Our condolences to those with friends and family on the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed last night.
- CBOT Wheat May contract was up 1.25c to 439.5c
- Kansas wheat May contract up 3.25c to 430.75c
- Corn May contract down 1c to 364.25c
- Soybeans May contract down 6.75c to 895.75c
- Winnipeg canola May contract up C$1.10 to $457.30
- MATIF canola May contract up €0.75/t to €358.25
- Dow Jones down 22.99 points to 25,450.24
- Crude oil down $0.59 to 56.07
- AUD up to 0.7040c,
- CAD up to 1.341c,
- EUR up to 1.124c.
Chicago wheat closed up a 1¢ to 439.5, KC +3¢ to 430.75, Minny -4¢ to 549 ¼, and Matif off 1€ to 183.75. Corn dropped a cent to 364.25, and beans lost 7¢ to 895.75. Canola firmed slightly, with Winnipeg +$1 to $457.3 and Matif rapeseed +3/4€ to 358.25. Crude oil has continued to ease back, with WTI dropping 60¢ to close just over $56/barrel (Brent $65.7) and the DOW as off 23 points at the close. The AUD has picked up slightly to 70.4¢ after briefly falling below 70¢ on Friday, the CAD is steady at $1.341, and the EUR has recovered slightly to $1.124. Chinese trade talks remain an ongoing point of speculation – with some now becoming more pessimistic (again) as days pass without any firm results to backup the headlines.
The USDA’s latest WASDE report on Friday was slightly more bearish than expected, with carry out levels on wheat 30 million bu higher than average expectations (after a million tonne cut to export estimates) and corn lower than expected by some 100 mbu (also after large export cuts, with shifts to Argy and Brazil). Somewhat surprisingly they did not cut US bean exports – it will be challenging to see their current export estimates realized without large Chinese demand hitting. Globally though, there were few surprises to be had – they cut back EU wheat feeding to increase exports and rebalanced domestic Indian stocks to cut demand, but most other figures were largely unchanged. Looking locally, they did adopt the recent ABARE updates, taking their wheat crop from 17.0 to 17.3 (Lachstock 17.28) and put most of that into feeding (they also pushed barley feeding). Market response was relatively muted without any significant shake ups to the figures – the trade is already looking forward to the rapidly approaching new season crops. March 29th will bring the USDA’s next “big” report with the release of their new season Prospective Plantings report – which will be carefully watched for it’s indications as to corn/bean acreage splits. The CFTC is finally “up to date” with their position reports, showing managed money positions in KC at a record short, corn near a record short for March, and Chicago wheat back towards a more “normal” level..
US heavy weather and low HRW temps
A new storm system across the northern plains has closed roads and cut power in areas after 8-10 inches of snow. More storms and heavy precipitation is on the radar for further south in the plains into Monday/Tuesday (local time), with another bout of snow later in the week. With the heavy precipitation and water logged soils, concerns are building about new season plantings in the central corn belt. Worries about field work delays have been a background concern in recent weeks, but with the additional moisture these considerations have gained more prominence as markets question how the melt-off will happen. Abnormally low soil temperatures in HRW areas (which have not warmed up as much in recent weeks as they would normally) are also raising worries wheat conditions coming out of dormancy – though so far the USDA and ground reports are indicating good conditions
Late week rains across the southern wheat belt in WA brought 10-20 mm to more southern areas, though further north accumulation dropped off into the 5-10 mmt range. There’s no immediate follow up on the radar yet (although two week forecasts do have a storm system moving across south of the coast). We’ve got another monsoon storm moving towards northern Queensland into next week, but current weather models don’t show any significant drought-breaking moisture push down south. East coast markets should be quiet today with Victoria and SA in the Labor Day mood – happy holidays to our readers.