The Morning Papers

20/11/12 -- The overnight electronic market is modestly lower with little fresh news around. Fund liquidation has been the theme for the last couple of months now, I wonder if that may continue to be the case heading into year-end?

They certainly seem more concerned about the US fiscal cliff, Greece and Palestine than the grain market fundamentals right now.

Last night's crop condition report from the USDA showed another decline. Winter wheat started off by coming in with the worst conditions on record for the first report of the year at the end of October with good/excellent at 40% and they've lost a further 6 points in the top two categories since then.

"No important rain is expected this week in hard red winter wheat. What makes this drought disturbing is how long it has persisted beginning in June and persisting to the present time. Field moisture is depleted through a deep soil layer," say Martell Crop Projections.

Hmmm, wheat heading into dormancy in the worst condition on record in largest exporting nation in the world, with little respite from drought in sight and the market more or less ignores this information. The funds really don't seem to fancy this market right now do they?

Ukraine has exported a record 10.72 MMT of grain to date in the 2012/13 marketing year as traders scramble to get their boats away before the government "don't" introduce export restrictions. Of that total 5.17 MMT is wheat, with a further nigh on 500 TMT of wheat sitting at the quayside waiting to load.

Hovis owner, Premier Foods, says it's cutting 900 jobs at its bread division the BBC report this morning. The loss of a low margin contract to make bread for an un-named supermarket that is obviously only trying to hold prices down to help the housewife in these needy times may have been a contributory factor. Happy Christmas!

Bangladesh is shopping for 50 TMT of wheat in a tender for December-January shipment. India might be the favourites although Russia may be tempted to squeeze out one last cargo before they shut the doors.

Moody's have downgraded France's credit rating by one notch, saying "they're French, what do they expect?"

China's CNGOIC say that corn production there this year will come in at a record 201 MMT.