16/12/11 -- There's not a great deal to inspire this morning. Soybeans seem to have managed to maintain a bit of upwards momentum carried over from last night and currently stand around 5-6 cents firmer in overnight trade. Wheat and corn didn't have any momentum yesterday and neither do they so far this morning with both trading around unchanged.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have increased their production and export estimates for wheat and rapeseed. They've upped their wheat production estimate by 1.1 MMT to 25.3 MMT and increased exports from 17.0 MMT to 17.2 MMT. The rapeseed crop there is now seen at 14.2 MMT from 12.9 MMT previously, with exports rising from 7.1 MMT to 8.0 MMT.
The President of the Russian National Union of Grain Producers says that the country had a 98 MMT in bunker weight grain harvest, or 92 MMT in clean weight. That matches SovEcon's assessment of things released yesterday. Wheat production is seen at 56 MMT by the former and 56.5 MMT by the latter.
Winter wheat has been sown on 16.5 million hectares in Russia and crop conditions are said to be quite favourable with no significant losses of winter crops expected.
Not so in Ukraine where the Ag Minister says 2.3-3.0 million hectares will need replanting in the spring.
Fitch have downgraded six of the world's largest banks including Golden Sacks and our very own Barclays I read on the Beeb this morning: Slash
France's official statistics agency says that it expects the country to be shown to be in recession now and in Q1 of 2012.
S&P's have downgraded ten Spanish banks and the head of the IMF has likened the current situation to the Great Depression of the 30's.
Christian Noyer, the governor of the Bank of France, is the latest frog to chuck in his unwanted two-europenneth and simultaneously eject more toys out of the pram saying that the markets should "start by downgrading Britain" - the ponce.
There's a French bloke lives down the road from me. He was out at the weekend creosoting the fence, and then I walked past this morning and he's out there doing it all again. I said "hey mate, you've only just done that last week, you don't need to do it all again that stuff lasts for a good few years." To which he replied "non monsieure, we French, we always like to retreat as soon as possible."
15/12/11 -- Soybeans: Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.11 3/4, up 11 3/4 cents; Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.21 1/4, up 11 1/4 cents; Jan 12 Soybean Meal closed at USD282.90, up USD0.70; Jan 12 Soybean Oil closed at 48.98, up 58 points. Weekly export sales of 468,600 MT were in line with trade expectations. Shipments were 1,008,300 MT with China once again taking the vast majority at 772,100 MT. The market bulls are desperate to get a weather story going in South America. Oil World dropped their Brazilian soybean crop forecast to 72.8 MMT, which falls in the middle of the range of 71.3-75.0 MMT that we have from other analysts. Funds bought 6,000 soybean contracts on the day.
Corn: Mar 12 Corn closed at USD5.79, down 1 3/4 cents; May 12 Corn closed at USD5.87 3/4, down 1 1/2 cents. Weekly export sales of 504,700 MT plus a small amount of 2012/13 were in line with expectations. Funds sold an estimated 4,000 contracts of the only CBOT grain in which they still hold a significant long position. Ethanol margins have collapsed in the past couple of weeks. It will be interesting to see how domestic US demand for corn holds up once the tax credit is removed at the end of the year. Ukraine says it has just about finished bringing in it's biggest corn crop of all time by some considerable margin.
Wheat: Mar 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD5.79 1/4, down 1 1/2 cents; Mar 12 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.37 1/2, up 2 cents; Mar 12 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.15 3/4, unchanged. Heavy rainfall in hard red winter wheat is improving crop prospects, say Martell Crop Projections. "Rainfall the past 2 weeks was particularly heavy in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, the top bread wheat states, and 2-4 times the normal amount. Typically, Great Plains rainfall tapers off late in the fall season, but conditions have been wet this season with an active subtropical jet stream," they add. Weekly export sales were fair at 318,400 MT, shipments of 539,300 MT caught the eye as being the best for six weeks.
15/12/11 -- EU grains ended mostly higher with Jan 12 London wheat up GBP1.25/tonne to GBP143.00/tonne, Jan 12 Paris wheat rising EUR1.00/tonne to EUR181.75/tonne.
Wheat opened lower following last night's stumble in Chicago, but managed to claw back into mostly positive territory by the end of the day, even if only marginally.
Farmers don't want to sell at these levels. Buyers are relaxed about buying, pointing to the fact that prices have fallen around a third in the past 7-8 months, so why should they be in a hurry? So we remain stuck in a tight narrow range.
Strategie Grains are predicting a rebound in EU-27 wheat production for 2012 with a crop here of 142.4 MMT, a 3.6% increase on this year. They are forecasting a total EU-27 grain crop of 290 MMT, some 5 MMT up on 2011.
Wheat production will rise in western Europe in 2012, where crops in France, Germany and the UK were adversely affected by drought in the spring and early summer of this year, they forecast.
EU-27 barley production will rise 2.4 MMT to 54.5 MMT, whilst corn output will fall by a similar amount to 62.2 MMT, they add.
The EU issued 252 TMT of soft wheat export licences for the week to Dec 13th, whilst that is up on last week's very poor showing it's still pretty modest. That takes the year-to-date total to 6.9 MMT, 35% down on last year. Cumulative wheat imports of 2.8 MMT meanwhile are 130% up on year ago levels.
Ukraine confirmed a record 2011 clean weight grain crop of 56.4 MMT, of which 22.4 MMT is wheat (up 33% on last year) and 22.3 MMT is corn (+87%). They will be very aggressive marketeers of corn in particular in 2011/12 as this is easily the largest crop they've ever had and domestic consumption is less than 8 MMT.
Russian analysts SovEcon upped their estimate of 2011 grain production there by 2 MMT to 92 MMT, increasing their wheat crop number by 1 MMT to 56.5 MMT - a 36% rise on last year.
15/12/11 -- The Czech Republic and Hungary have thrown a couple of spanners into the not quite so cozy Merkozy deal by saying that they won't after all buy into the proposed treaty changes if it means giving up their independent tax policies.
Santa's latest dwarf Sarkozy must be spitting blood about now, he only posted them their Christmas cards this morning, that's another couple of stamps wasted.
15/12/11 -- In a sign of the times French bank Credit Agricole, who's very origins are based in finance for farming, says that it is stopping trading in commodities.
The bank also says it is pulling out of 21 of the 55 countries where it operates and announced 2,350 job cuts yesterday. On a brighter note though 850 of those losing their jobs will be French, so every cloud eh?
Elsewhere, Germany’s second-largest bank Commerzbank is said to be in talks with the government there for a potential state bailout early in the new year, says today's FT.
15/12/11 -- The overnight Globex session saw beans finish around 8 cents firmer, with wheat 3-5 cents higher and corn flat. Crude is around 30 cents higher following yesterday's rout.
There's a bit of calm around today, but we all know that this can change at a moments notice. Spain managed to auction off EUR6 billion of bonds without difficulty, and at better rates than previously.
The USDA reported wheat export sales of 318,400 MT, corn sales of 504,700 MT and bean sales of 468,600 MT plus a small amount of 2012/13 corn. All three were in line with expectations. China took 123,700 MT of the corn and 354,200 MT of the beans.
Wheat shipments were 539,300 MT, the best for six weeks, and for once beating the level required to meet the USDA's 2011/12 sales target of 24.5 MMT.
SovEcon raised their Russian grain production estimate this season by 2 MMT to 92 MMT, with wheat output increased by 1 MMT to 56.5 MMT.
Ukraine says that only a very small area of corn there is left to harvest. The ministry there is expecting a clean weight grain crop of a record 56.4 MMT, of which 22.4 MMT is wheat (up 33% on last year) and 22.3 MMT is corn (+87%).
Dryness in Brazil and Argentina is catching a few eyes, although it's very early days to call it a drought yet.
Early calls for this afternoon: corn flat, wheat up 3-5 cents, beans up 7-9 cents.
15/12/11 -- My newest mate Lourens in Argentina emails me to tell me that there is "no reason to panic" over dryness issues there just yet. He sends me this link to prove it: Eth, eth, eth, eth, eth, Chris Waddle. Scorchio. Rainio.. Which is unfortunately a local weather forecaster speaking in Spanish. What's wrong with the Queen's English? All weather forecasts should be in English, no matter what country they are for. We invented the weather just like we invented football, cats eyes and the telly. It's ours and we only let other countries have it because they pay us for it, just like the Premier League.
It seems that a brolly would make a nice Christmas present for your disgraced incontinent Aunty in Argentina with rain expected around Christmas Day. "Hot and wet can be nice," says Louren. Just like incontinence.
Elsewhere I read that one of the reasons that world markets fell out of bed yesterday was Angela Merkel saying something along the lines of that there would be no quick fix for the European debt crisis. Specialist subject: the bleedin obvious, as Basil Fawlty would say.
Sarkozy continues to make himself look like an even bigger "piquer" (Google it if you have to) than he did last week by accusing David Cameron of behaving like "an obstinate kid" in refusing to go along with last week's treaty changes. I strongly suspect that your Dad isn't bigger than Willie Carson, let alone Cameron's Dad, so just leave it will you Sarkozy before you get the rich kicking that you deserve.
Bad Boy ratings agency Fitch continue to run around like Edward Scissorhands on acid, cutting the credit ratings on Frog banks Crédit Agricole and Banque Federative du Crédit Mutuel and also the Finnish Pohjola Group, Holland’s Rabobank and Denmark’s Danske Bank.
The Daily Bellylaugh reports today that property prices in Beijing fell a whopping 35% last month. Yes in one month compared to the previous one. In signs that even China can't buck the trend forever: China's epic hangover begins
Yields at a Spanish bond auction today were slightly lower than previously, and well subscribed by all accounts. Even so the euro still looks about as popular as piles this morning.
14/12/11 -- Soybeans: Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.00, down 18 1/2 cents; Mar 12 Soybeans ended at USD11.10, down 19 cents; Jan 12 Soybean Meal finished at USD282.20, down USD1.20; Jan 12 Soybean Oil closed at 48.40, down 85 points. This was a 14-month closing low for beans and the lowest we've seen meal since June 2010. There was a general sell-off in everything on more European woes which saw the dollar firm to it's best levels in a year against the single currency. Crude oil tanked more than USD5/barrel, with funds selling an estimated 8,000 soybean contracts on the day. The November NOPA crush came in lower than expected at 141.3 million bushels. Trade estimates for tomorrow’s weekly export sales report range from 400 to 600 thousand MT.
Corn: Mar 12 Corn closed at USD5.80 3/4, down 13 3/4 cents; May 12 Corn finished at $5.89 1/4, down 14 cents. This was a one year low for corn caught up in broad-based liquidation with funds dumping an estimated 11,000 contracts on the day. The European debt problems just keep getting worse with yields on Italian bonds rising to a fresh euro-era high today. Crude oil fell out of bed, dragging corn with it. Some reports suggest that talk of dryness in South America is being over-hyped. Trade estimates for tomorrow’s weekly export sales report range from 400 to 600 thousand MT.
Wheat: Mar 12 CBOT Wheat closed at USD5.80 3/4, down 19 3/4 cents; Dec 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.25 3/4, down 24 cents; Dec 11 MGEX Wheat settled at USD8.46, down 5 1/2 cents. Wheat succumbed to a general commodity sell-off that saw everything from gold to crude oil fall sharply. Funds sold an estimated 3,000 CBOT contracts on the day. Trade estimates for tomorrow’s weekly export sales report range from 300 to 400 thousand MT. Of more importance may be weekly shipments which have fallen behind of late. The European debt malaise continues to dog the market.
14/12/11 -- EU grains ended mixed, but mostly slightly lower with Jan 12 London wheat down GBP0.25/tonne to GBP141.75/tonne and Jan 12 Paris wheat unchanged at EUR180.75/tonne.
London wheat seems stuck in the GBP140-145 range where it has now been for the past nineteen trading sessions. Paris wheat is similarly range bound between EUR178-183, supported by the weak euro.
Strategie Grains released their first estimates for UK grains production for 2012, noting that the unusually mild autumn weather has led to a rapid development of young crops.
Wheat plantings are seen little changed from last year at 1.98 million hectares, with a small increase in the winter barley area matched by a small reduction in anticipated spring barley sowings.
A return to trendline yields should see the UK wheat crop increase from 15.4 MMT to 15.7 MMT, with the total barley crop estimated at 5.7 MMT from 5.6 MMT in 2011. Both estimates constitute an increase of around 2% on 2011.
Wheat yields are seen rising from 7.8 MT/ha to 7.94 MT/ha, with winter barley yields up from 6.2 MT/ha to 6.49 MT/ha.
14/12/11 -- The euro remains as sick as a parrot this morning, with the pound rising above 1.19 against the ailing single currency. It currently stands at a ten month low against the pound and an eleven month low against the US dollar.
Dec Chicago contracts go off the board today, so there could be some strange looking front month closes tonight.
Despite having more wheat than you could shake an excrement encrusted stick at Australia's wheat exports fell 20% to 1.2 MMT in October. That's also a 28% drop on October 2010. The Bureau of Statistics there say that almost half (3.5 MMT) of the 7.3 MMT left in store at the end of October from last year's crop was feed grade.
Ukraine's farm minister says that the country had a record clean weight harvest of 55 MMT this year, including 22.5 MMT of wheat. That's a 40% increase on last season's clean weight harvest of 39.2 MMT.
My chums at Wessex Grain are reporting a record GBP427,000 profit for the year ending July 31st I hear, with turnover up 36.6% to GBP56 million. Must be thanks to that swanky new website they got themselves I reckon. A genius the bloke that did that.
13/12/11 -- Soybeans: Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.18 1/2, up 6 1/2 cents; Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.29, up 6 3/4 cents; Dec 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD282.20, up USD4.10; Dec 11 Soybean Oil closed at 48.99, down 7 pips. South American weather concerns were enough to see beans post modest gains despite a firmer US dollar. Profit-taking and short-covering as we approach year end was also likely a feature. AgRural dropped their Brazilian soybean production estimate by half a million tonnes to 73.1 MMT. Tomorrow's NOPA crush report may offer some information on domestic US demand for beans. The trade is looking for a number around 142.5 million bushels versus 148.9 million a year ago.
Corn: Dec 11 Corn closed at USD5.88 1/2, up 3 cents; Mar 12 Corn closed at USD5.94 1/2, up 1/2 cent. Crude oil jumped on reports that an Iranian military exercise was to close the Straits of Hormuz, an important shipping route for crude. Dryness in Argentina’s eastern grain belt in Buenos Aires, Entre Rios and Santa Fe was also supportive. The US dollar rising to eleven month highs capped gains however as too did nagging concerns over European debt. Corn appears to be stuck in a sideways range, seemingly unable to break and hold above USD6.00/bu but with bears lacking the conviction to test USD5.50/bu.
Wheat: Dec 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD5.91 3/4, up 16 1/4 cents; Dec 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.49 3/4, up 7 cents; Dec 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.51 1/2, up 6 3/4 cents. Egypt bought Russian, Argentine and French wheat in a tender, with US origin once again proving too expensive for the world's largest wheat buyer. Australia is finding that rain does indeed make grain with a potential bin-busting wheat crop that could top 29 MMT this year, according to one report. That would be the second record crop in succession, they still had 8 MMT of last year's production left in store at the beginning of October leaving them a weighty 37 MMT of wheat on their hands. Domestic consumption there is only around 7-8 MMT.
13/12/11 -- EU grains finished mostly higher with Jan 12 London wheat up GBP1.00/tonne to GBP142.00/tonne and Jan 12 Paris wheat firming EUR1.50/tonne to EUR180.75/tonne. Both remain stuck in a very narrow range.
Concerns over European debt look set to hang over the market for some considerable time yet, capping potential gains. Yields on Spanish and Italian ten-year bonds were both on the rise again today and the pound rose to a ten-month high above 1.1875 against the euro.
The big news of the day was probably French wheat gaining a first success of the 2011/12 marketing year in the latest Egyptian wheat tender. The country's state buyer GASC bought 180,000 MT of wheat split three ways between Russia, Argentina and France.
The winning French wheat bid was priced at USD240.50/tonne, down USD4.00/tonne on last week's best offer, which actually came in cheaper on an FOB basis than the Russian wheat which was priced around USD3.50/tonne dearer. Russia does however have a freight advantage over France on wheat shipments to Egypt. The Argentine wheat proved once again to be the cheapest in the world at USD226.00/tonne.
Russian and Argentine wheat also won a 110,000 MT tender by Yemen.
At home, the latest figures from HM Customs & Excise show that the UK exported 291,500 MT of wheat in October, bringing the marketing year-to-date total to just over 850,500 MT, almost 30% down on this time last season.
The Dutch were the biggest buyers, taking 118,000 MT, with Spain our next biggest home with 75,000 MT.
Barley exports stand at 251,600MT in the first four months of the season, around 10% down on 2010/11. In contrast rapeseed shipments have more than doubled to 226,800 MT.
13/12/11 -- The overnight grains were mostly firmer with wheat up 3-5 cents, and corn & beans generally around 2-3 cents higher.
When the Globex market closed crude oil was up around half a dollar. Since then it's jumped to almost USD3 higher on unconfirmed reports that the Straits of Hormuz is to close for "routine" military training by Iran.
European jitters remain with the ratings agencies likely to show more urgency in downgrading any one of an assortment of eurozone countries than the individuals themselves have displayed at sorting out their debt problems.
I wonder how many downgrades there will be before they meet again in March?
Meanwhile we appear to be getting our first little South American weather scare of the season.
"Growing conditions have become increasingly stressful in southern South America the past 2-3 weeks with intense drying. The crop area affected by emerging drought includes Argentina’s eastern grain belt in Buenos Aires, Entre Rios and Santa Fe. La Nina is the suspected culprit. Also becoming too dry are Uruguay and Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil," said Martell Crop Projections yesterday.
Brazilian analysts AgRural have lowered their Brazilian soybean production estimate by half a million tonnes to 73.1 MMT, although that's still better than Conab's 71.3 MMT number released late last week.
China says that it imported 5.7 MMT of soybeans last month, almost 50% more than in October. Demand from there should be robust over the next 40 days in the run-up to the Lunar New Year celebrations on January 23rd.
Egypt has bought 180,000 MT of wheat from a combination of France, Russia and Argentina. US wheat remains too expensive to be even offered. However the large fund short in CBOT wheat should continue to offer support.
Revised pre-opening calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: wheat up 4-6 cents, corn up 2-4 cents, beans up 3-5 cents.
13/12/11 -- Just a few days after EU leaders put on a brave face and announced their new "deal" to sort out the European debt crisis the market remains unconvinced.
Yields on Italian ten year bonds are back up again today, not too far away from the "unsustainable" seven percent mark at 6.76% and with their Spanish counterpart rising close to six percent at 5.92%.
Yet again it seems that the politicians have come up with very little in real terms.
In fact just about the only thing that seems to have been written into a rather empty looking tablet of stone is that there will be another bloody meeting in March.
Meanwhile we've already had Sarkozy's opposition saying that they want to renegotiate the new "deal" - and we won't know if they're going to be in power until after the May 6th presidential election.
Will all the countries in the eurozone be able to (and really want to) push the necessary changes through, and even if they do how long is that going to take? Suppose some decide, or are forced by the disgruntled unemployed or pay-frozen masses, to hold a referendum on the issue?
And finally after all that what actually happens to any country that doesn't stick to the rules? What are these "possible sanctions" - nobody seems to know.
Once again we have a lot more questions than answers.
13/12/11 -- Egypt are tendering again for wheat today. It will be interesting to see how close French wheat can get to Black Sea and Argie offers, having narrowed the gap considerably of late. US wheat probably won't even get offered (again). Last week was the first time this marketing year that the world's largest wheat buyer bought anything from outside eastern Europe/the Black Sea.
Last night's Jan 12 London wheat close of GBP141.00/tonne was the lowest for a front month since July 2010.
Australia could be in for a wheat crop in excess of 29 MMT, according to this report: Strewth Cobber - the highest in history.
Having dropped their estimate to 23-24 MMT only a week ago, Ukraine's Ag Ministry now says that the country will export 27 MMT of grains in 2011/12. Having only exported 7.3 MMT so far, shifting another 20 MMT in less than 7 months would be nothing short of miraculous.
Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation here fell to 4.8% in November, from 5% in October, according to the Office for National Statistics.
12/12/11 -- Soybeans: Jan 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.12, up 5 cents; Mar 12 Soybeans closed at USD11.22 1/4, up 5 3/4 cents; Dec 11 Soybean Meal closed at USD278.10, up USD2.60; Dec 11 Soybean Oil closed at 49.06, down 28 points. Beans recovered from setting a 14-month low when slipping below USD11/bu at one stage on La Nina related dryness issues in Argentina and southern Brazil. Weekly export inspections of 29.749 million bushels continue to lag last year's pace.
Corn: Dec 11 Corn closed unchanged at USD5.85 1/2; Mar 12 Corn closed at USD5.94, down 1/4 cent. Export inspections of 35.674 million bushels were better than last year, although the cumulative year-to-date total is lower than where we were a year ago. Disappointment over the European debt fiasco sees the US dollar remain firm which is negative for US grains. China's government is buying domestic corn to bolster state owned stocks.
Wheat: Dec 11 CBOT Wheat closed at USD5.75 1/2, up 2 cents; Dec 11 KCBT Wheat closed at USD6.42 3/4, down 11 cents; Dec 11 MGEX Wheat closed at USD8.44 3/4, up 1 3/4 cents. Export inspections of 16.504 million bushels were behind last year and the year-to-date total also lags. US wheat remains too expensive relative to other origins. Egypt are tendering again for wheat, with Russia and Argentina getting the nod last week - US wheat wasn't even offered.
12/12/11 -- EU grains ended mostly lower with Jan 12 London wheat down GBP1.25/tonne to GBP141.00/tonne, Jan 12 Paris wheat down EUR0.25/tonne to EUR179.25/tonne.
EU wheat continues to work its way gradually lower as traders try to work out the consequences of the news coming out of Europe in the aftermath to Friday's conclusion to the leaders summit.
The market seems to think that the "deal" thrashed out maybe doesn't do enough to help immediate solvency problems, with the euro declining to its lowest levels against the pound since February.
In addition to the news emanating from Brussels on Friday we also had a raft of bearish data from the USDA to digest, including record world wheat production and ending stocks up 6 MMT from last month to the highest levels in more than a decade.
Faced with such a deluge of bearish information wheat actually put up quite a resilient performance today, sufficient to get some traders speculating that maybe the market is trying to form a bottom here.
Australian growers continue to battle against harvest rains which threaten to make more of their crop only suitable for feed grade with each passing day. That may be slightly supportive for milling wheat.
Dryness in eastern Argentina and southern Brazil is a possible threat to corn production there, although it's early days yet. Some are talking of a building La Nina to bringing summer heat and dryness to the region.
Jordan are tendering for 100,000 MT each of wheat and barley with the results due next week.
Ukraine's grain export pace is accelerating, as they shipped out almost 400,000 MT in the first week of the month, bringing the marketing year to date total to 7.3 MMT, a third up on this time last year.
12/12/11 -- The overnight markets continue to drift lower with beans down around 6 cents, corn 6-7 cents weaker and wheat down 4-6 cents. Crude is a dollar or so lower as the markets digest Friday's news out of Europe. Or should that be "Europes" as Sarkozy now says that there are two of them.
How much real substance is behind Friday's "deal" and what it changes for the crisis that is ongoing now is what the market is pondering. It doesn't seem to be liking the conclusions that it's coming up with as the euro is back under pressure again today.
Sarkozy says that the loss of France’s AAA credit rating wouldn’t be "insurmountable," according to the Le Monde newspaper. That's lucky, because that's exactly what is likely to happen. Sarkozy's potential rival in next spring's elections, Francois Hollande, is already saying that he'd like to renegotiate Friday's "deal" before the ink's dry.
Fresh fundamental grain news is limited. Parts of Brazil are set to remain dry, but there's some decent moisture in the forecast this week for many other areas.
Australia's bumper wheat harvest continues to be hampered by rain. Another abundant year of feed wheat coming out of their is seen as bearish for US corn demand going into 2012.
Brazil is expected to increase corn plantings 11% for the 2012 harvest to a record 8.77 million hectares.
US wheat remains too expensive to compete with abundant supplies priced more keenly elsewhere around the world. The main thing supporting CBOT wheat right now is the sizable short that funds have already amassed and lack of producer selling.
Funds have also now turned bearish on beans and are reducing their corn length on an almost daily basis.
Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: beans and corn 5-7 cents lower, wheat down 3-5 cents.
12/12/11 -- Ukraine's export efforts are stepping up, having shipped out almost 400,000 MT of grains in the first week of December, bringing the marketing year to date total to 7.3 MMT, a third up on this time last year.
That includes 3.2 MMT of corn, 2.2 MMT of wheat and 1.9 MMT of barley. As of Dec 8th Ukraine had sales commitments to export 7.7 MMT of corn, 3.9 MMT of wheat and 1.9 MMT of barley, according to the Ag Ministry.
12/12/11 -- It's interesting to see the wheat market hardly moved Friday night/Monday morning despite one of the most bearish USDA reports (for wheat in particular) that we've seen in a long time.
Record production, multi-year high stocks (yes, higher than the "burdensome" season of 2009/10), increased output amongst the top exporting nations like Australia, Canada and Argentina and lower exports from the US. It was all there, yet Chicago only closed 2-3 cents lower Friday and the overnight markets are only down by a similar amount this morning.
Maybe that's due to the already existing large short that the funds have on CBOT wheat? The market doesn't seem to want to go lower, although that doesn't mean that that isn't where it is ultimately going to end up, it's maybe just going to get there a little bit slower.
It remains to be seen what the real impact will be, if any, of Friday's "deal" between up to 26 of the 27 European member states. Once again we don't seem to have too much flesh on the bones of this agreement. It appears to be another broad-based plan the details of which haven't yet been sorted out, let alone written down anywhere. All of which hardly inspires me with a great deal of confidence that Europe is any better equipped to handle this crisis than it was a month ago.
Looks like we're in for a slow grind lower.