Morning Vibe

21/02/11 -- It's looking like it's gonna be a relatively quiet one with the US shut for President's Day. London and Paris wheat have opened sharply lower, following the late sell-off in Chicago markets late on Friday.

May London wheat has opened GBP3.60/tonne lower, with Paris wheat down EUR3.75-6.00/tonne in early trade. Volatility certainly seems to have increased in the past week or so.

Ukraine say that more than 94% of it's winter crops are in good/satisfactory condition, including 94.3% of it's wheat, 81.6% of it's barley and 91.6% of it's rapeseed.

The Chinese Ministry say that drought in it's main wheat growing areas has declined from 7.73 million hectares on Feb 9th to 6.12 million hectares as of Sunday as it steps up it's irrigation efforts.

The minutes of the BoE's monthly MPC meeting are out on Wednesday. It seems likely that they will reveal more of a leaning towards a modest interest rate rise than recent meetings have. That could lead to some further sterling appreciation later in the week.

The pound currently stands at 1.6228, we haven't been above 1.63 since January 2010.

Brent crude oil is up USD2.50/barrel this morning on Libyan unrest, with front month April hitting USD104.98/barrel, it's highest since October 2008.

Interesting factlet d'jour: 5.98 million lots of corn futures traded on CBOT last month - equivalent to 2.4 times the entire US crop. In just one month, and that doesn't include a further 2.35 million options trades!