Monday Morning News Snippets

14/10/13 -- The IMF chief Christine Lagarde says that the world economy could go into recession unless US politicians get their fingers out pronto. Did you see her on the news last night? I couldn't decide if it was a man, a woman or an alien. She's also the same colour as a polished Georgian yew writing bureau. With a wig on. She reminds me of someone. I've got it, it's that old woman in Tenko, always covered in scabs and been exposed to the sun for far too long. Snap.

Did you know that Nov 13 soybeans closed at the lowest for a front month since Feb 2012 on Friday? Did you also know that London wheat posted the best gains of the week out of the grains sector last week, rising 2.68%. Paris wheat added 2.44%, Minneapolis wheat 1.14% and Chicago wheat a mere 0.76% by comparison.

In the news this morning is that China imported 4.7 MMT of soybeans in September, down sharply on 6.37 MMT in August. Year to date (Jan/Sep) imports now stand at 45.75 MMT, up 3.3% versus a year ago.

The poor old Chinese peasant farmer, you really have to feel sorry for him don't you? Erm, well not really you don't. The Chinese government have just announced the support price for wheat in 2014 will be CYN2,360/tonne. How much is that, you ponder? It's around USD386, or EUR285, or GBP242. That would seem to indicate that they are pretty keen to encourage farmers to keep growing wheat next year. Does that mean that the 2013 silos are lower than they are cracking on? Or does it means that there'll be a mountain of the stuff in 2014? Or both? They're not likely to tell are they.

Sticking with the Far East. CNGOIC said this morning that the Chinese corn crop will come in at a record 215 MMT this year, up 4.6% versus last year and 4 MMT higher than the USDA currently say. How do I know what the USDA currently say? Because I printed them all off before they shut their website down, that's how. Up here for thinking and down there for dancing etc. CNGOIC have this year's wheat crop at 122.2 MMT, up 1.1% on last year and 1.2 MMT more than the USDA. They forecast soybean output at 12.5 MMT, down 4.2% versus 2012, but a bit higher than the USDA's 12.5 MMT.

Agrimoney this morning say that up to 1 MMT of rice might have been destroyed by the cyclone that struck the east coast of India at the weekend. From memory (my usual reference source for this sort of thing is guess who? The USDA, that's right), almost all of the wheat crop is grown in the west and north of the country. "Don't worry about your wheat, that's safe. Would you like to try for the speedboat?" as Jim Bowen would say.

Australian Crop Forecasters estimate the wheat crop Down Under at 25.9 MMT, up almost 18% on last year, and higher than ABARES (24.5 MMT), the IGC (25.0 MMT) and the USDA's 25.5 MMT. The harvest is underway, with early results suggesting yields much higher than last year, although protein levels are a bit low.

CBH Group say that they expect to handle around 12.7-13.0 MMT of grains this harvest in the state of Western Australia, versus a previous estimate of 11.5-12.6 MMT. They typically handle around 90% of the state's grain output, so the upwardly revised estimate suggests increased production prospects.

APK Inform say that Ukraine shipped 580 TMT of grains in the past week, including 415.6 TMT of wheat and 152.1 TMT of corn.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is forecasting an Argentine soybean area of 20.2 million ha this year, up 2.2% versus 2012.

There are an assortment of international wheat tenders pending from Iraq, Bangladesh, Jordan and Morocco (the latter being for EU wheat only).

London wheat currently trades GBP1.20/tonne higher at GBP164.20/tonne on front month Nov 13 - potentially it's highest close since the last day of July.

Kazakhstan has now harvested 19.832 MMT of grains in bunker weight off 95.2% of the planned area. Last year's clean weight harvest was 12.8 MMT.