The Monday Morning Vibe

30/03/15 -- The overnight grains trade mostly higher this morning, with Globex beans currently up 2-3 cents, and with wheat 2-4 cents firmer and corn fractions either side.

Wheat is off the overnight highs which saw it 5-6 cents higher as the European markets started to wake up - you did remember to put your clock forward on Saturday night didn't you??!!

There's not a great deal to get your teeth into just yet this morning, ahead of tomorrow's BIG day when the USDA take centre stage with their Mar 31 planting intentions and quarterly stocks reports.

As mentioned over the weekend, if we are going to get a surprise there then my money would be on a smaller switch into soybeans than the 2-3 million acres that most are currently predicting. I'm not saying that switch won't happen down the line, but I just don't see the USDA predicting it tomorrow. When will I ever learn to stop second-guessing the USDA?

Weekend rains on the US southern Plains were described as "sparse" - which is the reason given for the green that you see on your computer screen this morning where the wheat prices are. Fund money still has a hefty short in CBOT wheat don't forget, and seem to view anything around the $5/bu mark as a good enough reason to cover some of those shorts in, especially just before the USDA pontificate.

Lloyds Bank are predicting UK interest rates to rise in Q4 of 2015 I read over the weekend. The rest of the market seems to be pricing in a rate rise not until either Q1 or Q2 of 2016, suggesting that if Lloyds are correct, then the pound might be a bit undervalued at the moment.

I'm hearing that there's been some sort of technical problem on the MATIF market this morning, potentially disrupting trade.

Taiwan are tendering for 65,000 MT of optional origin corn. Jordan are in for 100,000 MT each of hard wheat and feed barley. Morocco are said to have bought 172,000 MT of wheat on the local market.

There's a one-day strike in Argentina tomorrow covering the entire transport network - everyone from truckers to train drivers. Port workers in Rosario are said to be joining in, in a show of support.

Ukraine say that early spring planting there is already 43% done on more than 1 million ha, with barley (780,000 ha) accounting for the vast majority of that. "Early spring planting" figures don't include corn or sunflower/soybeans.

The Ukraine Ministry say that 83% of winter grains have been fertilised so far, along with 80% of winter OSR.

APK Inform say that a survey that they conducted said that 30% of winter grains in the Transcarpathian region are in poor condition. What do you mean you've never heard of it, do you think I just make these things up? It's in south west Ukraine, on the border with Romania, Slovakia and Hungary, you muppet. OK, I had to Google it too, to be fair.

Convenient then that my Russian/Ukraine-based agronomy chum Mike Lee set off on his crop tour over the weekend, with conditions still "a bit snowy" in Russia by all accounts. He should have crossed the border into Ukraine by now, and will be back in Russia by the end of the week, when hopefully the forecast rain will have arrived to help him better assess crop conditions there.

The findings of this tour are for subscribers only, so don't go expecting me to spill the beans for free on here, minge bag! If you want to know what he's got to say then I'm sure that you can probably still sign up for all the info even now. You can find the details on Mike's blog here: He's a Kopite, but don't hold that against him too much!