Daily Market Wire 22 February 2021

Lachstock Consulting, February 22, 2021

The Aussie dollar has kicked higher with a weaker USD and more optimism about the global economy recovering/Chinese economic expansion. Oilseeds market firmed. US wheat and corn weakened.

  • Chicago wheat May contract down 9.75c/bu to 655.5;
  • Kansas wheat May contract down 4.75c/bu to 638.25;
  • Minneapolis wheat May contract down 2.75c/bu to 640;
  • MATIF wheat May contract up €1/t to €227.25/t;
  • Corn May contract down 7.25c/bu to 541.75;
  • Soybeans May contract up 3.5c/bu to 1380;
  • Winnipeg canola May contract up C$8.60/t to $735.50;
  • MATIF rapeseed May contract up €1.50/t to €461.50;
  • Brent crude April down US$1.02 per barrel to $62.91;
  • Dow Jones index up 1 to 31494;
  • US dollar index down 0.2 to 90.3
  • AUD firmer at $0.786;
  • CAD firmer at $1.261;
  • EUR firmer at $1.211;
  • ASX wheat March contract up $6.50/t to 299;
  • ASX wheat January 2021 contract up $4.80/t to 307.50.


The new US stimulus bill is set for a House vote this week and is expected to pass without too much hassle. Debates about the fiscal efficiency of what is included are likely to continue to dominate political news.

A human case of the H5N8 bird flu in Russia was reported recently (it occurred in December). It’s the first time this has been confirmed in humans.

The second day of the USDA’s Outlook Forum saw preliminary new crop (21/22) balance sheets released. Amid ongoing strong demand projections, stocks across the board are expected to remain tight. Corn was steady at 1.5 billion bushels despite the record crop, beans at 145 million bushels (mbu) and all wheat was projected dropping to 700 mbu. Everyone in the market has their own bias to this outlook, but these preliminary figures are usually fair guidance for the initial formal WASDE figures come May.  It will all swing around somewhat depending on the figures in the March planting intentions report.

Plenty of focus has been given to the USDA’s comments about their view of Chinese demand into the New Year and reflects fair confidence that the Chinese corn import program is here to stay for the foreseeable future. It adds a massive chunk of demand to the global balance sheet.

There’s more talk of ongoing Chinese corn demand in Ukraine after the holidays but not much new corn reporting actually sold. There are wide premiums for corn with documents which would allow its shipment to China.

Weekly US export sales data, delayed with the holiday, had 400,000t wheat, 1Mt of corn, and 0.45Mt beans, all mostly as expected.  There was 132,000t of wheat to China in the mix, but nothing new on old season row crop business there. A new crop bean boat was in the mix.

South American weather maps are back in a little more focus with drier conditions in Brazil supportive to the delayed harvest but concerns gradually firming on the back of further dryness in Argentine weather maps.

Friday’s US cattle on feed figures out for the US Friday came in at a fairly massive 12.1 million head.  Placements into feedlots were 3.2 per cent higher than a year ago despite the slower sales.  Feed margins remain under some pressure with the firm grain/ddg/meal markets even though values for live cattle were also firmer.


Spot load premiums were paid on Friday to fill nearby needs but otherwise markets mostly were dominated by the offer side. Many exporters appear covered for the short term.

BOM forecasts are gaining confidence on this coming rain event for the Darling Downs and northern NSW, with latest runs in the 30+ mm range for much of the area.

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