Hi 5! Fifth session in a row on the downside for Soybean, but it’s fair to say it looked like market was exhausted as it printed only -0.50 cents on the close. Nice dip though, down -34.25 cent in 5 sessions, since the highs of the 18th Jan, market lost -150.50 cents! Only 3 sessions up since 22 sessions. It has been pretty harsh. The weather concerns in South-America (especially in Argentina) had driven the prices up but considering the fact the Brazilian crop (+11.5MT) has more than offset the -1.3M dip of the Argentinian crop, a corrections was needed and really, now, the question about the opportunity to actually switch acres from corn to soybeans is less and less obvious. And drama is maybe not over yet as Celeres sees the crop at 113.8MT (+4.15MT compared to their previous estimate last month), the last USDA WASDE was at 108MT. April 11th, USDA WASDE, could bring the surprises we did not have in the USAD Quarterly Stocks and Prospective Plantings report… FC Stone is slightly less aggressive with 111.6MT. Corn corrected -4.75 cents but is still higher than the close pre-USDA, Celeres did not move its estimates of the Brazilian corn crop. Wheat did not really changed in Chicago with -0.75 cents, but still some mess on the spreads with Kansas up +2.75 cents but Minneapolis down -3.75 cents. On the other side of the pond, MATIF was down -€1.00 and CME EU just a couple of ticks.
In Chicago, funds sold 10,500 Corn, 3,000 Soybeans and bought 500 Wheat. In other words, being the cut-off of the CFTC’s COT, market will expect funds to have been buyer of 7,500 Wheat and 26, Corn and seller of 31,500 Soybeans. But considering the lack of accuracy of the Reuters estimates and the tendency the data to be underestimated, the big question will be: will funds be short Soybeans? Latest COT was long 37,916 lots indeed.
Night session is green across the board with no big conviction. However, Soybeans are finally making a move up, printing +8.25 cents on the close. A bit of profit taking of the short side. Corn and Wheat are following in a lower extent with +2.50 cents and +1.50 cent. MATIF is just ticking up while CME EU is up +€0.75.
Japan did not meet success in their SBS tender, no offer were made on their feed wheat and feed barley tender. Jordan is seeking hard milling wheat and feed barley, 100,000T each. Tough tender specs. Unlikely to see the both booked at the same time but who knows!
First guestimates of winter crops are now more and more frequent and will become more and more significant. Of course spring rain will be the key so this is still very early. UkrAgroConsult sees 24.2MT of wheat in Ukraine next season but if everything is going well, 25MT to 26MT is achievable. Bottom line, they raised their estimates by +0.7MT. Meanwhile, 67% of the spring crops are planted, and total grain crop is expected to grow marginally by +1.12%.
Oil is recovering well and is back in its boring range. NYMEC Crude is trading around $51.50 and ICE Brent with a $3.15 premium. US Crude Oil inventories later today are expected at -0.1M barrels… Diversion on the upside could bring price closer to $50 again! On freight, Baltic Dry Index BADI was down (-157 to 1,255) for the 4th day in a row. This is mainly due to larger vessel segments, indeed Capesize Index was down -136 while Panamax Index seems toppish but is resisting pretty well (-2). Most probably a similar scenario today as Capesize Index already printed -153 for the day.
A few final PMI’s today: Spanish and German met expectations (respectively 57.4 and 55.6) while Italian, French and Eurozone missed them (to respectively 52.9, 57.5, and 56). UK PMI was better than expected to 55 and overall, the adverse psychological effect of the Brexit since a few months is far from being evident. However, psychology could be replaced by fact soon. Only ‘could’ because this is far from done, there is still the possibility that down a line of 2 years parliament will prefer no deal versus a bad deal. And there is a huge incentive for EU to give a bad package, if they take it, ‘goodbye and good riddance’, if they don’t they keep the UK in, which is a significant contributor to the overall budget… Too much to let them go? ISM non-Manufacturing PMI later today expected at 57. EURUSD is just moving a few pips here and there, trading around 1.0670 while GBPUSD is up back above 1.2475. EURGBP cross rate is trading around 1.2480.