The Lunchtime Byte

23/08/12 -- The overnight electronic market isn't doing a lot with beans 2 cents lower to 2 cents firmer. Corn is down 2-4 cents and wheat mostly a cent or so steadier.

SovEcon have cut their Russian grain crop estimate to 70 MMT, down 25.5% from last year. Wheat output is now estimated at just 39 MMT, some 30.6% lower than in 2011 and now less than the amount that sparked the 2010 export ban.

The Russian Ministry have capitulated somewhat and now say that the grain crop will be nearer to 75 MMT than the previously estimated 75-80 MMT.

Reuters report that the South Korean President has asked G20 leaders to "modify (their) biofuel policies to cushion supply shocks."

The Pro Farmer Crop Tour is now on day four, and in Illinois has found soybean counts of 944 pods per 3x3 foot area, down 21% from last year. That's in line with the USDA's forecast of yields down 21.3% in the state.

For corn they've found a yield potential of 121.6bpa, vs 156bpa last year although higher than the USDA's current 116bpa estimate for Illinois.

French wheat exports finished 2011/12 at 15.9 MMT, 19% down on 2010/11. Exports to non-EU destinations fell 35% to 8.4 MMT, according to customs data.

Data from DEFRA says that UK millers (including starch and ethanol producers) used 5.982 MMT of wheat in 2011/12, which is down 7.8% from the 6.491 MMT used in 2010/11.

The summer drought in Eastern Europe is causing low water in the Danube, disrupting grain movements out of Romania, Serbia and Hungary, according to the USDA attaché in Bucharest.

"Very heavy rainfall of 2-3 inches is predicted in hard red winter wheat in a new forecast from the National Weather Service Medium Range forecast team. A dose of heavy rainfall, 2-3 inches, would not cure drought in the Central Great Plains, but it would be a big help improving topsoil moisture for fall planting.   Seeding in Kansas normally begins in late September, continuing to October 25.  Oklahoma wheat is seeded 2-3 weeks later," say Martell Crop Projections. 

Citigroup say that there's a 90% chance of a Greek eurozone exit in the next 12-18 months and it could be sooner: "conceivably even as early as September/October depending on the outcome of the September Troika report on Greece."