Wheat was weaker, oilseeds mixed and corn firmer.
- Chicago wheat May contract down US6.5¢/bu to 549.25¢;
- Kansas wheat May contract down 2.5c to 473.25¢;
- Minneapolis wheat May contract down 2.25c to 524.5¢;
- MATIF wheat May contract up €0.25/t to €195.5/t;
- Corn May contract up 3.75c/bu to 331.5¢;
- Soybeans May contract up 0.75¢/bu to 854.75¢;
- Winnipeg canola May contract down $C2.10 to $460.50/t;
- MATIF rapeseed May contract up €2 to €370/t;
- Brent crude June contract down US$1.18 per barrel to $31.87;
- Dow Jones index down 26 points to 22654;
- AUD firmer at $0.6136;
- CAD firmer at $1.4038;
- EUR firmer at $1.0870.
Mixed trading across the boards overnight, with markets squaring positions ahead of both the WASDE report and the long weekend. Chicago gave up six and a half to 549 1/4¢, KC -2.5¢ to 473 1/4¢, Minny -2 1/4¢ to 524.5¢, and Matif was up a quarter euro to 195.5€. Corn picked up 3 3/4¢ to 331.5¢ while beans were down 3/4¢ to 854 3/4¢ (Winnipeg off $2.1 to $460.5, Matif up two euros to 370€). Crude oil has continued to see last week’s gains temper down, with WTI dropping back to $23.6 / $31.9 Brent as ongoing concerns about demand destruction in the current global environment bring concerns that, even if agreed upon, discussed production cuts may not be enough to prevent supply builds. The DOW ended off 26 points, the AUD is trading around 61.7¢, the CAD $1.399, and the EUR $1.089.
Crops outlook evolving
National crop conditions reported this week were generally positive across the board for US winter wheat. There has been a 10pc improvement compared with the report post-dormancy levels late last year.
There are still concerns across much of the EU and the Black Sea region. There’s still next to no rain on the weather maps for southern Russia and it will remain drier than normal for the northern EU.
There are many hoping to see a GASC tender coming soon, with the weaker board recently. An Egypt tender might prove an interesting market barometer if the weather maps were to remain unchanged.
Supply/demand is complex
Pre-report survey estimates for the coming WASDE are much as expected. Estimates suggest higher US corn ending stock of corn and nominally higher ending stock of beans and wheat. The average ending stock of corn pre-survey estimates again is greater than 2 billion bushels, 50 million tonnes. April WASDE is not normally a large report, because the one in May has more significance, but with the rapid change in the world in the past month some are expecting that we’ll see a wider range of changes. Ethanol crush in particular has become a quantifiable problem for the corn markets. More shutdowns are still coming, up to a hundred million bushels, 2.5Mt, of corn demand was taken offline overnight, but the question will be how much of that change the USDA reflects.
Wide meat markets
Coronavirus remains an ongoing problem globally and there are increasing impacts to agricultural activity. Market discussion overnight focused on the slaughterhouse shutdowns in the US. Three announced closures, including one company that reported 24 cases of coronavirus amongst employees. These are not the first shutdowns, the past two weeks have seen several short shutdowns in Canada, but they have cash feeder markets on edge about kill slowdowns. Cattle markets were up limit, enjoying the new trading ranges, with some value picking and technical buying bringing a partial correction. It’s yet to be seen how the follow through goes the rest of this week. There are still many voices calling for an investigation into cattle markets given the wide packer spreads, and we’d expect these voices to get louder if those spreads widen further amidst the shutdowns.
Back locally, talk continues to focus on the early planting activity being reported in parts of NSW. There’s still some more light moisture on the maps for this weekend there, although the everywhere else is holding dry. While these are good pre-field work conditions, farmers wouldn’t mind another shower of rain, particularly in SA and WA.