Morning Summary: Russian Grain Crop Seen 20-25 Percent Down

Russia's Agriculture Minister, Elena Skrynnik, has admitted that the government need to re-assess their grain crop estimate of 85 MMT, without saying what to. The President of the National Union of Grain Producers says that the government's estimate is way too high and that production will be 20-25% down on last year. That implies a grain crop of only 72.75-77.60 MMT. Panic seems to be starting to set in, with the President of the Russian Farmers' Union going out of his way to assure the public that bread prices are not set to rise as the "price for bread does not depend on prices for grains," he didn't enlighten us as to what it does depend on then. Water?

They're getting fed up with the monsoon season in northern India already I see. Torrential rain is seen threatening summer rice production in Punjab and Haryana, who combined account for a third of national summer rice output. I thought rice liked rain? If it's too wet for rice, what about the government's stored in sweaty bags in open fields wheat reserves? The ones that have been there more than twelve months? Yummy.

The nice steady growth Chinese are forecasting a wheat crop of 115.1 MMT, a corn crop of 168 MMT and a rice crop of 196.6 MMT this year, Funny how they all just keep creeping up nicely no matter what the weather throws at them isn't it?

The friendless Baltic Cry Index as I now call it, that closed a nice neat 50 points down last night at 1790. How many days on the trot is that? I've stopped counting now, a bit like Howard Webb dishing out yellow cards. It's the longest continuous fall in nine years apparently.

Things are looking pretty precarious for Canadian farmers with crops in washed-out southern Alberta said to be running three weeks behind schedule and turning yellow from excess moisture. There's going to be a shortage of quality grain around this season by the looks of things. If the frost doesn't get it first.

Thailand bought sugar yesterday for the first time in three decades, in a bid to ease a severe domestic shortfall. I thought I may have overdone it pocketing all those little sachets at Bangkok airport last time I was over there.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, on a state visit to Beijing, says that she expects to have done a deal with China to allow Argy soyoil exports to resume "within days". She's invited the entire Chinese cabinet up to her room in the Beijing Holiday Inn and Grill for "a bit of a party". She also wanted to know if they had anywhere nice where she could get her hair done, and were there any Anne Summer's shops over there too.

Farming Online are doing an online survey into this season's harvest results as they come in. But without Jeff Sterling doing the presentation. Holds finger to ear: "There's something happening in a field near Market Harborough, let's go over to Stan Collymore...." So far they've had an average barley yield of 6MT/ha coming in at an average moisture of 14.3 percent. They'll be dancing on the streets of Total Network Solutions tonight.