Overnight developments - pound sharply lower

There's not much change in the overnight grains markets today, with soybeans a little easier in a minor correction from last night's gains, currently trading around 10c lower on front-month May.

The strong dollar weighs on the market, the Argy strike & record crude oil support.

Corn is mostly around 4c firmer this morning on follow-through trade from last night and continued planting delays in the US. Oil supports, although the growing anti-ethanol backlash is keeping "investors" cautious of adding to their already significant longs. "In return for investing in something the US government encouraged, their (US farmers') finances will be crucified if policy makers have all the say," bleats one pundit horrified at the prospects of the goal-posts being moved halfway through the heavily subsidised game.

Wheat is mixed, mostly around 2-3c firmer, in a modest correction from last night's losses. Wheat is going to find it hard to rally from here faced with huge northern hemisphere crops now just weeks away. Our sauerkraut-munching chums (don't get me started on the Germans, we've put all that behind us now haven't we?) are predicting a 15.8% increase in wheat output this season (see last night's post below), in line with the IGC's estimate of a 15% increase EU-wide.

Book squaring & profit-taking may feature later in tonight's session ahead of tomorrow's USDA S&D report which is released pre-opening at 13.30 pm BST Friday.

The pound is lower at $1.9536 at 8.40 am BST near a 2-1/2 month low against a broadly firmer U.S. currency as the market remains nervous ahead of the BOE's decision on rates due at noon. Whilst rates are expected to be left unchanged at 5%, given the fact that the vote for the April rate cut included six in favor of the 25bp reduction, two votes for no change, and one vote for a 50bp cut, it’s clear that there is major disagreement amongst the Committee on what their next move should be.