Lunchtime News

29/08/12 -- The overnight electronic market is firmer, with wheat up 10/13 cents, beans up 10-12 cents and corn 8-10 cents higher.

Saudi Arabia are tendering for 550 TMT of hard wheat for Dec/Feb shipment. Tunisia is looking for 150 TMT of optional origin milling wheat for Oct/Dec shipment.

The market seems to suddenly be getting excited about Friday's upcoming meeting between the Russian PM and Ag Minister, and what action (if any) they may take to restrict grain exports.

The Russian Ministry say that 62% of the harvest is in, producing a grain crop of 53.4 MMT so far, with yields averaging 1.92 MT/ha, a drop of 27% on last year at this time. Harvesting in the Urals is 47% complete, with the Volga district at 72% finished.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's harvest is two thirds done, producing a grain crop of 25.5 MT with yields averaging 2.57 MT/ha, down 15% on last year.

Yields down "only" 27% in Russia and 15% in Ukraine are probably not as bad as the market has been thinking. That said, in the case of the former we are now moving onto what is traditionally less productive land, and for the latter they are just getting going with corn which is said to have not done very well this year.

China's CNGOIC says that the country's annual soybean crushing capacity has reached 125 MMT, up 30 MMT in the past two years, yet the 2012/13 crush will only total 63 MMT (of which 57 MMT will be imported soybeans). The 2011/12 crush is estimated at 60 MMT versus 55 MMT in 2010/11.

Ten years ago the Chinese soybean crush was only 20 MMT, and 20 years ago it was less than 4 MMT.

The US weather is turning a little wetter, which may help some late developing soybeans but also slow the harvest for others, and corn too of course. There's moisture in the forecast for the HRW areas on the Plains too over the next 14 days, which will be welcome although unlikely to be enough to fully replenish depleted soil moisture deficits.

Northern China has picked up some heavy rains on the back of the the remnants of Typhoon Bolaven.

The outlook for Argentina is mainly dry through to Sunday, with the 6-10 day outlook wetter in central areas. They've had an unusually wet August, which augurs well for recently planted winter wheat and upcoming sowing of corn and soybeans a few months from now.

In Brazil, some spotty dryness remains in Rio Grande do Sul and dryness continues to increase in Parana, according to MDA CropCast.