Morning Muse

04/04/11 -- In the UK March unofficially finished up as the driest in more than 50 years, according to the BBC. In my part of North Yorkshire we got 11.4mm of rain last month, compared with the average of 66.6mm.

There's been a bit of rain around over the weekend though, with more in the forecast today, especially in the west.

A band of rain stretching from Scandinavia through France and all the way down to southern Spain brought some welcome moisture for northern France yesterday. That front is pushing eastwards today, and may also bring some rain to central parts of Germany this afternoon. After that a largely dry and fairly warm week is in store much of Europe.

Growers in Australia are gearing up for winter crop plantings, with eastern Australia forecast to receive above average rainfall at least until June. Potentially near record winter wheat plantings are expected on the back of high world prices and much better than normal sub soil moisture levels. Rapeseed area may also increase at the expense of barley.

Ukraine’s Farm Ministry report 55% of the country’s winter crops in good condition, with 38% satisfactory, and 7% poor.

The USDA are out after the close of CBOT tonight with their first weekly crop progress report of 2011. It's already a given that winter wheat conditions are going to be bad, it may just be that seeing them in writing might somehow make things look worse.

The overnight Globex market is firmer across the board, with corn posting fresh two year highs this morning. May is currently up 13c at 7.49c/bu, 85 3/4c or 13% higher than last Wednesday night's close - immediately prior to the USDA's stocks numbers coming out.

Wheat is around 12c higher this morning, with beans up 8c or so. The USDA are out on Friday with their April WASDE report.

London wheat has opened with Nov11 trading up around GBP2/2.50 in early exchanges, still around GBP30/tonne below old crop levels.