02/12/11 -- It's all very much as you were this morning with little excitement so far in the overnight markets.
Angela Merkel is today promising "concrete steps towards a fiscal union" without saying what those steps are. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is nodding sagely and smiling. Oui, Oui.
Am I the only one who thinks that a) they haven't got a clue what they're doing and b) they know that this crisis is far worse behind the scenes than they are letting on.
The promised a mystical, intangible bailout fund increase to one trillion euros clearly isn't worth the paper that it isn't written on.
Rumours from earlier in the week that the central banks moves to provide liquidity were only brought about as a result of a major European bank, possibly a French one, being on the verge of folding carry more than a ring of truth methinks.
George Soros is a man with his eye on the ball, and he says that the world financial system is "on the brink of collapse." I think I agree with him. The question is when and where will it start?
Not much blogging getting done today, I'm off to the chilly North East to speak to a group of grain growers. Many others will be attending the London Bourse so it looks like being an inactive day on the markets.
01/12/11 -- Soybeans: Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.28, down 3 1/4 cents; Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.38 1/2, down 2 1/2 cents; Dec 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD287.20, down USD3.20; Dec 11 Soybean Oil closed at 49.52, up 25 points. Weekly export sales were a bit below expectations at 489,600 MT, China actually bought more than that themselves but there were also some switches from unknown and cancellations to take into account. Year to date accumulative sales are running well behind last year's pace. The market remains acutely nervous over European debt. The world financial system is on the brink of collapse, according to legendary financier George Soros in the Wall Street Journal.
Corn: Dec 11 Corn closed at USD5.94 3/4, down 6 1/2 cents; Mar 12 Corn closed at USD6.01 1/2, down 6 1/2 cents. Corn fell as the USDA reported another uninspiring set of weekly export figures at 352,200 MT for both old and new crop. Funds were said to have sold an estimated 8,000 contracts on the day, having been buyers all week. With export demand faltering in recent weeks it remains to be seen of domestic interest holds up once the ethanol blenders tax credit is removed at the end of the year. Six dollar corn is supposed to attract the buyers, but there hasn't been too much sign of them lately, with even the Chinese staying largely out of the market now they have their own new crop available.
Wheat: Dec 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD6.02, up 6 1/4 cents; Dec 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.63, up 12 cents; Dec 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.54 1/2, up 18 1/2 cents. Weekly export sales were good and towards the upper end of trade estimates at 503,000 MT. Shipments however were poor once again and have now failed to meet the level required to meet the USDA's target for the 2011/12 marketing year in seven of the last eight weeks. Russia meanwhile is exporting record volumes of grain with over 14 MMT having been shipped out in the Jul 1st - Nov 20th timeframe, of which 12 MMT was wheat. Ukraine's sales are also picking up after a slow start with 2.2 MMT of grain being exported in November.
01/12/11 -- EU grains ended mixed although wheat was mostly higher as Jan 12 London wheat finished up GBP1.40/tonne at GBP144.05/tonne and Jan 12 Paris wheat ended EUR0.75/tonne higher at EUR179.25/tonne.
New crop Paris wheat was a little lower, as too were most months on corn, rapeseed and malting barley.
The European debt crisis remains the key driver. Support today came from news of Spain and France auctioning off debt at better levels than last week. We are still probably only one or two pieces of proper bad news away from a full blown Armageddon.
Ukraine says that it has brought in a record clean weight 54.5 MMT grain harvest this year. Foreign sales are increasing, with November exports at 2.2 MMT - the highest of the marketing year so far.
Russia is already turning its attention to 2012. Influential analysts SovEcon are prediction a winter wheat crop of 39.5 MMT, a 14% increase on 2011. They also increased their forecast for 2011/12 grain exports by 2 MMT to 24.5 MMT.
IKAR say that Russia has exported a record 14.1 MMT of grains in the Jul 1st - Nov 20th period, of which 12 MMT was wheat.
At home, the HGCA say that despite "unseasonably mild weather and below average rainfall in many regions" this autumn, crops are largely in good condition heading into winter.
"Early drilled crops of winter wheat are now well established with lush growth," they add.
US wheat shipments continue to lag. Based on the mean of exports over the last 8 weeks the US will ship 23.3 MMT of wheat in 2011/12 - well below the 26 MMT currently forecast by the USDA.
01/12/11 -- The overnight markets closed firmer with wheat mostly 4-6 cents higher, corn up 3-4 cents and beans 8-10 cents better.
The market is searching for direction, wondering exactly how helpful to the global economy will yesterday's central bank announcement really be.
Farmer selling interest at these levels is light, even though in historic terms prices are still high.
Despite corn and wheat at or below USD6/bushel export demand hasn't exactly been snapping grains up. Today's USDA weekly export sales came in at just 280,600 MT for corn for the 2011/12 marketing year, plus a further 71,600 MT for delivery in 2012/13. Trade estimates were for sales of 350-450 TMT.
Wheat sales totalled 503,000 MT, in line with trade estimates. Weekly shipments were poor yet again though at just 302,000 MT, way below what is needed to hit the USDA's 2011/12 goal of 26 MMT.
Soybean sales were a little below trade estimates of 550-850 TMT at 489,600 MT.
Domestic US demand for corn remains strong courtesy of the ethanol sector, but once the blenders' tax credit expires that could come down along with the Christmas decorations in January.
Spain and France managed to auction off debt at better rates than the market feared. European is still only one or two steps away from the abyss though IMHO.
Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan still have plenty of grain to market, with the first two mentioned rattling through exports at a strong pace. The landlocked latter will be eager to take advantage of any easing up by Russia to use their Black Sea ports to reach export homes in Europe and North Africa.
South American weather remains non-threatening for the time being, with record or near record production on the cards for corn and soybeans.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn up 2-4 cents, wheat up 5-7 cents, soybeans up 8-10 cents.
01/12/11 -- Ukraine has harvested a record 57.8 MMT in bunker weight grain crop this year, or 54.5 MMT in clean weight - that's 1 MMT up on the 2008/09 all time high.
Grain exports for the month on November were a marketing year high of 2.2 MMT, up 47% on October. Interestingly corn accounted for over 80% of those shipment at 1.8 MMT with wheat exports only 18% at 400 TMT.
30/11/11 -- Soybeans: Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.31 1/4, up 6 1/4 cents; Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.41, up 6 cents; Dec 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD290.40, up USD4.30; Dec 11 Soybean Oil closed at 49.27, up 9 points. Prices rebounded from overnight lows as world central banks announced an initiative aimed at improving liquidity. The dollar fell sharply on the news and crude oil rose above USD100/barrel. Bulls were jubilant and initially acted as if this was for sure the catalyst that they'd been waiting for to propel the market back to summer highs. Ultimately then a 6 cents firmer close must be seen as a huge disappointment seeing as beans were 19-20 cents up at one stage.
Corn: Dec 11 Corn closed at USD6.01 1/4, up 3 1/4 cents; Mar 12 Corn closed at USD6.08, up 2 1/2 cents. As with soybeans corn closed well off session highs as the initial euphoria over the central banks' announcement waned. Funds were buyers for the third straight session, picking up an estimated 5,000 contracts on the day. Argentina's Ministry said that they are expecting a record 30 MMT corn crop in 2012. They are the world's second largest exporter after the US. Trade estimates for tomorrow’s weekly export sales report, which have been a bit flat of late, are 350 to 450 thousand MT.
Wheat: Dec 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD5.95 3/4, up 1 1/4 cents; Dec 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.51, down 5 cents; Dec 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.36, down 2 3/4 cents. Trade estimates for tomorrow’s weekly export sales report are 350 to 550 thousand MT. Weekly shipments now need to come in at over 480,000 MT for the remainder of the season to meet the USDA's targeted 2011/12 export estimate of 26 MMT. It seems unlikely at this stage that this is going to be achieved unless the dollar declines considerably from current levels.
30/11/11 -- This afternoon's "coordinated actions to enhance their capacity to provide liquidity support to the global financial system" may in fact hide a more sinister truth.
A report on Forbes.com here suggests that this "coordination action" was in fact foisted upon the various central banks involved following news that a major European bank was extremely close to failure.
Think Alistair Darling, RBS and the infamous "a couple of hours" from collapse quote.
So, let's make a bad thing look like a good thing.
In other news I read that the Financial Services Authority here has already warned UK banks to gird their loins for the break-up of the euro.
And in other, other news, the pledge to increase the EU bailout fund to EUR1 trillion is currently holding about as much water as Mahatma Ghandi's left sock.
"It will be very difficult to reach something in the region of a trillion. Maybe half of that," says the Dutch Finance Minister.
Half a chuffin' trillion, is that the best you can do? Didn't Merkel and Sarkozy ease market concerns just a month ago by announcing that the fund was being increased from EUR440 billion to a fanfare-heralded trillion?
Now it seems like in reality a further EUR60 billion was all that they could find down the back of the settee. Not that a trillion is enough anyway, but half a trillion won't be enough to see us through Christmas at the rate that the beggars are knocking at the door.
30/11/11 -- EU grains finished mostly lower with Jan 12 London wheat down GBP1.85/tonne to GBP142.65/tonne and Jan 12 Paris wheat falling EUR2.75/tonne to EUR178.50/tonne.
For Paris wheat this was the lowest front month close since July 2010 and bang on key support, a close below which could trigger a tumble all the way down to the next support at EUR154.25/tonne, according to FCStone.
It was a very topsy turvy day. Grains were lower in early trade, but reversed that trend in the afternoon following a joint announcement from the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Swiss National Bank and the Bank of Canada.
They said that they were were "announcing coordinated actions to enhance their capacity to provide liquidity support to the global financial system."
Stock markets embraced the news with enthusiasm, with the popular indices in London, Paris and Germany all rising around 3-5% carried along by a wave of euphoria and the grains went along for the ride.
The pound dropped against the euro and rose versus a slumping US dollar.
Yet, before the close of play, markets were working lower again on the feeling that maybe things weren't quite as rosy as they initially seemed.
In other news, Saudi Arabia is tendering for 330,000 MT of hard high protein wheat and Japan is in for 260,000 MT of feed wheat - possibly at the expense of corn.
Russia's First Vice PM says that the country will have exported 18 MMT of grains by the beginning of 2012. Ukraine says it will need to resow 1.5 million hectares of failed winter crops in the spring, around 17% of the planted area.
30/11/11 -- Having spent the entire morning negative, the overnight grains markets turned on their heels in the final fifteen minutes of trade to close positive.
The catalyst was a one o'clock announcement that various central banks around the world including the US Fed, the ECB and the BoE were "announcing coordinated actions to enhance their capacity to provide liquidity support to the global financial system."
Sounds awfully exciting doesn't it?
"The purpose of these actions is to ease strains in financial markets and thereby mitigate the effects of such strains on the supply of credit to households and businesses and so help foster economic activity," say the Fed.
The pound jumped above 1.57 against the dollar, but sank back below 1.17 versus the euro shortly after the announcement.
The stock markets seemed to like the idea with the FTSE100 up over 3% and the German and French markets 4-5% firmer, but they're willing to grasp anything thrown their way at the moment.
Lets see how the grains take it this afternoon. It doesn't sound like a game changer to me though.
Early calls on Chicago are: beans up 5-10 cents, wheat 6-8 cents firmer and corn 3-5 cents steadier.
30/11/11 -- Today's problem comes from Dirk who lives in Edinburgh:
Dear Nogger, I'm a primary school head teacher struggling to get by on twelve weeks holiday a year and GBP45k and my long-term partner, Quintin, is a handsome junior doctor forced to work with the sick and the elderly, some of whom smell. Surely a reasonable man like yourself can see the injustice of it all and why we have to strike today to make our little voices heard?
Well Dirk, **!!@:@@****!!!!!!~###@@@@@ you lazy @@@@!!@#####@### fruit cake ####!!!@@@@:@### with a baseball bat you @@@##!!'## hamster fettler.
30/11/11 -- As well as deliberately handling the ball in the penalty area, petulantly refusing to come on as a substitute and eating guinea pigs what else are the Argies famous for? Strikes, yes go on then I'll grant you that one. Anything else?
Well, they can grow a decent crop when they turn their minds to it, and when Mother Nature co-operates. They appear to be planning on doing the former and hoping for the assistance of the latter this year.
The Ministry are forecasting a bumper 52-53 MMT soybean crop in 2011/12, second only to production in 2009/10.
In addition to that they say that corn output next year will come in at a whopping 30 MMT, an increase of a third on 2010/11 and the highest in history by a considerable margin.
They've also upped their wheat production estimate for 2011/12 from 12 MMT to 13.5 MMT, saying that old crop exports will now total 11.1 MMT, far higher than the USDA's 7.7 MMT estimate.
The Ministry then went on to say that they didn't refuse to come on in the second half, they just couldn't understand what the manager was saying and it's not their fault that their family is so far away, and think of the children and they don't want a transfer, they want to be with their family, who live far away, and they miss their family, so they do want a transfer, but not for any reason other than their family, which is very far away, we are good honorable Ministry, we love our family, we die for our family, we very very sad to not have family here on substitutes bench with us so we must go home to family even though it breaks our hearts. And they think that they've left the kettle on by mistake, so must go now, cannot wait until January. Let go of my leg, oh family, you tear my heart out with rusty scalpel, just please let me go to family. Sob. Look, I try to cut my head off for family once before see here gringo.
29/11/11 -- Soybeans: Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.25, up 4 cents; Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.35, up 4 cents; Dec 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD286.10, down USD1.70; Dec 11 Soybean Oil closed at 49.18, up 27 points. The dollar was lower and crude was higher on Middle East tensions. Beans appear to be attempting a rebound from their recent 13 month low. Optimism over Europe and short-covering was also a feature.
Corn: Dec 11 Corn closed at USD5.98, up 6 1/4 cents; Mar 12 Corn closed at USd6.05 1/2, up 7 cents. Funds were said to have bought 10,000 contracts on the day, adding to the 9,000 they supposedly bought yesterday. Ideas that corn is cheap below USD6/bushel and the tail-end of the US harvest running into weather trouble were bullish factors, as too was a weaker dollar for once. Parts of Brazil are turning drier.
Wheat: Dec 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD5.94 1/2, up 19 3/4 cents; Dec 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.56, up 14 3/4 cents; Dec 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.38 3/4, up 7 3/4 cents. Short-covering was a feature on the heavily oversold Chicago market despite little change in the fundamental outlook for wheat. US weather conditions have improved a little for winter wheat which continues to look expensive to other origins.
29/11/11 -- EU grains ended higher with Jan 12 London wheat up GBP1.05/tonne to GBP144.50/tonne and Jan 12 Paris wheat rising EUR1.00/tonne to EUR181.25/tonne.
The market appears to be taking a bit of a breather so far this week, with the bears not having the stomach to press things lower but the bulls lacking the conviction to get their buying boots out after a torrid last six months.
The euro was back under pressure again on reports that today's meeting of EU finance ministers may not offer as much as the market was hoping for. Indeed, there are some suggestions that they may not even be able to match what was promised last month.
There was also some gossip that a widely tipped cut to France's credit rating was due within days.
Italy ended up paying a yield close on 8% in an auction of EUR3.5 billion of three year bonds, the highest rate in fifteen years.
France's highest court has ruled that an agriculture ministry ban on growing GM corn there is illegal. The government says that it will "examine all ways" to keep the ban in place for next season.
Russia's wheat harvest came in at 59.4 MMT in bunker weight, 37% more than last year, according to the ministry there. They also had a barley crop of 17.7 MMT in bunker weight which is more than twice the volume harvested in 2010.
Those figures suggest clean weight crops of around 57.4 MMT and 16.8 MMT respectively. If correct both would be a bit higher than current USDA estimates.
Ukraine's grain exports have accelerated to 2 MMT so far in November, bringing the 2011/12 marketing year to date volume up 53% on last season to 6.8 MMT.
Argentina says that it will clear 2.7 MMT of old crop wheat for export next week. That will be in addition to the 3 MMT that has already been authorised. Argentine wheat is probably the cheapest in the world on an FOB basis right now. Or, sorry Kazakhstan, the cheapest in the world of any country that has a coastline.
29/11/11 -- The overnight grains are mixed heading into the close of Globex trading having traded on both sides in a choppy session. Beans are 3-4 cents higher, wheat is 2-3 cents higher and corn a cent or so either side. Crude is slightly firmer and the US dollar a tad weaker.
Grains are attempting to rebound from the lows of the year set last week, although there's still plenty of bearish outside news about.
European leaders are meeting in Brussels and may not be able to come up with last month's promised EUR1 trillion bailout fund. Greece are said to be close to needed another handout and Italy has again had to pay in excess of 7% at a bond auction today. American Airlines' parent company has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Argentina is expected to fee up a ruck of old crop wheat for export this week now that new crop harvesting is well underway. They've been even cheaper sellers than Black Sea wheat of late.
Russia's harvest is almost over and looks likely to have come in a bit higher than current USDA estimates.
Ukraine's exports are picking up, they've shipped more than 2 MMT of grain out this month bringing the total marketing year-to-date exports to 6.8 MMT, more than 50% up on a year ago.
Wheat accounts for 2.14 MMT of that total and corn 2.76 MMT. There's a further 1.2 MMT of grain sitting portside waiting to be shipped, according to the Ministry.
Australia's crops have been hit by late rains, reducing quality there once again. It looks like there will be no shortage of feed wheat Down Under in 2011/12, to add to the already weighty carry-in stocks left over from last season.
Rapeseed yields are said to be pretty decent this year, and depressed by falling wheat prices Australian farmers are said to be turning to OSR sales to generate their cashflow requirements. Sound familiar?
South America hasn't thrown up any serious weather worries yet. Martell Crop Projections say: "There are no major problems in Brazil corn and soybeans, just yet. We are keeping an eye on Mato Grosso, where heat is becoming detrimental, and South Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul where drought is a growing concern. Very good conditions continue in Parana, the top Brazil corn state and second leading soybean producer. Early planting of corn this spring means that crop development is more advanced than usual."
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: beans up 3-5 cents, wheat up 2-3 cents, corn steady to mixed.
29/11/11 -- The Russian Ministry says that the country has harvested 97.8 MMT of grain in bunker weight this year with just under 300,000 ha of corn left to cut.
The wheat harvest came in at 59.4 MMT in bunker weight, 37% more than last year's production. Last season's drought-damaged crop came in 4.6% lower in clean weight, whilst in 2009 it was 2.5% lower. If we work in the middle of those two this year then we are looking at a clean weight crop of around 57.4 MMT in 2011 (the USDA currently say 56 MMT).
For barley Russia brought in a bunker weight crop of 17.7 MMT, say the Ministry. That's almost double last season's output. Using the same mean bunker to clean ratio of the last two seasons that suggests a clean weight crop of 16.8 MMT this year (USDA - 16.5 MMT).
In addition the country has harvested 8.5 MMT of sunflower seed (up 77% on 2010), over 1 MMT of rapeseed (up 50%) and 1.6 MMT of soybeans (up 33%). The corn harvest currently stands at 5.8 MMT in bunker weight, a 115% increase on last year.
29/11/11 -- From building on last night's gains early doors the overnight Globex market is turning red in a mini turnaround Tuesday style. Beans are currently 5-6 cents lower, with corn down 3-4 cents and wheat flat to a cent easier.
Yesterday's Euro optimism seems to have had the shine taken off it today. I'm not surprised. How many false dawns have there been now?
European finance ministers meet in Brussels later today, and the Beeb is reporting this morning that "Leaders had hoped to expand the European Financial Stability Facility to about 1tn euros." Note the use of the word had not will.
Indeed, they are now saying that they may well fall short on last month's false dawn pledge to increase the bailout fund to EUR1 trillion. So, far from making progress they are now reneging on promises made in late October's lauded "cunning plan" from Merkel, Sarkozy et al.
We are no closer to this one being resolved than we are to finding Lord Lucan.
Elsewhere, the word on the streets is that France could have it's credit rating cut by the end of next week, and Fitch Ratings has cut its outlook on the US to negative from stable.
28/11/11 -- Soybeans: Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.21, up 14 1/2 cents; Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.31, up 15 1/4 cents; Dec 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD287.80, up USD5.10; Dec 11 Soybean Oil closed at 48.91, up 68 points. Funds were said to have bought 4,000 soybean contracts on the day on the back of renewed optimism over Europe supporting commodity markets in general. Crude oil was firmer and the US dollar weaker, both adding support. There's no bullish weather story coming out of South America yet where Brazil is 86% planted and Argentina 56% done, both ahead of normal.
Corn: Dec 11 Corn closed at USD5.91 3/4, up 9 1/4 cents; Mar 12 Corn closed at USD5.98 1/2, up 8 1/2 cents. Prices rebounded from recent losses on ideas that Europe may finally get it's act together on concerted action against the debt crisis there, buoyed by rumours of an IMF loan for Italy. Funds reputedly bought 9,000 contracts on the day, having dumped a much larger volume than that over the past 2/3 weeks. Weekly export inspections from the USDA of 30.596 million bushels were towards the upper end of trade expectations.
Wheat: Dec 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD5.74 3/4, up 1/4 cent; Dec 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.41 1/4, down 2 1/4 cents; Dec 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.31, up 3 3/4 cents. Wheat was the weakest of the three on an improved weather outlook for the southern Plains with rain for Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and parts of Texas. The USDA increased the percentage of the winter crop rated good/excellent by two points to 52 percent. Managed money held a net short on Chicago wheat of around 50,000 contracts as of last Tuesday, leaving the market vulnerable to a corrective bounce at some point.
28/11/11 -- EU grains ended mixed but mostly higher as Jan 12 finished GBP1.20/tonne up at GBP143.45/tonne and with Jan 12 Paris wheat ending EUR0.75/tonne lower at EUR180.25/tonne.
It looks like we could be in for another choppy week, with developments in Europe set to dominate again.
A report in an Italian newspaper that the troubled eurozone nation was to get an EUR600 billion loan from the IMF at a favourable rate of 4-5% firmed stocks and commodities in general, even though the IMF denied such a deal was being discussed.
On the fundamental front, trade talk that Ukraine's winter crops are in poor condition was backed up by the Ministry rating 32% of grains there as weak/thinned, and adding that a quarter of what was sown this autumn hasn't even emerged yet.
There's also some concern that persistent rains in Australia will lead to a downgrade in wheat quality for the second year in a row. Geraldton in Western Australia state received 3-5 inches of rainfall in the 30 days ending November 14 compared to 1 inch normally, report Martell Crop Projections.
Sticking with the southern hemisphere, Argentina's wheat harvest was 20% complete as of last Friday with a crop of 12 MMT expected, down by almost a quarter on last year with heavy rains early in the month coming too late to boost yields in many parts of the country.
28/11/11 -- The overnight market is higher with beans up 14-16 cents, and wheat & corn around 10-12 cents firmer. Crude is up the best part of three dollars, and has traded over USD100/barrel although it seems to be having trouble holding above resistance at that level.
European debt fears appear eased by unconfirmed suggestions that Italy is to get a cheap (compared to the rates it has been paying) loan from the IMF. At the end of the day though it's still another loan on top of the ones it is already struggling to repay.
An interesting and in-depth article on Bloomberg today suggests that a Euro break-up is now being talked about as "probable rather than possible" as "markets continue to move faster than politicians" - I couldn't have put it better myself. Pop goes the weasel.
Is this a killer buying opportunity or just another false dawn. There's certainly been enough of the latter around in the past six months to recognise what they look like, and they look just like today to me.
The excellent Benson Quinn boys comment that some of the Ag indices around only allow month end withdrawals. With investor confidence in grains shot to pieces there may be some "big selling" to come on Dec 1st, they highlight. And there's a turnaround Tuesday to get past first.
Only 75% of Ukraine's autumn sown crops have emerged, with 32% of crops in weak/thinned condition, say the Ministry there. Rains continue to hinder the harvest in Australia, particularly in SA, Victoria and NSW. Those are the stories that the bulls are hanging their hats on.
There's always the option of re-sowing failed winter crops in the spring in Ukraine, although yields would be expected to be lower. For Australia, quality may be an issue, but quantity probably won't be however.
The IGC last week said that Russia's 2011/12 wheat crop was 58 MMT, 2 MMT higher than the USDA. They also pegged wheat exports at 20 MMT, which is 1 MMT more than our mates in Washington reckon.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: beans up 12-15 cents, wheat up 8-10 cents, corn 10-12 cents.
28/11/11 -- It's a positive start to the week, with a sea of green across the board on what appears to be a risk on Monday morning. A week is a very long time in this market though, so I wouldn't go getting too carried away just yet.
Italy may be in for a bailout from the IMF. That is the latest rumour sweeping the globe which has got Asian and European stock markets higher this morning. NYMEX crude is almost three dollars higher and at USD99.72/barrel is threatening to break through the USD100/barrel mark.
Soybeans are around 18-19 cents firmer, with corn up 11-12 cents and wheat 8-10 cents higher in overnight trade, essentially reversing Friday night's losses plus a little bit more.
European grains are likely to follow suit when the markets open here.
However, one handout doesn't make a summer. It hasn't turned things around for Greece, Portugal or Ireland so why should it be any different for Italy?