Futures markets took risk off overnight as they prepared for tonight’s USDA reports’ release. The US dollar index strengthened to 90.4
- Chicago wheat March contract down US4 cents per bushel to 634.75c;
- Kansas wheat March contract down 0.75c/bu to 594c;
- Minneapolis wheat March contract down 1.75c/bu to 606c;
- MATIF wheat March contract up €1.25/t to €218;
- Corn March contract down 4c/bu to 492.25c;
- Soybeans March contract down 2.25c/bu to 1372.5c;
- Winnipeg canola March contract up C$7.60/t to $672.80;
- MATIF rapeseed February contract unchanged at €440;
- Brent crude March down US$0.33 per barrel to $55.66;
- Dow Jones index down 89 points to 31,009 points;
- AUD weaker at $0.769;
- CAD weaker at $1.278;
- EUR weaker at $1.216
- USDA tonight will report grain stocks and winter wheat acreage estimates. Surveyed estimates are calling for a 35 million bushels (mbu) reduction in bean ending stocks and a 100mbu reduction in corn. Winter wheat acreage ideas have wide ranges but mostly towards a ~200,000 acre increase in SRW, ~800,000 in HRW for a total winter wheat planted figure near 31.5 million acres.
- Global confirmed coronavirus cases have pushed over 90 million (far higher if you count the untested ones) as hotspots surge once again in Europe… raising an ongoing flag about economic recovery ideas
- Rumours about an increase in the Russian export tax did the rounds after comments to the news from a grain union member there – talk of doubling it to €50/t. Domestic prices have come under pressure with the tax, but the global rally has implicitly offset two thirds or so of the €25/t tax already and the government is reportedly looking to put more pressure on interior prices
- Egypt’s GASC is back post close again, looking for late February wheat. It is likely to be an expensive tender given the moves on the board and cash
- Turkey’s wheat tender has also been officially announced, with offers due next Tuesday. Coaster markets reportedly slow today with many just back from the holiday, but more activity should pick up this week
- Ocean bulk freight markets kicked up hard to start the week, with lots of late Jan and F/M charters reportedly trading
- US export sales flashes had a new 132,000t of soybeans to China and 108,000t of Colombian corn business, both for 20/21
- Regular export inspections were about as expected, with 1.1 million tonnes (Mt) of corn, 1.8Mt of beans (1Mt of which China), 279,000t of wheat, and 133,000t of milo (almost 100% China)
- Argentina’s corn export restrictions have been modified with the government announcing that they would allow 30,000tonnes per day in registrations – but the low tonnage limit has not eased concerns there
- A turn back to cold weather across the Black Sea region has brought out concerns, once again, about winter kill in Ukraine and Russia. It’s not unusual for this time of year to have cold shocks, but warm weather has hit snow cover, and worries about the damage to unprotected crops.
- Argentine weather maps are still holding dry for southern bean areas into next week. There’s still some good moisture forecast for northern zones but models not improving at all in the south.
Trading was thin on Friday in local markets. The Victorian harvest is in its final leg, with most activity now concentrated in the Western Districts.
More rain is forecast for this weekend on Queensland’s eastern Darling Downs, and models suggest 10-20 millimetres is possible.
The outlook for the sorghum crop remains optimistic based on soil moisture and forecast rain.
Source: Lachstock Consulting
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