The Morning Papers And Dates For The Diary

27/02/13 -- The overnight grains are showing wheat around 2-4 cents firmer, corn flat to down 2 cents and soybeans a cent or so either side. Very modest gains in wheat could be tied to month-end book squaring and/or profit-taking given the large short position that the funds are sitting on in Chicago wheat.

Did anyone notice that last night's close had wheat and corn almost at parity on front month Mar 13? Just 3/4 of a cent separated them. A month ago wheat was a 44 cent premium, two months ago it was a 90 cent difference and three months ago it was over a dollar. Does that mean that wheat is cheap? Japan seems to think so booking US milling wheat to use as feed at a discount even to India's shite.

Not that I'm feeling overly bullish on wheat at the moment. India has far too much of their aforementioned shite to get rid of. Note the bit in last night's Chicago closing comments that they are forecast to be sitting on 100 MMT of wheat/rice stocks on the first of June - even though they only have under cover storage for half of that amount. It would seem that India is the new Primark of the wheat market.

India's state-run MMTC has picked up a best bid of USD300/tonne in a tender to export 40 TMT of wheat for March 10-April 5 shipment ex the west coast port of Mormugao, I read this morning. It has until Mar 6 to accept or decline.

Despite the reported improvement in US winter wheat conditions this week, the crop there is far from looking made. Poor/very poor ratings are: Kansas 36%; Oklahoma 54%; South Dakota 66%; Nebraska 14% and Texas 45%. They will however start 2013/14 with a carryover of around 19-20 MMT from the current marketing year.

Ukraine (or Matalan as I call them) meanwhile will simply be itching to hit the ground running and open the wheat export floodgates at the first available opportunity. Their crop looks like rebounding to around 20 MMT, maybe more, this year.

Fresh news is pretty thin on the ground this morning, and apart from this afternoon's weekly ethanol production/stocks data and tomorrow's weekly export sales there's little to look forward to this week. Next week offers a bit more excitement though, building nicely as the week progresses to end with a possible fireworks finale on Friday:

Mon, 4 March 2013: Syrian Wheat Tender Ends

Tue, 5 March 2013: ABARES 2013/14 Crop Production; Mar MATIF Barley Expires; MATIF Mar Corn Expires; Stats Canada Quarterly Grain Stocks

Wed, 6 March 2013: Jordan Wheat Tender Ends

Thu, 7 March 2013: FAO Cereal S&D Numbers; UK Grain Usage Data; USDA Weekly Export Sales; Bank of England's MPC Meeting Concludes

Fri, 8 March 2013: USDA WASDE Report