what we'd got left. Get some sandwiches in and a few crates of beer, obviously, and have a little chat about this CO2 thingy. I mean we've managed alright up until now haven't we? Let's put it on the back burner until next year, we'll get another "package" then won't we? Blimey, is that the time, they'll be open in half an hour. If the bank ring tell them that I've gone for an early business lunch...

Sorted, and no harm done eh?

Morning Vibe

01/09/11 -- White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits. It's a beautiful morning in North Yorkshire. The birds are singing. The squirrels are gathering nuts, and the wretched kids have only got one day of the school holidays left to go. Woooohoooo.

The overnight grains are lower. London and Paris wheat have opened easier, although they are really only back to where they were yesterday morning after somehow managing to officially close higher.

Fresh news is extremely thin on the ground. FC Stone are out later today I understand with their thoughts on US corn and soybean yields, and Informa are out tomorrow.

Before that the market will also be looking at the latest USDA weekly export sales this afternoon to see if there's any sign of demand slipping with prices where they are.

The HGCA sees the UK wheat harvest 75% done, whilst spring barley is 55% complete. The winter barley and rapeseed harvests are finished. In Scotland the harvest is later and slower than average. Just like the Scottish midfield.

The Kazakh harvest is around 15% done, according to the Ag Ministry there. Grain production there should be up 60% after near ideal spring and summer growing conditions.

Having issued us with harvest data on an almost daily basis throughout July and August the Russian Ministry seem to have gone very quiet this week. Maybe they are on holiday, or maybe they don't want to publicise too highly how things are going in Siberia (which in Russian terms is "just over the road" from Kazakhstan). I suspect that the answer to that is "pretty bloody well actually, comrade".

The Russian harvest may be larger than the market thinks. The only problem that they will have is shipping it out fast enough. The fact that world wheat prices have moved up since the beginning of August will delight them.

Chicago Close

31/08/11 -- Soybeans: Sep 11 Soybeans closed at USD14.49, up 1/4 cent; Nov 11 Soybeans closed at USD14.57 1/2, up 1/2 cent; Sep11 Soybean Meal closed at USD380.80, down USD0.30; Sep 11 Soybean Oil closed at 58.55, up 35 points. Whilst there wasn't a lot of change to the nearbys Nov12 beans were 12 1/4 cents higher at USD13.92 as the market appears to want to buy into the longevity of USD14/bu beans. Funds bought an estimated 2,000 bean contracts on the day. Trade estimates for tomorrows weekly export sales report range from 350 to 600 thousand MT.

Corn: Sep 11 Corn closed at USD7.57 1/2, down 6 cents; Dec 11 Corn closed at USD7.67 1/2, down 7 3/4 cents. Funds were given credit for selling 8,000 contracts on the day. Private estimates on potential corn yields are starting to filter through ahead of the USDA's September numbers. Linn Group today pegged this season's crop crop at 12.391 with yields coming in at 149.1bpa. That's a better yield than last weeks Pro Farmer estimate but lower overall production. Trade estimates for tomorrows weekly export sales report range from 400 to 650 thousand MT.

Wheat: Sep 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD7.45 1/4, down 5 cents; Sep 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD8.71, up 3 1/2 cents; Sep 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.67, up 26 cents. As you can see Minneapolis wheat led the way again today. There is some rain in the long weekend forecast for Texas and Oklahoma which will be welcomed ahead of winter wheat planting. Rain on the northern Plains however will hamper spring wheat harvest activity. Trade estimates for tomorrows weekly export sales report range from 350 to 550 thousand MT.

EU Wheat Close

31/08/11 -- Despite trading lower for almost the entire session EU grains somehow managed to finish mostly higher with Nov London wheat up GBP0.75/tonne to GBP174.75/tonne and Nov Paris wheat EUR0.50/tonne firmer at EUR211.25/tonne.

Depending on what happens overnight that particular anomaly may well correct itself in the morning.

On the month of August as a whole Nov London wheat was up GBP11.00/tonne and Nov Paris wheat gained EUR13.50/tonne.

Offre & Demande Agricole said that UK wheat yields are likely to be down 3.4% compared with last year, with winter barley yields falling 13.5% and rapeseed yields rising 10.5%.

La Salle group peg the EU-27 wheat crop at 137.8 MMT, 4.3 MMT more than the USDA reckon and up 2% on last season with the UK crop coming in at 15.1 MMT.

The Russian Minister of Agriculture now says that grain production there this season will exceed the upper end of trade estimates of 90 MMT.

For once the USDA seem to be significantly underestimating wheat output around the globe this season.

Early Call On Chicago

31/08/11 -- The overnight grains finished lower on profit-taking and a lack of follow through buying. Beans closed with losses of around 4 cents, with corn down 3-5 cents and wheat mostly 2-4 cents easier although front month September showed double digit losses as the gap between it and December widens.

We may be in for some further profit-taking and month end book squaring this afternoon. Crude oil is lower and the US dollar firmer, both of which should weigh on sentiment a little.

A cooler outlook is on the cards for most of the Midwest with some welcome an needed rain in the forecast too. That will come too late to help some crops, but should aid late filling corn and pod-setting beans.

There is talk of early corn harvesting in Illinois throwing up better yields than anticipated.

The parched US Plains should also see some much needed rains which may aid winter wheat planting. That may also encourage some selling ahead of a long three day weekend.

Other than that fresh news is extremely thin on the ground today. Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn and beans 3-5 cents lower, wheat down 2-4 cents.

News Snippets

31/08/11 -- The Russian railway authority that put a temporary ban on transporting grain into the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk says that it will take a further 5-6 days to clear the backlog.

The Russian Minister of Agriculture now says that grain production there this season will exceed 90 MMT, without giving a specific figure. I told you that the sums didn't add up.

The dollar is firmer after the release of the minutes of the Fed's last meeting reveal that some of the Federal Open Market Committee were in favour of further QE.

The euro is higher on suggestions that the German Cabinet has approved plans to expanding the eurozone's rescue fund's powers and increasing its lending.

Libya has bought two cargoes of French wheat after the garlic-munchers un-froze some Libyan assets and handed them over to their National Transition Council.

Interesting Factlet D'Jour

31/08/11 -- Barley's spectacular fall from grace in the past couple of years means that just about every major producing nation has seen double digit percentage falls in output this year when compared to 2009/10.

Using the USDA's latest figures here's how production this year compares with that of two seasons ago:

In the US -26%, Russia -13%, the EU-27 -17% (incl France -35%, Germany -28% and the UK -25%), Ukraine -28% & Canada -14%. Production in Turkey has remained flat. Only Australia and Argentina have seen growth (+14% and +121%), with the latter coming from a very low reference point of just 1.4 MMT.

Chicago Close

30/08/11 -- Soybeans: Sep 11 Soybeans closed at USD14.48 3/4, up 10 3/4 cents; Nov 12 Soybeans closed at USD13.79 3/4, up 8 3/4 cents; Sep 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD381.10, up USD1.90; Sep 11 Soybean Oil closed at 58.20, up 20 points. The entire market is almost universally bullish, which makes me suspicious. Funds bought 8,000 bean contracts on the day it is estimated, adding to recently established length. What happens if/when they get fed up/spooked by supporting the market at these levels? At the end of the day soybeans at USD14/bu aren't cheap. Don't get me wrong, I readily accept all the bullish arguments that are out there in the marketplace but the notion that there is virtually no downside potential is worrisome.

Corn: Sep 11 Corn closed at USD7.63 1/2, up 7 1/4 cents; Dec 11 Corn closed at USD7.75 1/4, up 5 1/4 cents. Despite trading lower overnight corn quickly turned positive, aided by fund money buying a further 9,000 contracts on the day. One widely quoted weather forecaster appears to be predicting an early frost this year, which grabbed media attention, despite saying that the guy concerned has issued a frost scare at least four times since 2000 and none of them have so far materialised. Meanwhile, report US corn exports falling to an eight-year low this season.

Wheat: Sep 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD7.50 1/4, down 7 cents; Sep 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD8.67 1/2, down 6 1/2 cents; Sep 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD9.41, down 7 1/4 cents. Private exporters announced the sale of 102,500 MT of HRW wheat to unknown, but apart from that bullish news was limited. Yemen bought Black Sea wheat over the weekend and Western Australia looks set for a wheat crop of around double last season's drought damaged output. Spillover support from corn helped wheat from falling too far however. Oklahoma and Kansas are forecast to get some rain this weekend ahead of winter wheat plantings.

EU Wheat Close

30/08/11 -- EU grains finished mixed with Nov London wheat up GBP2.25/tonne at GBP174.00/tonne and Nov Paris wheat ending EUR3.25/tonne lower at EUR210.75/tonne.

London wheat was playing catch-up following gains in Chicago and Paris yesterday when the domestic market was closed for the Bank Holiday.

The Russian rail authority RZhD said that it had suspended transportation of grain to the major Black Sea port of Novorossiisk as the rail system into the port has become gridlocked. That could give EU wheat a bit of a window of opportunity against Russian wheat still priced USD15-20/tonne cheaper.

Yemen has bought 100,000 MT of Black Sea wheat overnight. So whilst world wheat demand is still good, it isn't EU or US grain that is flavour of the month. US wheat is being supported by the tight corn supply/demand balance and renewed fund appetite for grains.

Concerns about outside influences such as European debt have eased a little in the past couple of weeks, enabling London wheat to close at the highest for a front month tonight since July 5th.

Those worries certainly haven't gone away though. The Eurozone’s Economic Sentiment Indicator fell to 98.3 in August, according to Eurostat, the worst reading since May 2010. The US Conference Board also reported today that consumer confidence there plunged to 44.5 in August - the lowest level since April 2009.

The most likely bearish influence on grain prices for the remainder of 2011 would seem to be the potential for another wholesale exodus of investment money out of the market if (or is it when) EU debt problems get even further out of hand. We've already seen two such flights to safety this year.

The first, which began with the escalation of tensions in north Africa followed by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, saw London wheat fall GBP40/tonne in a month.

The second, on widespread nervousness surrounding the global economy and the threat of a Greek debt default, saw prices drop GBP37/tonne in two and a half weeks in mid-June.

Early Call On Chicago

30/08/11 -- The overnight grains finished lower on a lack of follow-through buying with beans, corn and wheat all ending around 8-10 cents weaker.

Crude oil is firmer as is the US dollar. Talk that last night's drop in corn ratings was more than the trade anticipated failed to generate further buying interest, which may be a disappointment to the bulls.

Fresh news is pretty thin on the ground so far, although the USDA have just reported the sale of 102,500 MT of HRW wheat to unknown.

Funds have been massive buyers again of late, so once again the market is becoming saturated with length. With month end looming, and a long weekend lying ahead (Monday is Labour Day) today looks like another Turnaround Tuesday at the moment.

The US Conference Board have just reported consumer confidence plunging to 44.5 in August - the lowest level since April 2009. That's below the lowest in a range of economist's estimates of 45-59 average, and sharply below the 59.2 mark recorded in July.

Reports that Russia's eagerness to sell this season's wheat surplus is already causing bottlenecks at the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk are interesting.

Ukraine haven't exactly hit the ground running as far as their exports are concerned, and neither have Kazakhstan who's harvest is only recently underway. Both have plenty of grain to export, but Ukraine needs to iron out it's red tape and export duty system and land-locked Kazakhstan need access to the rest of the world.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: beans and corn down 8-10c, wheat down 10-15c.

The Morning Vibe

30/08/11 -- Whilst we had a day off yesterday here in the UK the rest of the markets were open with Nov Paris wheat closing EUR3.75/tonne higher at EUR214.00/tonne. Chicago soybeans posted strong gains of 23 1/4 cents last night, with corn modestly higher up 3 3/4 cents and wheat mixed down 5 cents nearby to up 7 cents further forward.

Corn set contract highs as funds piled in for an estimated 7,000 contracts on the day. Are we bouncing on the ceiling here or simply en-route to USD8/bu, or at whatever point price rationing starts?

Corn good/excellent crop conditions fell 3 points to 54% the USDA said after the close, a little more than the trade expected, yet the overnight markets are lower this morning. Soybean good/excellent fell two points to 57%, in line with what was expected.

Winter wheat harvesting has reached 97% done, spring wheat is only 50% cut as opposed to 71% normally and good/excellent spring wheat fell one point to 61%.

Yemen has bought 100,000 MT of Black Sea wheat overnight, let's hope for their sakes that it isn't scheduled to come from the port of Novorossiisk.

In an interesting development over the weekend the Russian rail authority RZhD says that it has suspended transportation of grain to the major Black Sea port of Novorossiisk as the rail system into the port has become clogged and is unable to cope with the volume of traffic heading its way.

In Ukraine the corn harvest began over the weekend, with a crop of around 17 MMT expected. Winter rapeseed planting is already 40% complete.