Muse At Ten

The overnight markets were all a bit firmer when the computer went on at 8am this morning, but they seem to be easing back now with eCBOT wheat 10-12c lower and corn around 6c easier.

London and Paris wheat have also opened on the defensive, although you would hardly call it a reversal. Profit-taking ahead of Friday's USDA report maybe.

Interesting to note the continued subtle liquidation of the open interest in November Paris wheat which is now down to "just" 130,000 lots, some 10,000 or so below the recent peak.

Ukraine farmers have already planted well over half a million hectares of winter OSR I hear, around 44 percent of the planned area, according to the Ministry.

Rain appears to have arrived nicely, particularly in the west of the country, where our old mate agronomist Mike Lee reports "seedbeds look great, the crop is emerging beautifully" adding that all his winter rape is already in and they are now looking at starting winter wheat.

Talking of rain, there's been no shortage of it in India, where monsoon rains have been heavier than normal and well ahead of last season's levels. That's already got them talking of potentially bumper winter crops again this season, with wheat planting set to start next month.

Things are looking pretty promising in South Australia too, where a major rainfall event moved across the state on 3rd-4th September bringing moderate to heavy rainfall to all districts and significantly boosting soil moisture levels going into spring.

Current yield potential of winter crops on a statewide basis is estimated to be well above the long-term average with ongoing upside potential, says the state's latest crop and pasture report.

They are forecasting an all wheat crop for the state of 4.14 MMT, 44% up on the five year average of 2.87 MMT, with barley output slightly better than average at 2 MMT.