In today’s Breakfast Brief, we look at El Nino, European winter wheat conditions, and weighing the options and opportunities in the future.
“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” – Tom Stoppard (British playwright)
Similarly, the recent cold spell in North America is creating questions over the winter hardiness of the US winter wheat crop. Granted, there’s a lot of supply out there and until the first fields come out of dormancy and we get a better idea of their conditions (much like in China, or in the Black Sea, or anywhere else), it’s healthy to have a patient plan.
European Winter Wheat Conditions
European winter wheat crops are doing alright as the recent cold spell they’ve experienced across the pond has stunted growth after an unusually warm start to winter created some concerns over the dormancy status of the crops. While it got extremely cold in Poland and some winterkill will result because of a lack of snow cover, there may be more pest / diseases issues in Britain thanks to early winter rains. In France, things continue to look good so it’s unlikely that we’ll see too much deviation from the condition ratings of the soft wheat crop when reporting resumes in February (it went in as 98% good-to-excellent!). Heading east, Russia’s weather monitoring agency says that 89% of winter crops in the nation are in good-to-satisfactory condition, which equates to about 40 million acres of winter seed crops that are doing well (comparably, 4.5 million acres, or 11% of winter acres, are n thinned or weak condition).
With pulse crop prices seeing decent demand, not only are Canadian producers asking “just how much should I plant”, a similar debate is ongoing in a few other places like Europe and especially Australia. In some regions, there are doubts that too many acres will go into cereals if prices remain elevated (hard to ignore right!). On that note, ABARES is forecasting Aussie sorghum acres to continue to increase in 2015/16 to 1.73 million acres (+8% year-over-year) thanks to improved rainfall in December. However, the move to more sorghum acres may not be the smartest bet as China’s demand for the coarse grain has started to wane. As such and as previously mentioned, depending on the region, more acres might sway away from the traditional row crops and into those where the demand is currently there.
With this in mind, it’s important to take stock of the opportunities that have been presented to us this winter thus far. If you are growing pulse crops this year, there have been (and still are) some great opportunities to contract new crop acres with Act of God clauses. We’ve seen new crop durum levels move above $9/bushel while we continue to preach that it’s worthwhile to look at contracting new crop wheat, corn, and/or even soybeans on a basis basis (that is not a typo – pun intended!) and then be able to price the futures out sometime between now and harvest. You, nor I, nor any other analyst or farmer out there can tell with 100% certainty that come harvest time in 8-9 months, exactly what the price is going to be. As such, being able to lock in some price risk now on 10-40% of your potential production (depending on today’s value, relative to 5-year averages) is healthy. However, are you ready today to take advantage of bullish headlines and, as I like to say, “Sell on the rumour, and profit on the fact”? As such, check out some the bids currently posted on FarmLead and/or, post your offer to make a sale on something in order to ensure it’s exposed to the 100s of our verified grain buyers on FarmLead.
Today’s the last day of Manitoba Ag Days in Brandon, MB (and then FarmTech next week in Edmonton!! So far this month, over 325 new farmers have signed up on FarmLead to expand their grain marketing plan. Stop by our booth (see map here) to see what all the buzz is about.
At 6:48 AM CDT in the North American futures markets:
(all prices in dollars per bushel unless otherwise indicated)
$1 USD = $1.446 CAD, $1 CAD = $0.6915 USD)
Mar Corn: +1.5¢ (+0.4%) to $3.703 USD or $5.354 CAD
Mar Soybeans: -0.3¢ (-0.05%) to $8.738 USD or $12.634 CAD
Mar Soybean Meal (per short ton): -$0.10 (-0.05%) to $269.70 USD or $389.99 CAD
Mar Soybean Oil (cents per lbs): -0.16¢ (-0.55%) to 29.65¢ USD or 42.87¢ CAD
Mar Oats: -3¢ (-1.45%) to $2.015 USD or $2.914 CAD
Mar Wheat (Chicago): +0.8¢ (+0.15%) to $4.723 USD or $6.829 CAD
Mar Wheat (Kansas City): +2.5¢ (+0.55%) to $4.698 USD or $6.793 CAD
Mar Wheat (Minneapolis): +0.3¢ (+0.05%) to $4.95 USD or $7.158 CAD
Mar Canola: -2.7¢/bu / -$1.20/MT (-0.25%) to $7.584/bu / $334.41/MT USD or $10.968/bu / $483.60/MT CAD
Yesterday’s Winnipeg ICE Close
Mar Barley: unchanged at $2.751 USD or $4.028 CAD
Mar Durum Wheat: unchanged at $6.208 USD or $9.09 CAD
Mar Milling Wheat: -2.7¢ (-0.4%) to $4.592 USD or $6.641 CAD
COMMODITY TRADING INVOLVES RISK AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL RECIPIENTS OF THIS POST. Neither the information presented, nor any opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any commodities. The thoughts expressed in this email and basic data from which they are derived are believed to be reliable, but cannot be guaranteed due to uncertainty about future events and complexities surrounding commodity markets. Those acting on the information are responsible for their own actions.