Daily Market Wire 16 March 2021

Lachstock Consulting, March 16, 2021

Most markets firmed overnight. Crude oil has slipped a quarter to $65.3 WTI / $68.9 Brent and the DOW was up 40 points.

  • Chicago wheat May contract up US6.5c/bu to 645c;
  • Kansas wheat May contract up 3.25c/bu to 606.75c;
  • Minneapolis wheat May contract up 5.25c/bu to 637c;
  • MATIF wheat May contract down €0.25/t to €223;
  • Corn May contract up 10.5c/bu to 549c;
  • Soybeans May contract up 6.25c/bu to 1419.5c;
  • Winnipeg canola May contract down C$1.80/t to $802.90;
  • MATIF rapeseed May contract up €4.25/t to €526.25;
  • US dollar index up 0.1 to 91.8;
  • AUD weaker at US$0.775;
  • CAD weaker at $1.248;
  • EUR weaker at $1.192;
  • ASX wheat May contract down A$2.50/t to $291;
  • ASX wheat January 2022 down $5.50/t to $296.50.


With March half over, markets are very focused in on the upcoming prospective plantings report due for release on 31 March. It will provide USDA’s first official plantings estimate of corn, beans, spring wheat and sorghum area for 2021. Today was the last day for US farmers in most row crop states to make changes to their insurance coverage.  There is plenty of discussion about final spring decisions with both corn and soybean cropping looking attractive, although corn continues to see some pressure from the massive rally in fertiliser prices.

By-state crop conditions reports from Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas are not yet out this morning, regardless, after the latest storm and moisture reports, overall ideas are shifting back sharply to the positive.

Regular corn weekly export inspections in the US were very large,  2.2 million tonnes (Mt), wheat substantial, 0.7Mt (including a TX durum shipment to Algeria) and soybeans shipments were as expected, 0.5Mt.  Corn had 0.3Mt to China, but also massive Japanese movements with over 0.5Mt loaded. Milo/sorghum exports were 233,000t, all to China.

The EU’s  crop outlook MARS update last night confirmed fairly positive conditions across the majority of the EU.

At the same time, there’s been renewed talk about the potential for winter kill/damage in parts of Russia, with ice crusting reported in parts of Central Russia and worries about the duration of this crust.

Black Sea cash markets remaining under pressure with fewer bids forcing offers to meet them on the low end. The switch in focus to new crop continues, with only a little over three months until new crop harvest.

Yet more positivity is coming out of Argentina last night, pleasantly surprised by the weekend rain and hoping it had saved some later crops.

NOPA Feb soybean crush came in at 155.2 million bushels, well below expectations. February crush is usually low because it’s a shorter month, but this was down 7pc compared with last year, and was a further drop than expected.  Talk is focusing in on the potential for a March rebound though, with suggestions that the cold snap saw more capacity temporarily idled than markets had estimated. The capacity back online should be reflected in March figures.


Local markets felt slightly softer yesterday in a fairly quiet start to the week.

The ASX traded $2.50/t lower late in the day.

Lachstock offices will be in internal meetings for most of this week.  Email and phone will be attended but responses may be delayed.

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