Markets were mostly firmer.
- Chicago wheat July contract up US1.25¢/bu to 520.75¢;
- Kansas wheat July contract down 3c to 484¢;
- Minneapolis wheat July contract up 2c to 510.75¢;
- MATIF wheat September contract up €1.50 to €185.75/t;
- Corn July contract up 1.5c/bu to 317¢;
- Soybeans July contract up 3¢/bu to 839.5¢;
- Winnipeg canola July contract up $C0.70 to $464.30/t;
- MATIF rapeseed August contract up €4.75 to €369.75/t;
- Brent crude July contract up US$3.77 per barrel to $30.97
- Dow Jones index up 133 points to 23883;
- AUD firmer at $0.6430;
- CAD firmer at $1.405;
- EUR weaker at $1.084.
Quiet and mixed for ag markets overnight in the US, with Chicago closing +1 1/4¢ to 520 3/4¢, KC -3¢ to 484¢, Minny +2¢ to 510 1/4¢, and Matif up a euro fifty to 185.75€ on the earlier close. Corn picked up a cent and a half (up slightly more mid session) and beans were up 3¢ to 839.5¢ (Winnipeg up 70¢ to $464.3, Matif up 4.75 to 369.75€ on worries over lower production). Crude oil has spiked up sharply higher by some four bucks to $24.5 WTI / $30.9 Brent as ideas about weaker stocks build continue (ethanol cash markets are also reported up nominally) and the DOW was up 133 points. The AUD’s holding in the 64.3¢ range, the CAD $1.405, and the EUR $1.084.
US export sales of 378,000t of beans to China, mostly new season and 109,000t of corn to Mexico were reported in a sales flash. In a trade comment the White House apparently aimed to soothe worries over a renewed trade war, suggesting it would not take action against China over the coronavirus problems if China honoured its previous commitment in the trade deal. Still lots of ag products to buy to reach those levels, but we shall see.
Domestic US feeder cattle markets were weaker with more indications that cash activity has slowed after a recent small pickup, though hog markets continued to firm. Meat conglomerate Tyson Foods indicated it expected ongoing shutdowns and production slowdowns, despite attempts by the US government to keep slaughterhouses open. Clearly it’s in Tyson’s interest to make bearish comments in this vein, but this is an opinion that Lachstock sees as widely held around the market. Mandates can only do so much to maintain stability when outbreaks are still being reported.
Otherwise, it’s all about weather right now and though the focus currently is on wheat, we’ll be moving to corn/bean weather markets promptly. Frost in the northern corn belt is a worry for later this week. Frost is also some concern to Soft Red Winter wheat areas.
Black Sea weather maps remain generally positive, though Volga River region rain forecasts are getting lighter. Questions about existing damage are widespread. In Romania last night government officials foreshadowed major damage and will estimate the impact by some point next week. Harvest in Romania, Russia and Ukraine often takes place in similar conditions and these countries compete for export into many of the same markets.
Weather maps are improving for the eastern parts of the southern Plains in the US, but leaving next to nothing on the two week outlooks for western winter wheat areas where drought conditions have been slowly worsening.
Argentina, on the other hand, has an optimistic outlook amid good planting conditions and is set to increase plantings this year by 1.5pc.
East coast Australian barley prices firmed with a little domestic demand stepping, otherwise markets started the week quietly. There’s more discussion about potential new crop export sales happening, helped by tight spreads ex-harvest versus global alternatives, but there’s not much working back into domestic coverage at this point. It’s many months between now and execution even if export business were to be written. Good planting weather is still on the forecast for this week and into next and field work is rolling quickly.