Bah, Humbugs To The Morning Vibe

17/12/10 -- I think I must going all retro, this is the first year in as long as I can remember that I haven't done almost all my Christmas shopping online. What's wrong with me? I'll be buying a shopping trolley on wheels and a nice warm hat next. Uncle Joe's Mintball anybody? Here's a picture of my next door neighbour Mr Knopfler last Christmas, mad a shoe he is, reckons he used to be in a band years ago the soft sod. I use him to practice my after-dinner speeches on. I must be good as he always pisses himself when I do that, bless. Anyway, where was I? Oh, it's cold isn't it, you want to wrap up warm this time of year, and have you seen the price of coal these days, scandalous it is. Now, where did I put my teeth, MrsN#3 must have them in again. More tea?

Brussels accepted bids for 330,000 MT of it's intervention barley and 16,000 MT of it's wheat yesterday, according to reports. They also issued export licences for 353,000 MT of soft wheat bringing the marketing year to date total to 10.6 MMT versus 7.8 MMT this time last year. If we were to maintain that pace then we'd finish up exporting 23 MMT in 2010/11.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange upped it's Argy wheat production estimate for this season to 13.5 MMT yesterday, a monster 80% increase on last year. Despite supposedly clearing 5.5 MMT of wheat for export though the government are said to still be very sluggish on issuing the necessary paperwork.

The BAGE estimate soybean plantings at 70% done and corn at 84% complete.

China's second soybean auction in a week attracted about as much interest as the first with no bids whatsoever today. That could be because the beans on offer are about as good a quality as the losing quarter-finalists in the X Factor, that's one theory doing the rounds. On the other hand demand has slackened right off due to government caps on soybean oil prices. This appeared to be confirmed by yesterday's moribund US weekly export sales report.

A year-long EU investigation into biofuels has amusingly and unsurprisingly concluded that a year isn't long enough to reach a decision on whether they're a good thing or not. So they're going to get back to us in six months or so.

Ratings agency Moody's have cut Ireland's credit rating five notches to Baa1, saying that further downgrades are possible, according to a report on Reuters this morning.

The pound has fallen below 1.17 against the euro, despite Ireland being as creditworthy as Bernie Madoff, as consumer confidence here slips lower than Kerry Katona's IQ.

The bad vibes for 2011 are there for all to see. Not that you can probably see a vibe, but you know what I mean. Unemployment is rising, VAT is about to rise, food and fuel costs are also on the up. Meanwhile wages are frozen, ergo consumer spending is set to decline as we all find a larger chunk of our hard-earned is simply going on essentials like utility bills, alcohol and humbugs. Looks like this Rigsby-style cardie I'm wearing will have to do another year then. Darn it.