Monday’s US markets mostly weakened.
- Chicago wheat May contract down US0.5¢/bu to 555¢;
- Kansas wheat May contract up 2c to 494¢;
- Minneapolis wheat May contract down 5c to 527.5¢;
- MATIF wheat May contract market was closed;
- Corn May contract down 0.25c/bu to 331.5¢;
- Soybeans May contract down 9.25¢/bu to 851.25¢;
- Winnipeg canola May contract down $C3.80 to $459.80/t;
- MATIF rapeseed May contract market was closed;
- Brent crude June contract up US$0.26 per barrel to $31.74
- Dow Jones index down 329 points to 23391;
- AUD firmer at $0.6394;
- CAD firmer at $1.3879;
- EUR weaker at $1.0918.
Grain markets started the day up, launching off a strong overnight session which led the way, helped by frost worries for HRW. But the early strength led to a selloff through the day session. Chicago wheat ended down a cent and a half to 555>, KC +2¢ to 494¢, and Minny -5¢ to 527.5¢. Corn was off a quarter cent to 331.5¢, beans -9 1/4¢ to 854 1/4¢, and Winnipeg -$3.8 to $459.8. (Matif was closed for the Easter Monday holiday). Cattle feeder markets were down limit again with more slowdowns on kill expected following packers shutting down. Hogs have also seen pressure, US pigmeat processor Smithfield shutting down ~5% of the kill capacity nationally.
Crude oil has given up any of the OPEC gains, with WTI dropping back to $22.4/Brent $31.7 and the DOW was off 329 points. The AUD traded to 63.9¢, the CAD $1.389, and the EUR $1.091.
Coronavirus continues to dominate the global headlines – the big question now is “how early is too early” to reopen the economy? Quite a few divergent opinions there. The longer this goes on the more the economic impacts compound – but the risk of a larger second wave of cases would also be far from pretty.
Frost risk remains for western Hard Red Winter wheat areas of the US, with most of NW Kansas and the Nebraska panhandle reporting 8-10+ hours with temps not above 24º F. The worst of the cold is past, though amid concerning field reports, lows are forecast in the teens again tonight. Opinions vary as to the extent of the impact, but definitely there have been some yield losses. The question is how big they will prove come harvest.
Russian weather forecasts also continue to spell concern there, with limited moisture on the map runs for the South and much of the Volga. Parts of Ukraine have better moisture coming, but no apparent near-term relief for the Russians. Some are talking the crop up again and that will continue.
US crop progress condition reports were out after the market closed, with corn pencilled 3pc planted which is unchanged from last year. In reality corn planting progress would be up nominally y-o-y in almost all states reporting, but the fact the central corn belt areas have not started planting has created a rounding error. Wheat conditions were also out, unchanged “good-to-excellent” at 62pc with only a slight downward shift on the lower end but these will not reflect frost impacts from last night. Though a somewhat subjective measure, they remain by far the best reported conditions in several years. USDA weekly export inspections were solid on wheat (609,000t). Another wheat sales flash appeared, two more HRW boats, and many are thinking that it is Chinese business. Bean and corn inspections were both about as expected at 442,000 and 1.03Mt respectively and there was 193,000t of milo loaded to China, being part of recent sales business.
Egypt’s GASC is back in tomorrow for wheat for late May/early June with no change to the FOB/CNF terms yet. Interesting timing for markets looking for real impacts from the export restrictions. SAGO barley tender results brought no surprises, except on this occasion it bought only what it tendered for, not more as last time. The average price was US$198/t C&F, meaning Australian barley would be at least $40/t out of the money.
Weather maps remain ideal for field work locally – looking like two weeks of good dry weather to come.