Puzzling day yesterday on Soybeans and Corn as funds bought respectively 5,000 lots and 4,500 lots. Soybeans and Corn finished higher, both shy half a percent up. Seems like Corn doesn’t feel like pursuing its descent despite the fact the US balance sheet might be heavier next year (and even this year with downgraded exports). But market probably misinterpret the fact USDA has not published a corn planting progress. It doesn’t mean it’s 0% planted by any means, USDA is usually starting by winter wheat condition and gradually moves to a more complete report, but missing national corn plantings on the first report of April is not unusual. And so far, Corn planting, despite scaremongering, is not a concern: there are delays on the south, Louisiana is 46% completed versus an average 82%, Mississippi 19% versus 49%, Alabama 13% versus 25% and Texas 42% versus 47%. But best producing state of those is Texas, 13th state in terms of corn, producing something like 2% of the US corn. So getting worried is widely unjustified, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana and South Dakota might be slightly more important to focus on… Soybeans were helped by Corn strength and other oilseeds but did not manage to feel pressure from lower Palm Oil and even SoyOil finished up. But it seems like the party is over on Wheat. Yesterday felt like the John Carpenter’s movie ‘Escape from LA’ with wheat digging, as if Snake Plissken had switch off the Wheat market, switch off the weather concerns, switch off the bulls appetite,… Or maybe it was the Wachowski Brothers’ ‘The Matrix’: ‘Welcome to the real world’. Funds sold 6,000 lots and Wheat finished down -11ish cents in Chicago, -12ish cents in Kansas while Minneapolis was holding well to -8.50ish cents. But on the other side, being cautious is justified. Indeed, Corn is holding pretty well and until the wheat crop, it’s likely it’s going to be the driver, well, at least for the next 6 weeks where planting delays are going to be most probably the usual discussion in the market.
MATIF also fell. Tough to see any valid reason for MATIF to sustain a rebound. That being said, north African tenders might provide a bit of help, bot on the other side, higher EURUSD is not. Small rebound on Wheat overnight. Corn is still up, Soybeans ticking down. Fair to say however, nothing is happening just yet, fun haven’t started. MATIF is flattish, just ticking up.
US weather seems fairly good. Rain from Kansas to Michigan, slightly colder than usual in the eastern parts but nothing too much worrying. Nothing to say really about SAM weather and European weather.
Export sales today, expectations are the following: wheat 200kT/500kT, corn 800kt/1,200kT and soybeans 150kT/550kT.
Informa sees US winter wheat production to 37.476MT. They also raised by +1.2MT their Brazilian corn estimates to 83.7MT, decreased their Brazilian estimates by -0.88MT to 100.5MT. In Argentina, they raised their soybeans estimates by +0.5MT to 59.5MT and also raised corn by +0.5MT to 27.5MT. Also Celeres raised its Brazilian soybean crop estimates by +0.8MT to 99.9MT, just shy 100kT of the USDA’s forecast. But USDA forecast is well expected to be raised, and USDA attaché in Brazil now sees 103MT. Corn is seen at 87.5MT (+0.4MT compared to their previous estimates), higher than the 84MT expected – so far – by the USDA. USDA attaché in Argentina sees next wheat crop at 31.5MT.
China wants to push up local soybeans acreage to meet food demand but is not going restrain imports. They aim tu cut corn planting in the north by 8.2M acres.
US Ethanol production declined by 16,000 barrels per day to 976,000 barrels per day but that only explaining part of the decrease in stocks. Demand was pretty high indeed, and stocks fell 808,000 barrels to 22.21M barrels. US Crude oil inventories also surprised the market. Market was expecting again a rise of 3.1M barrels but stocks decreased by -4.9M barrels. Oil futures obviously rebounded, NYMEX crude is now approaching $38 and ICE Brent is approaching $40. NatGas inventories are expected up 8 billion cubic feet, they were down -25 billion cubic feet last week. Answer later today.
GASC is back for wheat, May 10th to 20th shipment. This time, if 120kt or 180kt is booked, this might just be the last one of the season. This is the first tender with Bulgarian wheat admissible, we’ll see if a trader want to celebrate. Unlikely. French wheat might be really eager to sell and there will be interesting competition as traders are going to offer Egypt and Algeria on the same day! By the way, Egypt officially cancelled the Rice tender and threatened to do a deal outside the tender process. The trick did not work for wheat, it probably won’t work for rice. Interesting to see they are struggling not only on wheat, so the lack of confidence from traders is probably a bit more than fungus. So indeed, Algeria’s OAIC is back for milling wheat. Also Japan seeks 51,100T of feed wheat and 137,486T of food wheat. On the durum tender, Tunisia bought 42,000T at 282.98 CNF.
On Freight, Baltic Dry Index BADI keeps – sounds weird to write this – rebounding YTD. It’s now at 500, +4.60% YTD indeed.
EURUSD is playing with the 1.14 area. Very technical at the moment. Nothing new in Europe as far as Panama Leaks or Brexit are concerned. Market more and more expects FED to raise the rates in April.