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Morning markets: weather risks stall wheat price correction

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Is the correction in

wheat

over?

The grain certainly showed signs of resilience in early deals on Thursday, having lost more than 7% in Chicago since Russia, a fierce price competitor, over the weekend announced it is to lift its grain export ban next month.

While Asian share markets continued the round of declines caused by weak US economic data, with Tokyo's Nikkei index closing down 1.7%, and oil stayed on the downward path too, falling 0.6% in New York back below $100 a barrel, wheat regained strength from the weather worries facing crops in many countries.

Rain and rodents

"The availability of wheat exports from Russia will be a temporary factor as poor weather continues to plague the US, the European Union and Canada," Rabobank analysts said.

While Europe, at least, is expected to receive some rain relief, over the next 10 days or so, "conditions remain too wet in parts of Canada and the northern US plains, while the southern US plains are still in drought", Luke Mathews at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said.

"Concern over developing dryness will remain in the former Soviet Union and east-central China" too.

At least winter planting weather in Australia itself is improving, with Western Australia, usually the top grains state, receiving light rain – and just as a new threat is emerging to the east coast.

"On the eastern seaboard it is not moisture, but mice that are causing headaches," Mr Mathews said.

"Plagues of mice south of Dubbo, into Victoria and South Australia are eating their way through emerging canola and wheat crops - forcing many producers to replant."

'Sizeable rationing'

And all this before factoring in the potential for more spillover feed demand for wheat, given the difficulties that weather (too wet this time) is posing for US

corn

growers too.

Linn Group has talked of US corn sowings falling this year, by 1m acres to 87.2m acres, rather than soaring to 92.2m acres as the US Department of Agriculture has pencilled in, and a loss equivalent, at average yields, to the loss of well over 700m bushels of potential crop.

"If realised, a sizeable amount of rationing would need to be done in all three segments of the usage side of the equation - feed, ethanol, and exports," Jon Michalscheck at Benson Quinn Commodities said.

"It would also be imperative that the global market does not have a disaster in the wheat production as this could be another one of those years where sizeable amounts of wheat may have to be feed around the world to offset the short fall in feed grains."

Fund question

Wheat recovered 0.5% to $7.62 ¾ a bushel in Chicago for July, with its peer in Minneapolis, where spring wheat is traded, adding 0.4% to $10.09 a bushel as of 07:30 GMT (08:30 UK time).

New crop September wheat added 0.6% to $9.81 a bushel in Minneapolis.

And this despite some weakness in corn, which eased 0.1% to $7.57 ¾ a bushel for July delivery, having gained support in the last session from the slow pace of US sowings.

Soybeans

, however, maintained upward direction, gaining 0.2% to $13.89 ½ a bushel for July, having enjoyed what Mike Mawdsley at Market 1 termed a "good close" to the last session, which returned the contract comfortable above its nine-day moving average.

Technically, "soybeans are waiting to see if there is enough fund money to push us over $14.00 a bushel, or take us back under $13.50 and then $13.00", he added.

Chart signal

Elsewhere, old crop

cotton

was firm too, adding 0.6% to 162.00 cents a pound in New York, and keeping up its recent revival.

"Nearby cotton prices appear to have formed a bottom in the market, with the July contract trading away from the 200-day moving average line, albeit on smaller volume that earlier in the year," Rabobank said.

However, the new crop December lot proved, again, less resolute, easing 1.2% to 135.60 cents a pound.

In Kuala Lumpur,

palm oil

for August added 0.5% to 3,375 ringgit a tonne on hopes that a pre-Ramadan jump in demand will begin to make itself felt.

By Agrimoney.com

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