Markets Steady As EU Leaders Meet For Crisis Talks

21/10/11 -- The image is inspired by the conflicting reports in the media all week which put me in mind of the Hokey Cokey. You put one trillion in, you do one bail-out, you put another trillion in and you shake it all about...etc.

The grain markets are strangely steady ahead of weekend crisis talks for Europe amidst all sorts of rumour and counter-rumour. A deal could be on the table tomorrow is one I've read, this is just a preamble and nothing will be finalised until "Wednesday at the latest" is another gathering popularity.

Nobody knows, so I guess we are just going to have to wait and see if 27 debt laden nations, each with their own agendas and a mutual distrust of each other can reach some kind of entente uncordiale won't we?

An even bigger question is if they can come up with a decisive plan can they, and will they, have the stomach to carry it through? Because the medicine won't be very palatable that's for sure.

Fresh news is thin on the ground, particularly if you're a bull. There may be a few weather-related issues for US winter wheat, but what does that matter when FSU crops just keep getting bigger and with that so does export potential out of the Black Sea region. Yet the trade seems relatively unmoved by this so far.

Ukraine are expected to commence a heavy export programme now that export duties on corn and wheat get lifted over the weekend. There is now also talk of them lifting VAT on grain exports starting in the new year to help them reach their ambitious targets.

Kazakhstan are to commence an aggressive export programme of their own now that their harvest is complete and Russia won't be shutting up shop yet awhile.

As we stand, including the overnight action, beans are around 35 cents lower on the week, with corn up 19 cents and wheat around 17 cents firmer. Crude is around a dollar higher on the day.

Early calls for the afternoon CBOT session are 8-10 cents higher across the board.