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Market Report 7th May 2018


Markets rally sharply on the week as risk premium is built for challenging crop conditions in parts of US, SA and Black Sea.

  • US weekly exports reported at 1.9mmt for corn, well above market expectations. Wheat underwhelmed with just 328k reported (450k/week required to meet current USDA targets).

  • US funds estimated net short 52.8k (wheat), long 210.9k (corn) 124.3k (soybeans).

  • Saudi Arabia buys 545tmt wheat – believed to be German/Baltic origin. Iraq also announces a tender for 50tmt wheat from US/AUS/Can origin.

  • Ag Rural cut 17/18 Safrinha Brazilian corn production by 4.5% to 57.2mmt. Total corn output placed at 87.6mmt (USDA 92mmt).

  • Stats Canada suggest Canadian farmers intend to plant 25.3m/a total wheat area 2018 (up 12.8% on this season).

  • Sterling will be closely monitored this week - BOE interest rate meeting scheduled for Thursday 10th .

  • AHDB data shows UK barley usage in animal feed production of 934tmt, up 20.9% on this time last year.

WEATHER/CROP DEVELOPMENT

  • US Corn Belt planting progress increased to 39% complete (above most trade estimates). 44% the 5 year average.

  • Forecasts for the week suggest light rains are to be followed by heavier towards Friday, potentially hindering field work. Prevent plant dates are 2/3 weeks away, so there still appears a good opportunity for the crop to be planted.

  • Kansas Wheat Tour estimated average yields at 37b/a versus 48b/a last year and a 5 year average of 41b/a.

  • US winter wheat plantings improved by 1% to 34% g/e

  • US spring wheat planting progress increased from 10% to 30% last week (51% average for this time of year). Forecasts for the Northern Plains suggest some rains over the next 2 weeks, though not of enough severity to hinder plantings.

  • Argentine Corn harvest delays continue, with wet weather expected for much of this week. Extended forecast do suggest drier conditions are upcoming however.

  • Ukraine corn planting progress reported at 63% complete versus 53% this time last year.

  • Southern Russia/Ukraine continue to look hot/dry for the next 2 weeks, with little change evident in the extended outlooks for May.

BOTTOM LINE:

  • Market strength continues as ongoing weather issues in US/SA/FSU provide enough doubt around 2018 supply to justify additional risk premium.

  • USDA data due for release on Thursday will be the next fundamental target for the trade. Risk of consolidation pre-report is a possibility given the extent of the recent rally, also bearing in mind the sizeable longs in corn/soybeans.

  • That aside, US/FSU weather will likely continue to be the key drivers day-to-day, with the ongoing US/China trade situation also likely to be monitored for developments.

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