The Morning Vibe

30/04/12 -- Not much of a weekend was it? Sunday being particularly awful. Scarborough had 27mm of rain in the 12 hours to 10pm yesterday, the average for the entire month of April is just 43mm. The rain is set to have a day off today, before returning with a vengeance again tomorrow. Oh joy.

The first thing catching my attention this morning is the pound rising close to 1.63 against the US dollar and 1.23 versus the euro. Places it hasn't been since June 2010 in the case of the euro and last August in the case of the dollar.

Sterling seems to have developed an element of safe haven status compared with the beleaguered euro in particular, and not before time IMHO.

Saudi Arabia bought 450,000 MT of hard wheat over the weekend, spreading the joy between Argentina, Australia, Canada, Europe and the US in their typical style.

Last week was all about corn sales to China, I wonder if this week will bring some more or will it be all about confirmation of recent rumoured soybean purchases? On the other hand will it be neither?

The overnight grains are mixed, with wheat mostly a little lower and corn & soybeans mostly a tad firmer with no sign of any drama yet.

The USDA will report on planting progress tonight with the trade expecting corn sowings to be somewhere 40% done compared with 28% a week ago.

The Russian Minister of Agriculture said Friday that the country will harvest 94 MMT of grains in 2012, pegging winter crop losses at 7.5% which is about average but better than in 2009 and 2010.

The APK Inform Agency say that Ukraine may export 14 MMT of corn this season, a figure comparable with that from the USDA and almost three times the volume exported in 2010/11. Wheat exports are only likely to be 5 MMT, little more than half of what they shipped a couple of seasons ago.

Winter crop conditions in Ukraine are 27% good, 42% satisfactory and 21% weak/thinned, according to the Ag Ministry.

One thing that may have slipped through your net on Friday that is well worthy of attention was a Reuters report saying that Strategie Grains are now predicting an EU-27 rapeseed crop of just 17.6 MMT this year - the lowest estimate that I've seen yet and 1.5 MMT down on last year's disappointing tally.