Ukraine Reportedly Bans Wheat Exports

October 19, 2012 12:59 AM

What Traders are Talking About:

* Ukraine to ban wheat exports. Trade sources signal Ukraine will ban wheat exports starting Nov. 15, although there has been no official confirmation by the country's ag ministry. The sources indicate Ukraine will honor its agreed-to, 5 MMT cap on wheat exports prior to that date, although it's uncertain if the cutoff applies to sales or physical shipments. Currently, Ukraine has exported around 3.5 MMT of wheat, but export sources indicate there's plenty of wheat to ship another 1.5 MMT in relatively short order.

The long and short of it: The ban on wheat exports was inevitable, but is still supportive for wheat futures. Traders are expecting other Black Sea countries to follow with similar moves as exportable supplies are tight after drought impacted production this year.

* China: Not so fast on trade data. China's Ministry of Commerce says while the September trade data released earlier this week was positive, it's premature to signal the corner has been turned. "We are happy to see that the September trade data has shown some positive changes. But with only a single month's figure, it is still not enough to judge a trend of recovery due to the complicated external economic environment. We will continue to implement measures to stabilize trade growth and try to maintain the our market share in the global trade," ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said.

The long and short of it: The caution on the trade data signals China is still concerned with the economic environment in the European Union, its No. 1 customer, with good reason. While headwinds from Europe have eased mildly, they will blow harder again at some point.

* CME Group to reduce trade hours? CME Group is reportedly in talks with the grain industry to possibly reduce grain trading hours, according to a Reuters story. A source familiar with the talks told Reuters CME Group is considering moving the close of trade back to 1:15 p.m. CT. No change in trading hours is expected prior to Jan. 1.

The long and short of it: Grain traders and market users have complained the current 21-hour grain trading session spreads volume out over too long of a period, leading the "dead" periods and times of "flash" trading.



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