Chicago wheat settled 1pc lower, other futures mixed.
- Chicago wheat March contract down 5.75 cents per bushel to 556.25c;
- Kansas wheat March contract down 6c to 467.75c;
- Minneapolis wheat March contract down 2.75c to 532.5c;
- MATIF wheat March contract down €0.75 per tonne to €193/t;
- Corn March contract down 1.5c to 379.25c;
- Soybeans March contract up 1c to 881c;
- Winnipeg canola March contract down C$0.70/t to $461/t;
- MATIF rapeseed May contract up €0.5/t to €394.25/t;
- Brent crude April contract up US$0.35 per barrel to $54.93;
- Dow Jones index up 89 points to 29,317;
- AUD down at $0.6730;
- CAD unchanged at $1.328;
- EUR down at $1.098.
Wheat gave back up Wednesday’s gains to close lower across the boards – Chicago ended down 5 3/4¢ to 556 1/4¢, KC -6¢ to 467 3/4¢, Minny -2 3/4¢ to 532.5¢, and Matif was off three quarters of a euro to 193€ on the earlier close. Corn is down another cent and a half while beans have picked up one cent to 881¢ (Winnipeg -70¢ to $461, Matif up half a euro to 394.25€). Macro markets were more steady, with crude mixed (WTI $51.4, up about 40¢, Brent $54.9 down a dime) and the DOW up 89 points. The AUD’s found some support to hold around 67.3¢, the CAD $1.328, and the EUR $1.098.
Coronavirus is still dominating airwaves, with Chinese reported figures partially flatlining but many still questioning official data as more quarantines and restrictions go into place. Various higher figures being reported in the news are more in line with market sentiment on the size of the outbreak, but again there’s no real certainty about the “true” number, which is still constrained by testing capacity.
With next week bringing the Feb WASDE, the USDA has said they will not include any impact from the trade deal with China in their reports, citing the difficulty in determining how such figures will be reached. They are reportedly going to include the coronavirus impacts as best they can estimate.
Chinese officials announced they would cut part of the extra tariffs on US goods, dropping the second tariffs on beans, beef, and pork from 5pc to 2.5pc. The baseline 25pc trade war tariffs remain in place though. Good news for the drinkers too, with similar cuts on whisky imports. Export sales were out from the US, with figures somewhat disappointing but much as expected, 340,000t of wheat, 1.25Mt corn, 700,000t beans, and only 15,000t sorghum. There were no fresh sales reported to China, as expected given the overlap on the CNY holiday window.
French wheat has reportedly been sold to Chinese millers, following the earlier Australian purchases. The Australian was preferred on a quality basis to the French.
New crop wheat production estimates continue to trend more optimistically. Good moisture across Texas and parts of central Oklahoma is supporting crop ideas there and there’s some more moisture on the maps for part of the Nebraska/central Kansas wheat areas.
Rain totals have still been a little bit on the low side versus what some had hoped, but it’s been a widely variable event. More scattered showers are on the maps through for today through to Monday, with accumulation estimated into the 30mm+ range across the Darling Downs and northern NSW. There’s not much to follow this into the extended maps, and we would like to see more follow-up rain.