The markets all finished in the red overnight, with the trade preferring to be on the sidelines prior to the USDA reports to be released Friday (US time). A flurry of selling saw the March wheat contract finish below the 600 USc/bushel mark, the lowest close in the spot month in some 26 months, Corn continued to be pressured by the prospect for improved South American production and healthy global supply. Similarly, the soybean complex saw a loss for the day, but future months had heavier losses, with oilseed supply expected to improve over the coming weeks as the South American crop rounds into harvest, and the prospect of China cancelling US cargoes in favour of cheaper Brazilian beans.

The rally of the last two sessions in the cotton market came to an abrupt halt overnight, with concern about the pace of purchases from China, as mill interest dropped away the closer the funds pushed prices closer to 85c/lb. Earlier in the week, a Chinese government official indicated that cotton area would be decreased by as much as 15% in the coming season, as many farmers switch to food production, over fibre.

Our dollar has held its ground at the 89 cent level for most of the week. Overnight, the US Fed Minutes from the December meeting were released, which showed that economic growth is still continuing to pick-up in the US, and the private sector added some 238,000 jobs in December. Local data is less forthcoming, and it is expected we will continue to bob around these levels for the next week or so.

The domestic grains market is looking for grain! Most are considering “wheat as wheat” if it is still held on farm. North of Moree has seen SWF (70/10) trade at close to the $300 mark for movement in January, with little if any premium for protein wheat, other than a couple of shorts. In the track system, it is a similar tune north of Narrabri, whilst Central West and Liverpool Plains growers are still being subject to export track pricing. The sorghum market has held onto prices of earlier this week, but grower selling remains limited, with some uncertainty over production and quality, namely test weigh. We are keen to see some offers on Durum to fill a buyers requirement, and we have buyers looking to secure barley for delivery in February and March. We are also interested in APH1 & APH2 in the system, or on farm for prompt pick-up.