The latest update by the USDA on world supply and demand released overnight focused on the fundamental factors of production and ending stocks, rather than the effects of the standoff on the Crimean peninsular, which has been the driving force behind the main market moves over the last fortnight. A number of analysts had predicted a bullish outcome, but were disappointed with the final wash up. The wheat market saw production increased globally, but that was countered by increased use, and stock to use ration which remained unchanged, when most had hoped to see tightening of ending stocks. The corn market saw an increase in ending stocks. Decreases in Brazilian and Argentine production which had been released by local country sources didn’t appear to filter through tothis report, and may have the position between 3-5mmt over accounted. US corn stocks where trimmed slightly on increased ethanol production and feed use. Soybeans/oilseed should have had a bullish night, but tightening stocks, and decreases in South American production was still countered by the rumour of China cancelling some 18 shipments of soybeans from Brazil in recent days, which pressured the market lower.
The cotton market expected the USDA report that was provided and this didn’t really shock the market a great deal, US stocks decreased to 2.8m bales, but world stocks have been quoted at approx 97m bales. The market was sold off ahead of the report being release, but managed to hold above the former resistance level of 90.44 USc/lb and finished in positive territory. Cotton remains in an upward trend which will hopefully continue to push up toward last Friday’s high of 93.35 USc/lb.
Our currency has remained above the 90 cent level, but has come under a little bit of pressure this afternoon, after reports from China of decreasing iron ore and copper imports in the month of February (key Aussie exports). As a side note, it was reported yesterday that a Chinese energy company defaulted on an bond interest payment of approximately $15m USD, which might be a sign that the Chinese economic growth really isn’t going as well as everyone had thought.
Domestically, most were hoping that something would come of the two cyclones in North Queensland, but with that turning into a mostly non-event, the wheat market is continuing to make new season highs, approaching the $370’s delivered Brisbane, high $350’s Darling Downs for SFW or better quality. The Newcastle market for wheat remains less impressive, but grain from the central west is working both to Newcastle destinations, as well as Southern Queensland feedlots. The barley market is remaining at its recent highs, but sellers are continuing to hold their grain as the spread to wheat begins to widen. We have started to find some off grade sorghum homes, mostly on the Downs, whilst Sorghum 1 remains a tightly held commodity, with growers preferring to wait until we get a start to harvest on the Liverpool Plains. The chickpea market has woken up in the last 24-48 hours, and prices have jumped up considerably. The numbers are by far the best we have seen since July 2013, on the back of what has been reported as a chance of rain events which could disrupt production on the subcontinent. We have homes in Warren, Narrabri, Moree, Goondiwindi, the Downs and Brisbane, and have interest in both old crop (2012 harvest) and recent crop (2013 harvest).