Early Snippets

10/01/11 -- Egypt bought a combo of US and Australian wheat over the weekend. Only three origins were offered, with freight added on US wheat came in the cheapest of the three, with French wheat drawing a blank.

On that basis we can conclude that current EU wheat prices are indeed rationing demand. The last couple of weeks have also seen soft wheat export licences granted by Brussels decline sharply. Licences issued in the whole of December actually totalled less than what was achieved during just ONE WEEK of September.

This weeks volume will be interesting as it will reflect a relatively normal trading week, not a holiday-shortened one.

The market may view the fact that French wheat was priced out as disappointing, although I'd say it was necessary. French wheat was offered at USD335/340 FOB, with Egypt ultimately paying around USD350 CIF for the Australian/US wheat.

China imported 54.8 MMT of soybeans in 2010, according to customs data - that's an increase of 29% on 2009. Imports are likely to stay strong in the run up to Chinese New Year next month.

UK house prices fell 1.3% in December, according to the Halifax. That's the second fall in a row. Falling house prices, rising food prices, rising unemployment, 20% VAT, ever increasing fuel prices, pay freezes and a hard winter biting into budgets already doesn't paint a rosy picture of optimism for 2011.

Kazakhstan only produced 12.2 MMT of grain in 2010, of which 9.7 MMT was wheat - 43% down on a wheat crop of 17 MMT in 2009.

In Argentina last week "heavy precipitation fell in the south, with five out of the past seven days seeing rain hit a pollinating corn crop, and in the west and north, where 3-5 inches was deposited (more today). Of greater importance was the rain that did not materialize in central areas, including Cordoba, Santa Fe and Entre Rios," say QT Weather. Rains in these central areas are forecast to be "limited and light" again this week, they add.

January Paris wheat expires today, Jan beans, meal & soyoil expire on Friday.

Around 3,000 of the 4,700 German farms closed last week on the back of the dioxin in feed scare have been allowed to re-open, according to the local Ag Ministry.