Daily Market Wire 29 September 2023

Lachstock Consulting, September 29, 2023

Canola/rapeseed eased and wheat tended easier.  Corn gained 1 percent. The Australian dollar gained 1 percent.

  • Chicago wheat December down US0.75c/bu to 578.75c/bu;
  • Kansas wheat December down 9.5c/bu to 685c/bu;
  • Minneapolis wheat December down 3.75c/bu to 747c/bu;
  • MATIF wheat December down €1.50/t to €239.50/t;
  • Black Sea wheat has not quoted since 11 August;
  • Corn December up 5.25c/bu to 488.5c/bu;
  • Soybeans May 2024 down 4c/bu to 1340.75c/bu;
  • Winnipeg November canola down C$10.60/t to $715.50/t;
  • Winnipeg May 2024 canola down C$8.50/t to $734.70/t;
  • MATIF rapeseed November 2023 down €7.25/t to €445/t;
  • MATIF rapeseed May 2024 down €7.75/t to €467/t;
  • ASX January 2024 wheat down A$5.50/t to $417/t;
  • ASX January 2024 barley down A$4/t to $355/t;
  • AUD dollar gained 76 points to US$0.6429


Agricultural commodity markets continue to be the whipping boy. Every fundamental reason to rally is beaten down by a wave of spec selling. Chicago wheat currently has the second largest spec short since at least 2005/06 while corn is the shortest. The major exporters balance sheet warrants at least some risk premium but the specs remain happy to add to their short position. Hard to know what changes this view in positioning. The speculation that India would turn importer may be the catalyst to turn momentum but, to date, it has not reached out for global supply. Indian govt inventory is historically low which contradicts the rhetoric from New Delhi which further highlights how tenuous the global balances are. 

A fair and reasonable explanation for the lack of risk premium in the wheat market may be the constant supply from the Black Sea. Egypt bought wheat at US$255/t from Romania and Bulgaria. The Romanian is probably Ukrainian and is priced to move. Russia is still the price setter in this market so other origins must rely on their own inelastic demand – any discretionary needs will be priced against the Black Sea flow. 

The US govt funding circus has returned to town, the 30 September deadline approaching and the likelihood of a govt shut down, growing. This will get solved but the constant uncertainty around how it will be solved sends ripples through financial markets. USDA will release the ever-important quarterly stocks in all positions report. The market is looking for slightly lower wheat vs the previous year, higher corn and lower beans. On the production front, vs the August WASDE, the market is looking for unchanged HRW, slightly lower SRW and lower spring wheat. 

There is a disturbing trend in US data, namely revisions. Every monthly US payroll print has been revised lower the following month. Additionally, there is a genuine risk that the annual revisions made in March could also lower the revised prints, telling a very different story from the initial strong numbers.


Harvest is under way through Queensland, northern NSW and parts of SA. Queensland is harvesting wheat and barley with some reports of higher screenings on the early crops but yields have been okay to date. Canola coming off around Moree has lower than expected oils and lentils in the north of South Australia are of good quality. 

Australia exported 2.7Mt of wheat in July, up 6pc from June but well below the 3Mt+ monthly volumes earlier in the marketing year. Indonesia was the biggest market in July, taking 637kt, followed closely by China (628kt) and the Philippines (460kt). This brings marketing year to date exports to China to a record 7.02Mt, Indonesia to 4.12Mt and the Philippines to 2.68Mt. Australia’s marketing year to date exports now sit at 28.15Mt. 

There is a decent rainfall event forecast for the eastern states next week which will be crucial to secure yield potential. There is still excellent potential for crops in southern cropping regions of NSW, Vic and eastern SA. The forecast currently has 10-25mm pencilled in for central and southern NSW. Vic is in for 15-50mm.

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