Weather in the US appears to have turned against us, as quick as a Jonathon Thurston left foot step, and it has turned an outlook which provided us with a glimmer of hope (Maybe NSW can win a State of Origin), to one that is considerably less favourable (NSW cannot win a State of Origin). US Soybean and Corn crops look set to benefit from a now improved weather pattern, which looks set to provide reasonable precipitation across most of the growing area during their key reproductive stages. Not even the expectation of good weekly sales into China to be confirmed tomorrow could provide any upside, with pressure from other origin corn coming to market at a significant discount. The wheat market could do little but follow its row crop cousins, with the winter wheat crop harvest closing in on completion. Crop damage across China could now total as much as 10mmt, which provided some support to the market. China has also put a tender out for 500kmt of Australian wheat overnight, which should help to support local prices.
The cotton market took reports of rain across most of West Texas as gospel, but with a 40-50% of the crop in the state abandoned, or sitting on the edge, the benefits of 20-30ml of rain just don’t seem to stack too highly, without continued follow-up events. Mill buying has been very limited on the open market, with the Chinese state reserve daily auction offering good quality international growths. These reserve auctions look set to wind up at the end of the month, as more Chinese domestic production starts to come to market. Ecom’s prices today are $470 for current crop & $464 for 14 crop.
Our dollar has been teetering on the words of Mr Bernanke as he enters his second day of congressional testimony, trading another 150pt range overnight. Most are looking to the comments made overnight, and today as a key direction for the next Fed meeting to start in a fortnight on July 31. Mr Bernanke’s opening comments of the QE program not being on a “preset course” seem vastly different to those of only a couple of weeks ago.
Local prices have come under pressure from a weakening futures prices, and stronger currency markets. New crop remains around the high $280’s track Newcastle and Brisbane, however prices in the $290s can be found for certain sites in the north which attract a premium. Old crop prices have remained firm, but a way’s short of the prices we saw at the start of the month. Sorghum with moisture out of spec, is now proving harder to find homes for. High protein wheat (above 14% protein) has been in demand into the packers in Narrabri, at prices close to or better than those of harvest time. The canola market has been quiet following improvement in the international oilseed market. For growers with new crop faba’s, we have seen prices jump into Narrabri to the $370’s for #1’s, with discounts to the number #2 quality grade dependent upon variety, whilst the chickpea market is languishing under limited enquiry whilst the subcontinent continues to celebrate Ramadan.