The Morning Vibe

04/02/13 -- A glance at the overnight markets will tell you what you need to know. Weekend rains in Argentina were a bit of a let down, and the further forward forecast, which promised decent rains last week, has now turned drier.

"Scattered showers occurred in Entre Rios, northern Cordoba, northern Santa Fe, far eastern Buenos Aires, southern Santiago Del Estero and Chaco. Amounts were 0.25 to 1.0” locally up to 2.25” with 45% coverage. A few showers will push into La Pampa this week. Amounts through Friday should be 0.25 to 1.25”, locally 2”, with less than 10% coverage. Drier conditions this week will allow soybean conditions to decline once again. Temperatures are forecast to warm across northeastern areas in the 6-10 day period," say MDA CropCast this morning.

In contrast, in Brazil: "Weekend rainfall was above expectations. Rains favored Rio Grande do Sul, Goias, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, central and southern Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, Bahia, Parana, and Mato Grosso. Amounts were 0.25 to 1.5”, locally up to 3.25” with coverage of 90% for corn and soybeans," they say. It seems that the outlook for southern Brazil is now wetter than it was on Friday, although the positive effect of those beneficial rains may be balanced by the negative further unwanted rain further north where they are keen to get on with the soybean harvest and get the second crop corn into the ground.

Things haven't improved on the US Plains. "Weekend precipitation was near expectations. Mostly dry weather prevailed. Scattered rain showers will favour eastern OK, eastern TX and eastern KS today and Monday. Amounts through Friday will be 0.10 to 0.50 locally up to 1.0” with 25% coverage. Mostly dry weather will maintain moisture shortages in central and western crop areas. The 6-10 day outlook is drier in western crop areas and colder overall versus Friday’s outlook. The 11-15 day outlook is slightly drier overall," they add.

Egypt's GASC bought just the one cargo of US soft red winter wheat over the weekend for March 1-10 shipment at USD306.80/tonne FOB, plus freight (said to be USD25.64/tonne). Intriguingly, the winning bid from Venus was at least USD10/tonne cheaper than anything else on the table.

Russia are said to be considering whether to remove the existing 5% import duty on grains until Aug 1, despite some politicians earlier denying that this was on the agenda. A decision could come as early as today, but we should certainly know either way within the next few days.

On the calendar this week are US weekly export inspections due this afternoon. Stats Canada are out with their Dec 31 stocks numbers tomorrow. Wednesday brings the latest weekly ethanol production and stocks numbers from the US Energy Dept (remember that last week's production was the lowest since weekly reports began in 2010). Thursday see the usual weekly export sales report from the USDA, before the Feb WASDE comes out on Friday.