News Snippets

Monsanto see the US corn area increasing in 2010 to 88 million acres, with the soybean area falling slightly to 75 million acres, according to company chairman Hugh Grant (I kid you not). Did he stutter those estimates out in a kind of lovable middle class British idiot sort of a way that American women find irresistible I wonder?

Some early harvested soybeans out of Brazil's main centre-west grain state of Mato Grosso are already trickling onto the market from growers keen to take spot premiums. Brazilian carry-over stocks from last season are at their lowest levels in years after they exported aggressively in the first half of 2009.

China is cutting back on electricity usage as coal supplies run low.

The cold snap in the US is pushing south, threatening orange production in Florida, and bringing freezing temperatures to Mexico. Meanwhile barge traffic is being hampered by freezing rivers in the northern US, say Martell Crop Projections.

Some damage to winter wheat unprotected by snow may occur in Kansas and parts of Nebraska. The freezing temperatures may also boost feed demand, experts say.

The BoE is due to announce it's decision on interest rates at noon later today. Nobody is expecting anything other than they are left on hold at 0.5%, and there isn't likely to be any change to QE either.