Overnight market developments

The main significant change overnight is the market's reaction to the USDA planting progress report which was released after last night's close.

Although the corn planting figure of 51% was supposedly in line with trade estimates it seems like the majority were sceptical that such a figure could have been achievable. Seeing it in black & white seems to be making a difference. Corn closed 14-15c lower last night as the market braced itself for the report and is currently a further 4-5c lower this morning.

A drier forecast for the week ahead is lending weight to ideas that further rapid progress will be unveiled in next week's report.

Whilst all this is bearish corn its bullish soybeans. The bean:corn ratio had fallen to around 1.9:1 compared to a more "normal" 2.5:1 and beans are now attempting to address the imbalance. Nov beans vs Dec corn are currently showing a price ratio of 2.05:1 based on the overnight market.

Soybeans were 11% planted according to the USDA, below trade expectations for around 17% done. Beans are up around 13-14c this morning with the ongoing Argentine difficulties also supportive.

Wheat meanwhile is on the sidelines, with little significant change last night or in the overnight session.

Meanwhile the wheat crop in Europe is largely looking pretty outstanding as a wet April has been followed by a lovely warm & sunny start to May has got the crops looking magnificent.

Below-average temperatures and some showers forecast for Spain later this week are expected to favour plants during the heading stage of production, according to forecasters at T-Storm Weather. And for northern Europe, milder temperatures and some showers are expected to return following warmer and dryer conditions over the weekend and early week.

All this is conducive to a potentially great crop just getting better.

Old crop months are beginning to slide with nearby LIFFE feed wheat down £2.25 yesterday and MATIF milling wheat down EUR6.50. I don't see any reason for this trend to change.