Daily Market Wire 19 February 2020

Lachstock Consulting, February 19, 2020

US wheat futures closed up almost 4pc, beans drifted a little.

  • Chicago wheat March contract up 24¢/bu to 566.75¢;
  • Kansas wheat March contract up 20¢/bu to 485.75¢;
  • Minneapolis wheat March contract up 14.5¢ to 540¢;
  • MATIF wheat March contract up €2/t to €196/t;
  • Corn March contract up 5.25¢/bu to 383¢;
  • Soybeans March contract down 0.25¢/bu to 892.25¢;
  • Winnipeg canola March contract up C$2.80/t to C$462.30/t;
  • MATIF rapeseed May contract up €2/t to €402.75/t;
  • Brent crude April contract up US$0.26 per barrel to $57.58;
  • Dow Jones index down 173 points;
  • AUD weaker at $0.6680;
  • CAD weaker at $1.325;
  • EUR weaker at $1.079.

Market news

Wheat opened up the night session with a bang, moving up some 10¢/bu on KC and Chicago and then followed it up mid-day session with some short term technical support to close up +24¢ on Chicago to 566 3/4¢, KC +20¢ to 485 3/4¢, Minny +14.5¢ to 540¢, and Matif up 2€ to 196€ on the earlier close.  So far this has been largely a board led rally though, with Black Sea cash markets slightly softer.  Corn picked up 5 1/4¢ off the back of wheat’s strength to close at 383¢ while beans gave up a cent and a half to 892 1/4¢ (Matif rapeseed +2€ to 402.75€, Winnipeg +$2.8 to $462.3).   Crude is steady at $52.1 WTI / $57.8 Brent and the DOW was back down 173 points.  The US dollar has firmed across the board, with the AUD off 3/10 of a cent to 66.8¢, the CAD weaker to $1.325, and the EUR at $1.079.

The big news for agricultural markets was the confirmation that China will be granting tariff exemptions to most US ag products, which is a big move towards making US ag products competitive again into China. Note this relates to retaliatory tariffs, not normal tariffs. There are still quite a few questions in place on the US bean side, Brazilian beans are competitive and the record crop is coming off.  There’s also some delay in the implementation because applications will apparently be accepted starting March 2nd, and good through next year.  Wheat, ethanol, corn, and DDGs will be ones to watch here in the short term.

Export inspections were about as expected at 795,000t corn, 992,000t beans, and 502,000t wheat.  No real surprises there.

Trucker strikes are once again underway in Brazil over fuel taxes. There are some impacts to port activities, but so far limited towards the bean export program.  It’s not to say that the strikes can’t expand.

On the production side, Indian wheat harvest is rapidly approaching, with the government calling for a record 106.2Mt crop – up some 6Mt y-o-y.  There are some worries that they’ll end up with bigger losses this year given tight storage availability. Many remember the large losses a few years back.

Locust problems in East Africa and parts of the Middle East are also getting repeated around the market yet again and spurring some hopes for bigger import programs there.


Aussie markets have started to see some more bids hit the table, but they are focused on good execution sites and comparatively limited depth. More talk about additional Chinese wheat sales has been going around.

We’ve got a relatively dry week ahead, but the weekend maps are starting to push in some more rains for both WA (lighter) and again into Queensland.

Now to see how markets react after CBOT move.



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