Thursday Morning Snippets

March Australian wheat futures fell close to a six month low overnight breaking through the psychologically important A$200 mark to hit A$199, before rebounding to close at A$202.50/tonne. Interest rates are now 4% Down Under, which is keeping the Ozzie dollar very strong reducing the competitiveness of Australian wheat on the export market.

Egypt bought 120,000 MT of wheat in yesterday's tender booking 60,000 MT each of Russian and French wheat for May shipment. The French wheat was USD4/tonne cheaper than the Russian wheat at USD164.55/tonne.

French wheat futures matched a three year low yesterday, with March hitting EUR115.25/tonne. The French Ministry peg 2010 soft wheat production at 36.54 MMT and 2009/10 ending stocks at a smidgen under 4 MMT.

Kazakhstan says it will plant 16.7 million hectares of grains for the 2010 harvest, up 4.4% on last season. Of that wheat will make up 14.3 million hectares, or more than 85% of planted area.

Drought in South West China has affected more than 4 million acres of farmland, according to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. Bloomberg say it's 5.3 million acres, no surprises that the Ministry throw in a low number there then. The worst affected areas are Guangxi Zhuang, Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces. These regions are where most of China's southern corn is grown, with planting underway now, for harvesting in July/August. The meteorological stations in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces say that they don't expect any widespread rains until May.

Japan have bought 152,000 MT of wheat overnight of which 85,000 MT was US origin, with the remainder split between Australian and Canadian wheat.