Futures closed mostly weaker.
- Chicago wheat March contract down 2.25 cents per bushel to 562.25c;
- Kansas wheat March contract down 2 cents to 492.75c;
- Minneapolis wheat March contract down 3c/bu to 555.25c;
- MATIF wheat March contract down €1.5 to €193/t;
- Corn March contract up 3.75c to 389.5c;
- Soybeans March contract down 3.25c/bu to 942.25c;
- Winnipeg canola March contract down C$1.10/t to $482.90/t;
- MATIF rapeseed February contract down €1/t to €420.50/t;
- Brent crude February contract down to $64.20 per barrel;
- Dow Jones index up 83 points to 28907 points;
- AUD unchanged at $0.69;
- CAD stronger at $1.305;
- EUR stronger at $1.114.
US markets traded slightly weaker to start the week – Chicago wheat ending down 2 1/4¬¢ to 562 1/4¬¢, KC -2¬¢ to 492 3/4¬¢, Minny -3¬¢ to 555 1/4¬¢, and Matif up 1.5‚Ç¨ to 193‚Ç¨ on the earlier close. Corn picked up 3 3/4¬¢ to 389.5¬¢ with some short covering and beans were off 3 3/4¬¢ to 942 1/4¬¢ (Matif -1‚Ç¨ to 420.5‚Ç¨, Winnipeg -$1.1 to $482.9).
Crude oil has continued to fall, down almost another buck to $58.1 WTI/ $64.2 Brent and the DOW picked up 83 points as markets look with some slight optimism towards the China deal signing. The AUD is up to 69.0¬¢, the CAD at $1.305, and the EUR at $1.114.
Politics continues to take centre stage this week, with overtures from the US towards China in the lead-up to Wednesday’s expected deal signing. These included removing their designation as a currency manipulator, something that the Chinese Government has harshly complained about.
Comments late Sunday (US time) from the US Treasury Secretary indicated that there had not been a translation error regarding Chinese commitments to buy $40 billion in US ag products. There’s still no public release of deal text though, so markets remain cautious about the final wording expected to be released after signing.
Weekly export inspections from the USDA were largely as expected with 460,000t of corn (including a white boat to Mexico), 1.1Mt of beans, 474,000t of wheat and 20,000t of sorghum (no China). Bean shipments remain much higher year to date than last season at this point – but again that was right in the heart of the trade war, and new business is still needed to reach export estimates. Argentina may further adjust their soybean and product export taxes to incentivise domestic crush, similar to policies used in the past. We also saw another flash sale come through, but only for two boats of corn to Korea and no China business. GASC (Egypt) is back once again for early March wheat – at these prices it should work back to more Black Sea wheat, unless there are some more competitive French offers; note the French rail strike is still ongoing at 40 days now
Aussie markets have started the week out relatively quietly – more wheat being sold ex-farm in the south, but overall focus zeroed in on this forecast rain storm.
Models have held steady so far and we’re getting closer to it – last runs showing 30mm+ in much of Northern NSW/the Liverpool Plains and 20-odd for the Downs to end the week, and then good chances of 20-30mm+ across central and southern NSW over the weekend.
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