Wheat markets were firmer.
- Chicago wheat May contract up US7.5¢/bu to 549.25¢;
- Kansas wheat May contract up 8c to 472¢;
- Minneapolis wheat May contract up 5.5c to 524.5¢;
- MATIF wheat May contract up €0.25/t to €191/t;
- Corn May contract down 2.75c/bu to 330.75¢;
- Soybeans May contract down 4.5¢/bu to 854.25¢;
- Winnipeg canola May contract down $C2.10 to $461.40/t;
- MATIF rapeseed May contract up €2 to €363.75/t;
- Brent crude June contract up US$4.17 per barrel to $34.11;
- Dow Jones index down 361 points to 21053;
- AUD weaker at $0.5990:
- CAD weaker at $1.420;
- EUR weaker at $1.1081.
Coronavirus concerns remain front and centre in all markets, amid speculation that the pandemic could be than one month away from its global peak. One estimate has said nearly 30 per cent of the US economy is shut down, and markets are finding it hard to maintain much near-term optimism.
The USDA’s April World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) are due out on Thursday ahead of the Easter break. USDA will not release its new-crop global estimates until next month, but Thursday’s WASDE should contain a range of old-crop adjustments. CBOT markets will be closed after the day session on next Thursday and reopen for the night session on Sunday.
China buys corn
On Friday in the US, an export sales flash said 500,000 tonnes of corn sold to China, with all but one cargo for new-crop shipment. This takes total recent Chinese 2020/21 business to well over one million tonnes, but the bulls are still hoping for more to come and unhappy with the September onwards timeframe. In contrast, Algeria’s latest wheat tender saw OAIC pass after seeing prices, with its buying agency hoping for some more erosion on new-crop values. Last week’s Russian export restrictions were no big scare to the market, but interesting to hear that the past few days have seen logistics problems caused by coronavirus impacting truck deliveries to port in the south.
Dry in Russia
Weather maps point to a dry turn in Russia, with next to no rain on the two-week maps for many parts of the Volga and southern areas where much of the winter wheat is grown. This exacerberes yield concerns that have been building in recent weeks. The crop is far from dead, but as we move into April/May, moisture stress raises a large flag to yield potentials as as flowering and grain-fill are at risk. In the US, frost risks over the weekend in parts of Nebraska, western Kansas, and the panhandle have also spurred a worries about possible winter wheat damage but no real significant damage has so far been reported. Nationally, weekly crop conditions will be out for the first time this season, and markets will start more aggressively trading those updates.
New South Wales is celebrating great rain in recent few days which has filled almost all of the previous moisture gaps, yet another boost to new-crop potential as planting starts to roll.
Eastern South Australia has also had some rain, but the state needs more and nothing encouraging is appearing on forecasts for the next fortnight.
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