Wheat markets eased. Oilseeds gained.
- Chicago wheat May 2023 contract down US13.5 cents per bushel to 762.75c/bu;
- Kansas wheat May 2023 contract down 2.25c/bu at 893.5c/bu;
- Minneapolis wheat May 2023 contract down 4.75c/bu to 918.75c/bu;
- MATIF wheat May 2023 contract down €5/t to €286.50/t;
- Black Sea wheat March 2023 contract down US$1.25/t to $302;
- Corn May 2023 contract up 3c/bu to 680.5c/bu;
- Soybeans May 2023 contract up 21.75c/bu to 1544c/bu;
- Winnipeg canola May 2023 contract up C11.60/t to $831.90/t;
- MATIF rapeseed May 2023 contract up €3.25/t to €560.75/t;
- ASX Mar 2023 wheat contract unchanged at A$394/t;
- ASX Mar 2023 barley contract down A$3.90/t to $328/t;
- AUD dollar was down 20 points to US$0.686.
President Putin gave a lengthy state-of-the-nation address yesterday in which he signalled that Russia was prepared to intensify fighting. He announced that he would suspend Russia’s participation in the New START treaty, the last surviving arms control agreement between Washington and Moscow. Putin claimed that Western nations had started the war in Ukraine. He also made comments in relation to Russian agriculture saying that they will export 50-60Mt of grain in 2023 and noted Russia has all the financial resources it needs to guarantee its national security and development despite Western economic sanctions.
President Biden spoke a couple of hours later in Warsaw, saying “President Putin chose this war. Every day the war continues is his choice”. He accused Putin of committing atrocities on a vast scale. He vowed that the US and its NATO allies would remain steadfast. “Our support for Ukraine will not waver, NATO will not be divided and we will not tire,” he said, while noting the real prospect of “hard and very bitter days” ahead.
Bulk railway transport operator, RusAgroTrans, revised down its Russian 2023-24 wheat number to 79.7Mt based on lower plantings and ice crusts forming in fields due to fluctuating winter temperatures, Interfax reported. The previous estimate was 81.5Mt. Wheat exports were seen at about 37.5Mt in 2023-24, compared to 46Mt for the current year.
Ukraine’s Black Sea exports fell 33pc in the week to Feb 19 according to data posted by the Joint Coordination Centre. Volumes were around 760,189t compared to 1.14Mt the previous week.
The Brazilian national agricultural agency, CONAB, reported at 19 Feb, the 2022-23 first (full season) maize plantings were 99pc complete, with harvesting at 14pc complete (11pc last week, 20pc last year). Rains continued to contain the pace of threshing in Minas Gerais and Paraná, with some beneficial, yet irregular, precipitation seen in Rio Grande do Sul. Second (safrinha) maize sowings were 33pc complete (20pc, 46pc). Soybean harvest was 23pc complete (15pc, 33pc), with crops maintaining a good condition in Mato Grosso and Paraná despite wet weather. While there were concerns about crop quality in Mato Grosso do Sul and Minas Gerais, a period of dryness was favourable for threshing in Goiás.
Crop consultant Michael Cordonnier cut his Argentine soybean crop estimate another 2Mt to 34Mt. He noted, “Everything that could go wrong with the 2022-23 soybean crop in Argentina did go wrong – from the worst drought in 60 years to record-high temperatures and now light to moderate frost in what is essentially the middle of summer.” Dr Cordonnier left his Argentine corn crop estimate at 43Mt, indicating “the weekend frost appeared to hurt soybeans more than corn.” He also left his Brazilian crop estimates unchanged at 151Mt for soybeans and 123Mt for corn.
Local cash grower bids in eastern Australia and SA were slightly firmer. WA ASW1 was a touch softer. Barley values were mixed, a touch firmer in Vic for BAR1 and Darling Downs barley remained firm. Canola bids were back down by $5-10/t in what is a roller-coaster market at the moment. A softer AUD this morning should see bids hold here today in local markets.
Parts of NSW were smashed by storms yesterday, intense rainfall, hail and damaging wind caused flash flooding in parts of the Central West.