Lunchtime News

16/08/12 -- The overnight electronic market sees wheat around 17-18 cents firmer, corn 4-5 cents higher and soybeans up 6-11 cents.

Wheat leads the way for a change on reports from SovEcon that Russian wheat stocks held by farmers are at their lowest in nine years, down 30% on last year to 10.61 MMT. That news, combined with the rapid early pace of Russian shipments, surely means that an export ban is more or less a formality before long.

The weekly export sales report from the USDA gave us below expectations for corn, at the low end for wheat, and at the top end for soybeans.

Corn sales were a combined 253,400 (versus 350-550 TMT expected), wheat sales were 396,700 MT (vs. 450-550 TMT) and soybean sales 1 MMT (750-950 TMT).

There was no particularly stunning Chinese activity. They took one cargo of old crop corn switched from "unknown" delivery.

Existing new-crop soybean sales are now already running at 54% of the USDA's target for the whole of 2012/13.

Russia say that they have harvested 27.9 MMT of wheat to date, off just over half the planted area. Yields are averaging 2.18 MT/ha versus 3.15 MT/ha in 2011. The barley harvest currently stands at 9.7 MMT off 57% of the planted area with yields at 1.92 MT/ha versus 2.42 MT/ha last year.

The Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture have cut their grain harvest forecast from 14 MMT to 13 MMT.

Japan has bought 70,865 MT of US wheat in its usual weekly Thursday tender. Other Asian buyers are shopping around, with Thailand buying 100,000 MT of Indian wheat - its first such purchase in at least 8 years.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada peg wheat production there up 400 TMT from last month to 26.7 MMT, a 5.7% increase on last year.

Heavy soaking rainfall of up to 2" has doused Argentina’s grain belt, the sudden change & the wet forecast may be linked to emerging El Nino conditions, say Martell Crop Projections.