News Bites

Egypt's GASC are back in the market today tendering for 120,000 MT of wheat if anyone can be bothered to put a bid in. Why not tell them to bugger off, what harm could it do? Tunisia are also looking for 25,000 MT of barley, do we like them? Yes, OK, so let's give the nice Tunisians a price and just not bother calling Nomani Nomani back then.

Parched wheat in Western Australia is sweating (literally) on rain forecast for Thursday/Friday showing up to provide some much-needed moisture.

The Baltic Dry Index, guess what that did last night, shall I give you a clue? I'm going to communicate it to you via telepathy..........It worked! That's right it was down again, closing at 2127 for a nifty little 89 point or 4% drop. I'm starting to lose count now on the number of consecutive days declines, but I think that might be 29.

The French Ministry yesterday pegged the 2010 soft wheat crop at 35.3 MMT, most pundits think that they are a bit over optimistic at that, just like the French were at Waterloo for example. They also pegged this season's rapeseed crop at 4.5 MMT, down 19% on last season.

Private reports coming out of Russia suggest that the Ministry's recently revised grain production estimate of 85 MMT (down 12%) still doesn't accurately reflect just how bad things really are this year. Some are suggesting output lower than domestic consumption, which is 77 MMT. With 24 MMT left over from last season that shouldn't be a huge problem, but may curtail their export ambitions somewhat for 2010/11.

If things really are that bad in Russia, then it's a pretty good bet that wheat isn't looking "overly chipper" in neighbouring Kazakhstan either. Unfortunately we can't get hold of our man "Stan" at the moment to find out exactly what scenes of devastation awaited him on his return there at the weekend. More as we get it on that front...