Western Europe is waiting from the Beast from the East, US is dry, South American weather is also playing up. There’s a lot to stress about… If Soybeans got a bit of a respite (-2.00 cents), Corn was pushed higher +2.25 cents and Wheat +7.25 cents in Chicago and +8.75 cents in Kansas. The February ratings for winter wheat were not super pretty, keeping degrading overall… 13% G/E in Kansas (top producing state), 4% in Oklahoma, 34% in Colorado, 62% in Montana, 48% in Nebraska and 19% in South Dakota. Minneapolis was under spread pressure, closing down -4.75 cents, the premium to Chicago decreased to 136.50 cents and 118.25 cents to Kansas. On the other side of the Pond, +€0.75 on MATIF and +£0.35 on London Feed. In Chicago, funds bought 15,500 Corn and 7,000 Wheat while they were even on Soybeans.
Market will have to come to the conclusion that after years or beating record back to back, this is coming to come to an end, grains stocks cannot indefinitely grow. However, not beating a record is not necessary bullish as such, especially if the year posted is the second or third biggest. But at the moment, this is all about the weather and in 6 weeks we’ll have a better view of what is really happening on the northern hemisphere.
Night session is a quiet one, Soybeans ticking up, Corn ticking down, but Wheat still up +2.25 cents in Chicago, +4.75 cents in Kansas and flattish in Minneapolis. The current chatter is to compare all the last years US Drought Monitor with final wheat yield to try to do projections. Reality is that the rains in spring are the most determinant for the yield. So wait and see chaps! So far European markets are expected flat, but ticking higher would be realistic.
US Export Inspections where a very little 280.2kT for wheat, 69% of the target is completed, versus 71% on average… Dangerous territory! However, it is still in advance compared to last year (66%). It’s more an issue for soybeans, even with the new USDA target: with only 762.0kT this week, only 66% of the target is completed, versus 73% last year and 72% on average. Corn inspections were the best of the lot with 1,305.9kT, but there’s still a long way as only 34% of the target is completed versus 42% on average and 44% last year.
Ukraine soybean harvest is seen down -5.91% by UkAgroConsult, basically hitting the exports. Well it’s not like it’s a major crop for Ukraine and the world balance sheet. It doesn’t necessarily give an indication that crops are under stress as sunflower and rapeseed should compensate it and overall, a raise of +5% to 14.25MT of oilseeds is expected. China sold 22,259T of its reserve in an auction, representing 11.09% of the amount offered.
Jeremy Corbyn in the UK wants to push MP Theresa May to stay in some kind of custom union. It seems like it’s a journey where Labour party will ultimately want to keep the free market and the free movement. This is a political strategy for sure, he’s hoping to get Tories rebel on its side and he wants an election to be triggered at some point. GBPUSD is trading around 1.3950 and GBPEUR cross rate above 1.1315. Mario Draghi hinted the Eurozone economic slack may be bigger than initially thought. So less inflation? Less ECB stimulus? EURUSD is trading around 1.2330.