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Market Report 26th Jan 2018

January 30, 2018

Weaker dollar and concerns around US HRW conditions help drive fund short covering this week, with CBOT Wheat up circa $7.

  • EU Commission reduce soft wheat crop estimate 500tmt to 141.5mmt. Exports also reduced 500tmt to 25.5mmt.

  • EU corn imports estimated to total 9.29mmt since July, up 54.5% on this time last year. Spain and the Netherlands the largest importers.

  • Sovecon place Russian wheat exports at approx. 24.2mmt (jul-jan) - record last season of 26.9mmt in total.

  • Algeria buys 500tmt wheat (largely French/Argentinian origin).

  • US weekly wheat sales rebound after several poor weeks, with 427tmt reported (though the US remains off the pace to achieve the current USDA season figure). Weekly corn sales of 1.446mmt reiterates the ongoing strong demand for corn.

  • Informa estimate 2018 US corn acreage at 89.2m/a, down 988t/a on last year.

  • AgriFood Canada suggest 2017/18 wheat production will be down 2.8% on last season, at 24.3mmt. Corn production estimated at 14.5mmt, up 2.9%.

WEATHER/CROP DEVELOPMENT

  • US Drought Moniter Maps show high levels of dryness across large parts of the Southern Plains. The 2 week forecasts currently show little relief.

  • Dry weather persists for large parts of Argentina. Dryness expected to continue for much of the next 2 weeks. Arg corn planting progress 92.4% complete (98% this time last year).

  • Light rains fall across large areas of Brazil last week. Heavy rains expected in Northern Brazil over the coming weeks could delay soybean harvesting as well as safrinha corn plantings.

BOTTOM LINE:

  • Dryness for the US Southern Plains occupied much of the focus this week, with further support from weaker dollar and SA weather driving US funds to cover shorts.

  • Global stocks of wheat remain plentiful, though market attention is beginning to turn increasingly towards new crop and any potential supply issues there.

  • In spite of the recent spate of US dryness, the trade remains conscious it’s still January and good rains would likely improve wheat crops significantly. As such, expect US/SA weather in particular to help shape direction day-to-day, with the US crop condition report due this pm likely to be closely watched.

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