Friday Morning Thoughts, Gossip And Rumour

It's taken me until this morning to attempt to put some flesh on the bones of yesterday's Defra planting figures. It seems likely, if their acreage numbers are correct, that we will only have a wheat crop of around 14 MMT this year, a full 3.5 MMT down on last season due to a combination of lower plantings and a return to normal yields.

That's around 700,000 MT lower than what most, including me, had been predicting and is like the equivalent of having had Ensus running full tilt for the last six months without realising it.

And as the Lord giveth he also taketh away, it's been on the cards for a while but Syral's mill at Icklingham has finally stopped production I hear. That's a significant slug less wheatfeed on the market in the South East of England, at least for the time being. Several 'names' are allegedly in the frame to buy they place according to the rumour mill.

Whilst we are on the subject of wheatfeed and rumours, it's got so cheap that they're burning wheatfeed at the rate of 500 MT/day at Silvertown is another one doing the rounds. Anyone like to confirm or refute?

That market does have a habit of turning from feast to famine almost overnight, although it's difficult to see a famine starting before December.

Whilst we are still on a wheat-related theme, those lovable cheeky scamps the hedge funds, remember them? They've discovered that they can make money by selling stuff short as well as buying the arse off everything in sight completely ignoring the fundamentals.

According to Bloomberg, hedge fund shorts in Chicago wheat are their highest levels since 2005. If and when the market does turn it could shoot up rather quickly as all those greedy barstewards scramble for the exit door.

Disillusioned US farmers have however given up waiting for the market to turn and are planning to plant less winter wheat this year, according to Informa. They'll plant 41.63 million acres they say, ahead of the USDA's first stab at acreage numbers due at the end of the month. That's 1.3 million less than a year ago, and 4.65 million less than the Klondike run of 2008/09.