That's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Me Into

21/11/11 -- Egypt bought 180,000 MT of Russian wheat and 60,000 MT of Russian/Kazakh/Ukraine wheat over the weekend all at levels just under USD250/tonne FOB (the equivalent of around GBP159/tonne). French wheat was in the ballpark with offers around USD250-255/tonne and Argy wheat once again was the cheapest at USD233-239/tonne, but both lost out due to freight differentials.

The wheat is for shipment in February meaning that Egypt still hasn't actually bought any Ukraine wheat it will physically take delivery of in 2011 yet. It will be interesting to see if there are any quality problems when it does start to arrive. For now though their acceptance in these tenders is enough to keep Russia and Kazakhstan pricing keenly.

Ukraine's grain harvest is almost over at 97% done producing a crop in excess of 55 MMT, according to the Ministry there. Yields are up 30% on last year.

China's Jan/Oct soybean imports total 41.5 MMT, a 5% drop on 2010. Corn imports are running at 938 TMT, 37% down on last year and wheat imports at just over 1 MMT, 15% down on the same period in 2010.

Spain has elected a new government over the weekend with the centre-right Popular Party scoring a bit of a landslide victory. Winning was the easy part, tackling the country's debt problem will be somewhat trickier.

Across the pond America's debt problems had almost been forgotten by many as the market concentrated on Europe.

Remember the 30 seconds to midnight deal struck in the summer to raise the US debt ceiling? The "deal" was only a temporary fix between opposition Democrats and Republicans, staving off deciding specifically where the required budget cuts were actually going to come from.

It's ironic then that for all President Obama's finger pointing a strong words that Europe should get it's act together we now find ourselves in a situation where the so-called super committee set up to nail these budget cuts is "on the brink of failure" according to the BBC.

They say that with the US national debt now above USD15 trillion the committee can't agree where the USD1.2 trillion of savings required are going to come from. The deadline is Wednesday and Reuters are reporting that "negotiators plan to announce they have failed to reach a deal" later today.

The stock markets don't like the sound of that, and neither does the overnight Globex market either, and I'd expect London and Paris to follow suit and open lower this morning.