The Morning News Headlines

26/11/12 -- The overnight grains are firmer, and Europe has opened higher too. May 13 London wheat currently trades GBP2.00/tonne higher at GBP224.00/tonne and new crop Nov 13 is GBP1.65/tonne firmer at GBP191.00/tonne. Both are now back within around a fiver of their respective contract highs set earlier this month.

Another extremely wet Great British weekend will not have done anything to improve wheat planting prospects. Across the Channel, our cheese-munching chums the French have soldiered on, no doubt spurred on by the current attractive price of wheat and managed to get 94% of their winter crop in the ground.

Only 72% of it has so far emerged however versus 97% normally, according to FranceAgriMer. They place 76% of the crop in good/excellent condition versus 95% a year ago.

Iraq are reported to be tendering for 50 TMT of wheat, although they usually buy more than they tender for, with US, Canada, Australia and Russia said to be the preferred orgins. They bought 350 TMT of Australian (200 TMT), Canadian (100 TMT) and Russian (50 TMT) wheat only last week.

Jordan are also said to be in the market for 100 TMT each of both wheat and barley.

A report on Reuters suggests that Brazil may have bought one or two cargoes of German wheat. That would be an unusual move, and may reflect on the poor quality of their own domestic wheat crop this year. It may also indicate that Argentina's wheat crop isn't the best and/or they've got plenty of it sold already.

In the US: "Below normal precipitation across the central and southern Plains will maintain low moisture supplies for wheat," say MDA CropCast. Not good. The USDA will report on crop conditions tonight. Last week's ratings of just 36% good/excellent were the worst on record for this time of year you will doubtless recall.

In Argentina: "Widespread showers will overspread the region on Wednesday and Thursday. Amounts will through Friday be 0.50 to 1.5”, locally 3”, with 95% coverage. Showers this week will increase wetness concerns and stall corn/soybean planting," they add.

Things are looking better in Brazil however, where they say: "Rains should push across northern crop areas this week, favouring northwestern Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais, and Bahia. Amounts will be 0.50 to 1.5”, locally 3”, with 50% coverage. Showers will improve moisture in northern crop areas, but dryness will remain in Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul."

German rapeseed crushing facility Prokon Bio-Ă–lwerk apparently claimed force majuere on some rapemeal sales contracts on Thursday after "damage to crushing machinery" cut output at its plant in Magdeburg, East Germany. The problem is likely to continue "until late January" I hear.

On Wednesday last week rapemeal FOB Lower Rhine was offered for Dec delivery at EUR291/tonne, today the price is EUR302/tonne.