Markets

Daily Market Wire 1 February 2024

Lachstock Consulting, February 1, 2024

Markets eased. Macro factors included an overnight hold on interest rates decided by the Board of the US Federal Reserve.

  • Chicago March 2024 wheat down US10.25c/bu to 595.25c/bu;
  • Kansas March 2024 wheat down 8.75c/bu to 622c/bu;
  • Minneapolis March 2024 wheat down 7.5c/bu to 692.25c/bu;
  • MATIF wheat March 2024 down 3/t to €210.75/t;
  • Black Sea wheat futures has not quoted since 11 August 2023;
  • Corn May 2024 down 0.25c/bu to 458.25c/bu;
  • Soybeans May 2024 up 5c/bu to 1232.75c/bu;
  • Winnipeg canola May 2024 down C$1.70/t to C$618/t;
  • MATIF rapeseed May 2024 up €4/t to €428.25/t ;
  • ASX March 2024 wheat down A$2/t to $367/t;
  • ASX March 2024 barley unchanged at A$298.50/t;
  • AUD dollar down 36 points to US$0.6567

International

According to Russia’s Agriculture Minister, Russia will increase area sown in 2024-25 by 300,000 hectares to 84.5 million hectares (Mha). Winter crops have been sown on 20Mha and, as of December, 96pc of crops were in a good or satisfactory condition, about the same as a year earlier. Almost 56Mha have been allocated for spring crops, with the remaining area sown to perennial fodder crops. He also said that the 2023-24 harvest is estimated at 147Mt, the second biggest on record, referring to the inclusion of “new regions” = Ukraine. 

India’s major wheat growing areas in the north, as well as other parts of the country, could experience above normal temperatures in February, according to India’s state weather office, raising concerns about crop yields. Hot and unseasonably warm weather hit India’s wheat output in 2022 and 2023, leading to a sharp draw down in state reserves. A third year of below average harvest will likely result in India having to import wheat. 

The European Commission has proposed new measures to limit agricultural imports from Ukraine and offer greater flexibility on fallow land rules in a bid to quell protests by angry farmers. The Commission said it would extend the suspension of import duties on Ukrainian exports for another year to June 2025. The Commission also proposed exempting EU farmers for 2024 from a requirement to keep a minimum share of their land fallow while still receiving EU farm support payments.

The US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged yesterday, indicating it is done raising rates but made it clear it is not ready to start cutting. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said he is confident that inflation is moving toward the central bank’s 2pc rate, but the Fed is still waiting for more signals that the time is right to cut rates and that is unlikely to be as early as March. 

Brazil’s grain exporter association ANEC estimates January soybean exports at 2.5Mt, up from 0.9Mt last year, soymeal exports at 1.8Mt (1.4Mt) and maize exports estimated at 3.5Mt (4.9Mt). 

European Commission data shows that for the week ending 28 January, 2023-24 cumulative canola imports are at 3.2Mt, down 30pc compared to the same period last year, sunflower seed at 0.4Mt, down 78pc and palm oil at 1.9Mt, down 17pc. All wheat exports are at 18.9Mt, down 6pc, while imports at 7.3Mt are up 19pc. Barley exports at 5Mt are down 4pc.

Australia

WA wheat values were up a couple of dollars yesterday, erasing the weakness from the previous day. APW1 values in Kwinana were around $410/t FIS, H1 $420/t and ASW9 went through at $400/t FIS. Canola values have eased since last week, with current best grower bid levels for CAN at $675/t FIS and CAG at a $25/t discount. 
Delivered wheat values were slightly firmer yesterday in Vic by $2-3/t as exporters try to fill cargoes. Values across NSW were largely unchanged in a quiet market.

January rainfall across the southern half of Qld was above to very much above average, while northeast NSW received average rainfall. Cropping regions of central and southern NSW, Vic and SA received above to very much above average rainfall, setting them up nicely for the upcoming season. Conditions also improved in WA throughout January but some regions in the northern cropping zone remain extremely dry, with more rainfall needed in the coming months to boost winter crop prospects.

 

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