Futures mostly continued lower, US dollar stronger.
- Chicago wheat March contract down 5.25¢/bu to 560¢;
- Kansas wheat March contract down another 6¢/bu to 473.75¢;
- Minneapolis wheat March contract down 6.75¢ to 529.5¢;
- MATIF wheat March contract up €0.25/t to €196/t;
- Corn March contract down 2¢/bu to 378.50¢;
- Soybeans March contract down 4.75¢/bu to 892.75¢;
- Winnipeg canola March contract unchanged at C$459.30/t;
- MATIF rapeseed May contract down €0.25/t to €401.25/t;
- Brent crude April contract up US$0.19 per barrel to $59.31;
- Dow Jones index down 128 points to 29220;
- AUD weaker at $0.6620;
- CAD weaker at $1.325;
- EUR weaker at $1.078.
Futures traded with a quick upward move and then, with nothing to support a sustained rally, we’ve been slipping back towards where we were. Wheat continued to fall overnight in the US, with Chicago ending down 5 1/4¢ to 560¢, KC -6¢ to 473 3/4¢, Minny -6 3/4¢ to 529.5¢, and Matif up a quarter euro to 196€ on the earlier close. Corn fell two cents to 378.5¢ and beans were down 4 3/4¢ to 892 3/4¢ (Winnipeg unchanged and Matif off a quarter euro to 401.25€). Crude oil is a few cents higher to $53.6 WTI / $59.1 Brent and the DOW is down another 128 points. The AUD’s continued to weaken against the dollar to 66.2¢, the CAD $1.325, and the EUR $1.078.
The USDA released baseline acreage estimates for the coming year at their outlook conference – pegging corn at 94 million acres, beans 85, and wheat 45 (total). No real surprises to be found in those figures. The corn and beans estimates were slightly higher than surveyed, but were within rounding. The estimates will update in several weeks. The US announced a goal to get biofuels to 30pc of US fuel consumption by 2050, but as with most such headline goals, no concrete implementation is to be seen.
Rumour has it that China has bought some 4 more US sorghum cargoes for April/May shipment, with possibility of a 5th that was in the works. We haven’t seen any flashes so far, but if the discussed counterparties are accurate they’d all fall under the flash reporting threshold and would come in next week’s general export sales report. Saudi Arabia’s buying agency (SAGO) is back again for wheat, but not barley, for April/June delivery. Ramadan occurs in the middle of that delivery period. At current prices it should work well ex-German/Baltic. US Hard Red Winter wheat (HRW) was getting close to competitive but after the rally does not pencil as well on our estimates.
Local markets have been relatively quiet, with the trade focused on executing recent business. We’re still watching weather maps into the weekend/early next week which remain optimistic for both the Darling Downs and WA. New crop planting is getting closer each week.