Daily Market Wire 19 March 2021

Lachstock Consulting, March 19, 2021

Markets sold off across the board last night, with contagion pressure from the crude collapse, down almost 7pc, a major trigger. Most grains closed 1pc to 2pc lower.  Soybeans closed about 2pc lower and canola markets at least 3pc lower. Crude oil saw WTI close down four and a half bucks to $60 even (Brent $63.3). The larger US inventories and weaker demand ideas, not helped at all by the EU vaccination dramas, helped spur an initial sell-off that then saw technical sales pressure kick in.  The DOW is off 153 points.

  • Chicago wheat May contract down US9.5c/bu to 630.5c;
  • Kansas wheat May contract down 14c/bu to 587c;
  • Minneapolis wheat May contract down 7.75c/bu to 623.5c;
  • MATIF wheat May contract down €1/t to €220.50;
  • Corn May contract down 11.5c/bu to 546c;
  • Soybeans May contract down 25.5c/bu to 1392.25c;
  • Winnipeg canola May contract down C$25.20/t to $754.10;
  • MATIF rapeseed May contract down €15.75/t to €505;
  • US dollar index up 0.5 to 91.9;
  • AUD weaker at US$0.776;
  • CAD weaker at $1.249;
  • EUR weaker at $1.191;
  • ASX wheat May contract down $5/t to A$283;
  • ASX wheat January 2022 unchanged at $298.


Macro markets saw some support from a surprise jump in the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index – coming in at 51.8 vs 23.1 last month and raising some optimism about manufacturing demand.

A third flash sale, 0.7 million tonnes (Mt), of old crop US corn to China last night, brings weekly flash totals to 3Mt.

Regular export sales of the week prior reported 0.39Mt wheat, 1Mt corn,  0.2Mt beans, and Almost exclusively destined for China also was 0.267Mt milo/sorghum. Corn sales had substantial increase to China (0.6 MMT) but almost all of it was switched from unknown – a process which is likely to continue in coming weeks as trade details are finalized on “unknown” sales.  Combined with this week’s flashes, this takes total confirmed corn China sales/shipments from the US to just under 23Mt.

Updated US drought monitor figures showed a large improvement in drought conditions across the southern Plains – much as expected after the recent storms but confirmation that the market was looking for about the impacts of that weather.

At the same time, spring wheat areas continued to show worse drought estimates with the recent warm, dry weather there.

The Iraqi government announced last night that it will allow direct grain import purchases by the trade ministry. It discontinues previous requirements to issue import tenders.

This week’s Tunisian barley tender resulted in business getting booked in the $275-280/t candf range.

South American weather maps are adding more rains into the extended runs for Argentina, helping later-planted crops.  When considered in the context of recent drying in Brazil, all in all there are better forecasts across that continent.


Local activity is quiet, relative to recent weeks, only small bits of demand continuing to pop up for near term covering.

Parts of north-western NSW received 50-60+ mm yesterday and some in central NSW an inch plus. Forecasts are still for widespread coverage into the weekend and early next week, with latest BOM maps showing a possible additional 50+ mm still to come.


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