Linked In
News In
Linked In

You are viewing your 1 complimentary article.

Register now to receive full access.

Already registered?

Login | Join us now

Morning markets:wheat leads crop gains as dryness fears grow

Twitter Linkedin eCard

Agricultural commodities started firm again, against a background of improved Chinese demand ideas, even as some other risk assets stalled ahead of a European meeting to sort out eurozone debt.



, for instance, baulked at reports that European Union leaders were still in disagreement over some important parts of a rescue deal, and fell 0.2%



, that market safe haven, edged higher against a basket of currencies.

But commodities managed improvements as investors continued to take succour in data earlier this week showing a recovery in Chinese manufacturing. London


stood 2% higher.

Wheat dynamics

And, among the grains, we are not just talking about the likes of




as Chinese imports, but now


and even



Reports continue to filter in about the purchase of Australian wheat, now seen prices at about $275-280 a tonne including freight, some $50 cheaper than US corn.

"It would make economic sense that the majority, if not all, the Chinese business was priced during the late September and early October price correction," Jon Michalscheck at broker Benson Quinn Commodities said, adding that he doubted "there is any tonnage being booked at the current price levels".

And among the rash of data coming out of China's CNGOIC crop think tank is one that the country is down to 420,000 tonnes in feed wheat in state reserves.

China's latest wheat auction, on Tuesday, sold 103,155 tonnes at 1,710-1,809 yuan ($270-284) a tonne against a background of elevated corn prices, exceeding 100,000 tonnes for the first time since April.

Indeed, the previous auction, on October 18, sold 75,181 tonnes.

Puzzling rally

Cotton, of which China is the top producer, consumer and importer, rose 0.3% to 99.98 cents a pound in New York, for December delivery, as of 07:45 GMT (08:45 UK time) extending a rally which has even some of the most experienced hands flummoxed.

Veteran trader Mike Stevens, based in Louisiana, said he knew of "no cotton specific news" behind Tuesday's rally.

Luke Mathews at Commonwealth Bank of Australia noted Monday's Chinese import data showing a 26% jump, year on year, in buy-ins in September, adding: "Yet the monthly improvement comes on the back of a dull year for imports."

Certainly, cotton futures in China itself remained dull, with the Zhengzhou's May contract easing 10 yuan to 20,290 yuan a tonne.

'Creeping concerns'

Back to wheat, and another reason for support in the grain was growing doubts over the welfare of newly sown crops in Ukraine and the southern US.

Besides US Department of Agriculture data showing that only 47% of the US winter wheat crop is rated good or excellent, in line with last year's dryness-affected performance by down from 62% two years ago, some 30% of the Ukraine crop is seen in poor health.

Only 53% of the Ukraine crop has emerged, with winter approaching.

"Whilst early days, these creeping concerns have the potential to add further support to grain prices on a 6-12 month horizon," Paul Deane at Australia & New Zealand Bank said.

'Harvest disruptions'

Furthermore, there is the rain hitting Australian crops, not so bad in the east, where harvest has yet to begin, but not good news in parts of Western Australia where combines are rolling.

"Widespread rain has fallen across the Western Australia wheat belt over the past 24 hours, with more rain on its way today," CBA's Luke Mathews said.

"Harvest disruptions are occurring in the Geraldton port zone."

Chicago wheat added 1.0% to $6.42 ¾ a bushel for December delivery, with Kansas hard red winter wheat, the stuff being tested by drought, added 0.7% to $7.38 ¾ a bushel for the same month.

Japanese shift

That performance was enough to allow Chicago wheat to pull back some of its discount against corn, which added 0.7% to $6.55 a bushel, despite rumours that Japan, the top corn importer, has been buying from Ukraine, as late as last week.

"We would assume that it was also at a substantial discount to current US values," Mr Michalscheck said.

Market talk has it that Ukraine corn is going for about $6 a bushel.

If the rumours are correct "it will be interesting to see if Japan gives their corn a quality stamp of approval and returns to the table for more tonnage from that region".

Technical influences


gained 0.5% to $12.31 ¾ a bushel for November, with trading gaining an increasingly technical feel now that the fundamental pressure from harvest supplies are fading.

The oilseed, after all, remained astonishingly rangebound for the first eight months of the year. Are they at teh start of fresh rangebound trading?

Mike Mawdsley at Iowa-based Market 1 noted that the contract's nine-day moving average, at 12.38 ¾ a bushel, continued to provide resistance to upward moves, while the 20-day, at $12.12 ¾ a bushel, offered support.

"Note the support are growing around $12.00-12.10 a bushel," he added, noting that the 20-day moving average was flattening around these levels.

Egypt tender

Crops could make larger moves later on if momentous news emerges about the eurozone rescue effort, (as it did on Tuesday, when the cancellations of a finance ministers' meeting spooked markets).

The wheat market also faces the result of the latest grain tender from Egypt, the top importer, the first this month, and the first to include Ukraine on the list of approved suppliers for some years.


Twitter Linkedin eCard
Related Stories

Evening markets: Soybean futures gain, cotton prices jump on US data

Initial USDA forecasts for crop supply and demand for 2018-19 lift soy and cotton prices, but are not so well received in the cotton market

Weekly grain market view from Europe, February 23

EU cold snap could damage crops... UK market prices in closure of Vivergo ethanol plant... Rising Russian wheat prices...

Evening markets: Argentine moisture slips up soymeal rally. But weather revives wheat

Meal futures dip, a little, for the first time in 12 sessions. But wheat futures gain, as drought spreads in Kansas, and cold reaches Europe

Morning markets: Ag futures ease, as traders await key 2018 forecasts

US officials will later on Thursday issue the first of a series of forecasts for US crops in 2018-19. Markets are cautious in the mean time
Home | About | RSS | Commodities | Companies | Markets | Legal disclaimer | Privacy policy | Contact

Our Brands: Comtell | Feedinfo | FGInsight

© 2017 and Agrimoney are trademarks of Agrimoney Ltd
Agrimoney is part of AgriBriefing Ltd
Agrimoney Ltd is registered in England & Wales. Registered number: 09239069