Traders Taking Note of Spring Wheat Crop Concerns

August 17, 2011 01:34 AM


What Traders are Talking About:

* Wheat crop concerns build. Early spring wheat yield results from the Northern Plains have been disappointing, coming in below expectations. Late-season rains in the region are also causing quality concerns. As a result, traders are building some premium into Minneapolis wheat futures. Plus, traders are worried about persistent dryness in the the Central and Southern Plains and the impact that will have on winter wheat plantings.

The long and short of it: Crop concerns have pushed wheat futures into a leadership role on "up" days for now, but wheat doesn't have strong enough fundamentals to lead a sustained price rally.

* NWS: Hot and dry in western Corn Belt; cooler in eastern Belt. The National Weather Service forecast for Aug. 22-26 calls for below-normal temps across much of the eastern Corn Belt, normal temps in central areas of the region and above-normal temps in the western Belt. Below-normal precip is forecast for the western Corn Belt and western Illinois, while most of the eastern Corn Belt is forecast to see normal precip during the period.

The long and short of it: The forecast calling for hot, dry conditions in the western Belt is one to watch as the corn and soybean crops fill as that's the good area of the Corn Belt this year.

* Euro-zone worries remain. Data Tuesday showed the euro-zone grew at only 0.2% in the second quarter, due largely to sluggish growth in Germany -- the region's top economy. Adding to investor unease is the lack of a debt solution after French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met. France and Germany unveiled far-reaching plans for closer euro-zone integration and tighter debt rules, as well as reviving the idea of a financial transaction tax, but said "Eurobond" issuance is not currently on the table.

The long and short of it: The biggest day-to-day impact on euro-zone happenings are on currencies, gold and the stock market, while grain/soy traders are trying to focus more on fundamentals.


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