Most markets a little firmer.
- Chicago wheat March contract up 2 cents per bushel to 557.25c;
- Kansas wheat March contract up 1c to 467.25c;
- Minneapolis wheat March contract down 2c to 531.75c;
- MATIF wheat March contract up €1.25 per tonne to €190.75/t;
- Corn March contract up 3.5c to 382.25c;
- Soybeans March contract up 2.5c to 879.5c;
- Winnipeg canola March contract up C$2.40/t to $454.90/t;
- MATIF rapeseed May contract up €4.5/t to €391.75/t;
- Brent crude March contract down US$0.50 per barrel to $54;
- Dow Jones index up 408 points to 28,808;
- AUD up at $0.6740;
- CAD up at $1.328;
- EUR down at $1.105.
With macro markets seeing “risk on” again, grains pushed lightly higher across the boards – Chicago wheat ended +2¢ to 557 1/4¢, KC up a penny to 467 1/4¢, Minny -1 1/4¢ to 531 3/4¢, and Matif was back up a euro twenty five to 190.75€ on the earlier close. Corn picked up 3 1/4¢ to 382 1/4¢ and beans were up 2.5¢ to 879.5¢ (Matif +4.5€ to 391.75, Winnipeg +$2.4).
The DOW closed up 408 points although crude has continued to slide amid concerns that possible OPEC production cuts will not prevent stock builds (WTI off half a buck to $49.6, Brent $54).
The AUD’s nominally firmer to 67.4¢, the CAD $1.328, and the EUR $1.105.
The first easily validated economic impacts of coronavirus are just starting to be felt, with some factory shut downs in Korea after parts supplies ran out. Still though, there hasn’t been any immediate “critical” update to reinvigorate economic crisis fears – with the bears watching more into the coming weeks.
Politics is also a mess in the US after a train wreck of a Democratic caucus in Iowa – results out almost a day later saw Buttigeg officially win, and the infighting and complaints are already slinging back and forth. Expect more heated politics as the campaigns move forward.
We’re approaching the next round of USDA reports. The February WASDE will release next Tuesday, midday US, night Australia, and the USDA’s ag forum on February 20/21.
In the short term though, it was a quiet news day on agricultural markets. There were no export sales flashes to be seen and notably no China business. In spite of claims that coronavirus would interfere with China trade there were rumours about more purchases of South American beans.
South American crop estimates continue to gradually trend upward. One estimate took Brazilian beans up to 124Mt overnight, and another to 123Mt, but the positive outlooks have been mostly expected after the last two weeks of weather and harvest.
Moisture on the maps for the southern plains of the US is also increasing optimism about winter wheat there although it’s a long way from harvest, and there’s no real concern on the frost front right now with comparatively mild weather.
Domestic markets have eased off slightly with continued rain pressure, and some volume is starting to dry up from the farmer as markets slip. Rain maps up north are still looking amazing, although we think it’s important to remember that we’re some eight to nine months away from early harvest. There’s a long way to go.