Grain futures on Monday were mixed, oilseeds firmer;
- Chicago wheat September contract was up 0.75c/bu to 542.75;
- Kansas wheat September contract was down 1c/bu to 487.5;
- Minneapolis wheat September contract down 3.75c/bu to 566.75;
- MATIF wheat September contract up €2/t to €182.75
- MATIF rapeseed August contract was up €3/t at €372.25
- Winnipeg canola November contract up $C5.10/t to $C475.40
- Corn September contract up 3.25c/bu at 461.5c/bu
- Soybeans August contract up 16.25c/bu to 919.25;
- Crude oil August contract down US$0.60/barrel to $52.17
- Dow Jones up 22.92 points to 26,112.53
- AUD down to 0.6854
- CAD down to 1.3411
- EUR up to 1.1224
Crop progress results out in the US took corn planting to 92% complete (vs 83%), beans to 77% (vs 60% last week) – both of which are still well behind normal levels. To compound the excitement, there appears to be a lot of confusion in the market as to what exactly these represent. The figures represent progress relative to intentions as assessed by the local offices – and intentions change. So while we know that (by USDA assessment) corn planting progressed by ~9% nationally, that does not mean that 9% of the initial intentions was necessarily planted (planting intentions can instead have decreased). This was well noted in some of the state progress reports where they highlighted shifts to Prevent Plant intentions, but the national picture is still a large guess as to the final magnitude. Clear as mud as some like to say, and providing ample discussion points for both the bears and the bulls. With the current weather this week though, it is a fair guess that there will be extremely limited actual planting this week (reflected in next week’s report) – but progress may well go towards 100%.
Winter wheat harvested came in at 8% (with only 1% in Kansas) and condition figures there were only slightly changed with one point (in the national average) shifting down from excellent to good. Concerns are continuing to simmer about this ongoing storm system, with combines stopped and not expected to get back into the field for several days (at least – area dependent). The latest quality and yield comments out of Oklahoma continue to show good yields, but with protein averages dropping sub 11% as they move into more rain impacted areas. Meanwhile, over in Europe, the EU agricultural forecasting agency has pushed up its yield estimates on wheat after rains in the last few weeks in northern Europe – and cut their estimate slightly on barley given the problems in the southern EU with dryness.
China has abandoned its dispute of WTO rules and will apparently now be accepting EU and US anti-dumping rulings. Comments cited by Reuters indicated that they chose to abandon the appeals to avoid a much more damaging result from what looked set to be a major loss in the case.