Wheat sags as wet conditions prevail in the US.
- Chicago wheat down US 6 cents per bushel to 438c;
- Kansas wheat down 3.5c to 401.4c;
- Minneapolis wheat down 5.75c to 515c;
- Chicago corn up 0.25 at 371;
- Soybeans down 1c to 842.2c;
- Winnipeg canola down C$0.40 per tonne to $432.60;
- Dow Jones up 197.16 points;
- Crude oil up US$0.13 per barrel.
We finished the week in much the same way as we started – excessive moisture throughout the Spring and Soft Red Winter wheat and corn belts, with more on the way. The longer-range forecasts had moisture, along with unseasonably cold temperatures right through the middle of the US, built in up to mid May. The short and longer-term forecasts also call for more than 125 millimetres of rain in Texas, which is getting to the business end of its growing season. More than 70 per cent of that wheat crop would be headed at this stage, so there is a risk of quality damage. With all this weather activity, it is surprising to see prices largely trade sideways, and the fund position increase. Speculators added to their short position in Hard and Soft Red Winter wheats and soybeans last week, and added a few long contracts to corn.
Tonight’s US planting update will be closely watched, as it will set the tone for the next monthly USDA report due out on 10 May. Spring wheat is expected to be just over 20pc planted compared with the five-year average of 52pc. Corn is expected to be around 25pc versus the five-year average of 47pc, although the corn number could be much lower. This argument is not only around planted area but also national yield loss, which starts to have a meaningful impact on the balance sheet. Growers are faced with a tough decision if they are unable to plant corn given the dire outlook for soybeans: does area still switch, or will it be removed completely from the planting schedule for this window?
Locally it was an amazing week of rainfall across a big wedge of the eastern states grainbelt. Victoria and southern New South Wales received falls of 15-100mm, but some areas missed out. South Australia was a mixed bag; it was great to see some rain on the Eyre Peninsula, while the Mallee largely stayed dry. In Western Australia, little rain fell in growing areas ahead of a dry 14-day outlook. One rain event doesn’t make a season, and with a slab of country dry sown, follow-up rains will be needed. Local markets were focused on old-crop into the close of last week, with the Victorian wheat market in particular finding another round of selling. Liquidity has been amazing when considering the ongoing requirement to import grain from WA to make the balance sheet work. Based on Friday’s traded values, the Victorian market was close to $25/t below the levels needed to attract WA tonnage.
Source: Lachstock Consulting