The Morning Paper

10/05/12 -- It's seemingly all about the USDA today. What they will throw at is this time is anybodies guess. Lower Argie soybean production looks a given, but how low? The average trade guess is a drop of 3 MMT to 42 MMT, although there are now plenty of estimates lower than that.

My chum Gail Martell noted in an email to me recently that in the last really bad drought year in Argentina (2008/09) it was June before the USDA caught up with just how low production actually was that year. So whatever they come up with today there's the potential for it to be revised significantly lower again next month.

They will also delight and enthral us with their first estimates on 2012/13 crop production around the world, including thoughts on our own EU wheat crop this year. It's a bit like Christmas, except all the presents are numbers.

Talking of numbers, here's a few for you. About to expire May 12 Paris wheat staged a remarkable and clearly technical late rally yesterday to close at EUR228.50/tonne, a level not beaten by a front month since June 2011. In stark contrast May 12 Paris malting barley closed below EUR200.00/tonne for the first time for a front month since July 2010 last night!

Ukraine has exported 18.4 MMT of grains so far this marketing year, almost double the volume shipped in 2010/11, with corn accounting for more than 61% of that total.

India is reported to be actively looking to offload some of its surplus wheat stocks to its near neighbours.

Oh look, it's raining again. It's not just here though, France had its fifth-wettest April since 1959, according to Meteo France with rain totals in April 70% above normal. That redresses winter drought and means that the vast majority of the country has now had close to normal rainfall in the Sep/Apr period, they say.