The Early Vibe

20/05/11 -- The overnights are mixed, but mostly a little higher in fairly quiet trade to end the week. NYMEX crude is up a bit too, although still under USD100/barrel.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry are so excited by rising world grain prices that they can hardly contain themselves. Exports will return to a "normal" crash, bang, wallop 19-20 MMT in 2011/12, they say. Wheat will account for 8-9 MMT of that with a further 5-6 MMT coming from barley.

Ukraine's deputy agriculture minister, Mykola Bezugly, forecast the country's grains harvest coming in "significantly higher" than 45 MMT this season, according to Agrimoney yesterday.

The First Minister, Nikolay Prysiazhnyuk, says that it's the government's target to increase production to 80 MMT by 2017.

Western Australia wheat and rapeseed farms got beneficial rain over the past several days, with 0.75 to 1.5 inch totals, that was the heaviest rain in months and enough to kick-start wheat planting in many areas, say Martell Crop Projections.

For WA wheat plantings "the end of June is the general cut-off point, some have gone into early July before but you end up flowering in the heat, which is a bad idea in Australia," says my Australian correspondent.

A return to even average production in WA would almost certainly mean record wheat and rapeseed production Down Under in 2011.

G. Wallace F. McCain, co-founder and Vice Chairman, McCain Foods died this week I hear aged 81, he was a chip off the old block he was. That presents a bit of a dilemma for the family doesn't it? If they bury him he might keep coming back every year, but on the other hand if it's cremation what type of oil are they going to use and will they have him crinkle cut first?