Gleadells managing director, David Sheppard comments on the wheat market:
International Grains Council raises 2014/15 global wheat and corn production / stocks corn stocks to a 27-year high.
USDA expected to raise US corn yields in next weeks report stocks seen topping 2bln bushels.
Russian grains exports forecast to fall in September following record August of 4.1mln t this takes total tonnage shipped in first two months to 7.26mln t (includes 6.4mln tw heat).
Ukraines grainexports jump to 5.01mln t in July-August (2.75mln t wheat / 1.89mln t barley /0.37mln t corn).
Canadian wheat stocks expected to climb to 20-year high.
Egypt’s state buyer GASC purchases 120,000t wheat (half Romanian, half French) for Oct 1-10 shipment.
German farm ministry puts 2014 wheat crop at 27.9mln t, an increase of 12% on the year.
Russian government talks of buying 5mln t of grain into intervention scheme although no details are yet released.
Generally the markets had been quiet, but weaker, pressured by the potential of record US corn output and supported by tensions in Ukraine.
However,the rumour that Moscow had agreed a cease-fire with Ukraine was enough to send all markets down to new contract lows. It was later clarified that presidents Putin and Poroshenko had agreed steps towards a cease-fire.
All eyes will be on the USDA report due out next week, with the expected increase in US corn yield seen pushing US stocks above 2bn bushels (305 mln t).
EU markets have mainly been concentrating on sorting out quality issues. Markets,already pressured by the strong export pace coming out of the Black Sea, saw a few crumbs of comfort with an aggressive offer of French wheat to Egypt. While 60,000t was booked, more was offered, reiterating not only the quality problem the French have this season, but also a potential storage problem as traders/merchant try to segregate the various qualities to suit the feed/milling and export homes.
TheUK remains in a stop-start harvest as growers try to get the last percentage of the crop. The delays in harvest, coinciding with a return of wetter weather, mean some sort of drying will be needed. Domestic demand still remains far from robust, even with LIFFE slumping to a four-year low, as end-users and traders alike concentrate only on nearby positions.
In summary, the news of the hoped-for cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine could be the final straw to break the markets back. The threat of increased tension and potential export restrictions had provided some level of support, but with this threat now somewhat abated, it could signal the next downward price movement.
As mentioned above, the USDA is expected to produce an increasingly bearish corn/soy report, with wheat playing second fiddle. Egypt may have given France hope, but this may be short lived unless a shortage of storage forces more aggressive offers. Finding a bullish argument is hard at present, with only the potential of Russian intervention, or a return to hostilities in the Ukraine, the most likely.