The grains market took a breather last night, with the speculators winding off a couple of the positions taken ahead of the vote in Crimea, which saw a unanimously vote to cede back to Russia. Given the vote was completed in a very orderly fashion, with little drama, they saw fit to exit the positions, while we wait for the intricate details are worked out. The USDA planting intention and stocks report due at the end of the month is hovering over the heads of most of the trade, and could be a game changer for price, with some indicating 20-30 USc/bu of downside, if the numbers forecast to date miss the mark. Corn and Soybeans are both on notice prior to the report being released. The first week of April will also see the USDA return to crop condition reports which will hopefully give us the information that we have been missing on the progress of the US Wheat crop.

Cotton is seemingly still on its slow upward trend, pushing towards the high of last Thursday night of 93.75 USc/lb, whilst May lost a few points, the spread to July did narrow slightly. Interestingly cotton could come under fire from the comments made by the Agricultural Development Bank of China, which has called for the reduction of Chinese strategic reserves, to lessen the pressure and difficulty, when it comes to capital flows and management of the 3rdbiggest lender in the country. The thought of this happening would get the market running for the hills.

Our dollar has found some support from the orderly referendum result in Crimea, which has seen some risk on appetite come to the market. The RBA’s minutes, did little at 11.30 this morning, as the market had already priced in the information, given Mr Stevens spoke to the senate enquiry last week.

The local grains market is still firm, wheat and barley are continuing to find support, but the delivery period is now stretching out to April/May/June as the end users look to secure some cover ahead of time. This could be the time to extract just a little more value for your grain if you are prepared to offer a parcel for deferred delivery. Sorghum prices are picking up on the back of the some decreases in expected production on both the Plains and Central Queensland. The chickpea market has cooled off from last weeks rally, and it could be a few days until we see the market wake up again. Last weeks buyers have been trying to off load those purchases in the box and destination markets, but prices paid last week don’t seem to be attracting any interest internationally.