Morning News Snippets

16/02/12 -- A Chinese trade delegation to the US has signed a "shop window" deal to buy 8.62 MMT of US soybeans. More is expected to be done before they fly home. That might sound impressive but in reality the significance of this is minimal, these are beans that we all knew that they were going to buy anyway.

Saudi Arabia is in the market for 330,000 MT of optional origin 12.5% protein milling wheat. Egypt are also tendering for wheat again today.

Strategie Grains are forecasting that the recent EU-wide cold snap will not have caused any more damage than in a normal year. They peg the 2012/13 EU-27 all wheat crop at 141.5 MMT, 3% up on last year. Barley production is seen at 54.6 MMT and corn output at 62.6 MMT.

Despite the recent freeze said to be disrupting grain movements out of the Black Sea, Bloomberg are reporting that shipments out of France's main export port of Rouen fell 46% in the week ended yesterday to the lowest total in five weeks.

The pound is back up above 1.20 against the euro as EU finance ministers play a bit more hardball with Greece. Just 24 hours after the news that Holland and Italy are now officially in recession we discover that Spain's economy shrank for the first time in two years in Q4 of 2011.