The Morning Vibe

28/05/13 -- The overnight market sees beans 8-12 cents higher, with corn up 6-8 cents and wheat fractions either side. Ideas are that weekend rains in parts of the Midwest will have further hampered corn & soybean planting progress. Rain on the Plains though may help winter wheat.

The USDA will give us the latest numbers tonight. Last week we had corn planting at 71% complete and soybeans at 28% sown. The trade is expecting those numbers to now be in the upper 80's for corn and the upper 30's, pushing 40% for beans.

China was widely touted as buying more US wheat last week than the 180 TMT that the USDA confirmed, there might be further announcements on that today/tomorrow.

Concerns over wheat production potential in parts of Russia remain. Better than last year but not great seems to sum up things there. SovEcon forecast the Russian grain crop at 84-89 MMT versus 71.7 MMT in 2012/13 and 94.2 MMT in 2011/12.

The Black Sea port of Novorossiysk is said to have just finished loading 54 TMT of wheat bound for Yemen and is about to load 43 TMT of wheat for Kenya as the Russians clear the decks ahead of new crop. There's little point in hanging on hoping for higher prices now with harvest fast approaching and other Black Sea producers sharpening their pencils.

Romanian wheat is the cheapest around at the moment for new crop. On farm storage here is virtually non-existent with local growers selling just about everything they've produced all at the same time for whatever price they can get. Prospects here look very good for this season after many areas picked up 20-30mm of rain last week.

Things are looking pretty good in Ukraine too, particularly the more productive west. The National Weather Centre yesterday forecast the winter wheat crop at 19.3 MMT (there's not much spring wheat grown in Ukraine) versus a crop of 15.8 MMT last year. Corn production prospects also look pretty good this year, with the USDA currently forecasting a record 26 MMT crop, up by almost 25% on last year. They will also be aggressive early sellers of both wheat and corn in 2013/14.

Wheat planting in Argentina is just about underway. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange are forecasting plantings up 8.3% this year, the Ag Secretary says farmers could sow close to 40% more wheat. An increase of 10-15% is probably about right. Planting conditions are said to be very good.

Australia has picked up some needed rain in the past week as wheat planting there gets underway.

India are tendering to sell 50 TMT of wheat, although they've not had a great deal of luck lately as their price aspirations have been generally too high.

Militant Argie dockers are reported to have ended their strike.

Kazakhstan's spring grain sowing is said to be 64% complete, slightly behind last year's pace of 68% done. Spring wheat sowings in Russia lag last year's pace by 3 million ha at 76% complete as they wait for rain.