The Early Vibe

15/03/12 -- Blimey, are we really halfway through March already! It will soon be my birthday which will involve the traditional Saturday afternoon on the lash followed by a curry. I know what MrsN#3 has got me and I'm starting to think I know what I am going to get myself. Is it a coincidence that Apple decide to introduce the new iPad a week before my birthday? I think not.

The overnight markets are firmer with beans up around 12 cents, corn up 3-5 cents and wheat following meekly along up 2-3 cents.

Strategie Grains have cut their EU-27 soft wheat production forecast by 1.6 MMT to 131.1 MMT citing winterkill and the ongoing Spanish drought. Durum wheat output is also lowered 400 TMT to 8.4 MMT, giving us an all wheat crop of 139.5 MMT, which would still be around 2 MMT more than last year.

Barley production potential is also cut by 1.2 MMT to 53.4 MMT, although that is still 1.3 MMT higher than in 2011.

Winter damage is seen boosting corn plantings for which they raised their 2012 production estimate by 2.0 MMT to 64.6 MMT, now little changed from output in 2011.

The Ukraine Ministry say that despite exports bring up 68.5% on last year grain stocks in the country as of March 1st are 69% higher than a year ago at 21 MMT. That includes 9.7 MMT of corn and 8.1 MMT of wheat.

"Argentina keeps getting hit with strong thunderstorms and heavy rainfall in the grain belt. Waves of showers keep coming to corn and soybean growing areas. The floodgates opened in February with 150-200% of normal rainfall. South Brazil continues dry. This is causing undue stress on maturing soybeans. Soybean and Corn Advisor Michael Cordonnier has lowered his Brazil soybean estimate to 67 million metric tons from worsening drought in southern soybean states Rio Grande do Sul, Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul," say Martell Crop Projections.

May London wheat has come in GBP1.50/tonne higher this morning at GBP172.00/tonne.

Fitch Ratings have revised the outlook on the UK's triple-A credit rating to "negative" from "stable".

It would potentially save a lot of time and money if these guys could put a rating on your Missus before you get hitched wouldn't it? "S&P's have downgraded the future MrsN#1 to junk status." That sort of thing.

My Dad always used to cast a critical eye over my girlfriends when I took them home in the early days. In fact when I first went home with MrsN#1 he said "I've got to say son, I think this one's a keeper." I said "thanks Dad, why do you say that?"

"Because she smells like she works in a zoo," he replied.