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Colin Packham

GRAINS-Corn jumps 1% to hit 5-year high as forecast stokes supply woes

15 Jul 2019

* Corn hits high of $4.64-3/4 a bushel * Wheat follows corn higher * Soybeans hit more than 1-year high By Colin Packham SYDNEY, July 15 U.S. corn futures rose as much as 1% on Monday to hit a five-year high as forecasts for hot, dry weather across a key North American growing region stoked fears that crops could face further damage. Wheat edged higher, drawing support from corn, while soybeans firmed to hit a more than one-year high. The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade Cv1 were up 0.9% at $4.63-1/2, as of 0231 GMT, near a session high of $4.64-3/4 a bushel - the highest since June 2014. Corn gained 2.5% in the previous session. Analysts said forecasts for unfavourable weather were supporting prices. "Its too hot and the market is weighing up the very real prospect of supply issues," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank. The forecasts for hot, dry weather comes on the back of recent adverse weather, which has weighed on the condition of crops. This is likely to be on stark display again when U.S. Department of Agriculture reports its latest condition report on Monday. The USDA last week said 57% of the nation's corn crop was in good-to-excellent shape, as of July 7, down from 75% a year earlier. The most active wheat futures climbed 0.7% to $5.26-1/2 a bushel, having closed up 0.3% on Friday. Analysts said fears about global production continue to support prices. The USDA last week lowered its forecast of world wheat production in 2019/20 by over 9 million tonnes, including a 3.8 million decrease to projected output in top exporter Russia. The most active soybean futures were up 0.2% at $9.33-1/2 a bushel, near the session high of $9.36-1/2 a bushel - the highest since June 2018; soybeans firmed 1.6% on Friday. The USDA lowered its U.S. 2019-20 soybean production estimate but a cut to expected exports reinforced demand concerns amid a trade dispute with China and a spreading pig disease that has also cut Chinese demand for soybeans in feed. Grains prices at 0231 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 526.50 3.50 +0.67% +0.96% 523.59 52 CBOT corn 463.50 4.25 +0.93% +3.46% 442.76 70 CBOT soy 933.50 2.00 +0.21% +1.77% 911.52 69 CBOT rice 11.86 -$0.05 -0.42% -0.63% $11.78 77 WTI crude 59.92 -$0.29 -0.48% -0.47% $56.02 64 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.127 $0.000 -0.02% +0.13% USD/AUD 0.7029 0.001 +0.17% +0.80% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

GRAINS-Wheat falls but set for first weekly gain in a month

12 Jul 2019

* Wheat falls from 10-day high touched on Thursday * Soybeans flat, set to finish the week up 3% * Corn steady, set for second straight weekly gain By Colin Packham SYDNEY, July 12 U.S. wheat futures edged lower on Friday, retreating from a near two-week high touched in the previous session, but the grain was poised to record its first weekly gain in a month following forecasts for lower global production. Soybeans held steady as the oilseed was poised to record weekly gains of nearly 3%, while corn remained unchanged. The most active wheat futures contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.1% at $5.20-1/4 a bushel after rallying more than 3% on Thursday when prices hit a high of $5.23 a bushel - the highest since July 1. As a result, wheat is on course to finish the week up 1%, the first weekly gain in a month. Analysts said the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) supply and demand forecast report were driving the weekly gains. "The USDA published sharply lower production (and export estimates for Russia, the world's largest exporter. The USDA also cut their estimates for the EU, Ukraine, Australia and Canada," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "The new numbers mean a substantial shrinkage in export expectations in the global wheat market." The USDA lowered its forecast of 2019/20 global wheat ending stocks to 286.46 million tonnes, down from 294.34 million in June and near the low end of a range of analyst expectations. The most active corn futures were steady at $4.48 a bushel after closing up 1.9% on Thursday. Corn is up more than 1% for the week, the second straight weekly gain. The USDA raised its production forecast for corn to 13.875 billion bushels, based on its larger-than-expected June 28 planted acreage estimate of 91.7 million acres. The government left its estimate of the U.S. corn yield unchanged at 166.0 bushels per acre, while most analysts in a Reuters survey had expected a slight reduction. The most active soybean futures were steady at $9.17 a bushel after closing up 0.9% on Thursday. Soybeans are up more than 2.5% for the week, the biggest weekly gain in a month. The USDA lowered its U.S. 2019-20 soybean production estimate to 3.845 billion bushels, down from 4.150 billion in June. The USDA cut its soybean yield estimate to 48.5 bushels per acre, from 49.5 in June, a slightly below market estimates. Grains prices at 0255 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 520.75 -0.75 -0.14% +3.17% 522.88 60 CBOT corn 448.00 0.00 +0.00% +1.93% 441.43 64 CBOT soy 917.00 -0.25 -0.03% +0.47% 909.94 57 CBOT rice 11.90 -$0.03 -0.25% -0.21% $11.78 69 WTI crude 60.47 $0.27 +0.45% +0.07% $55.81 69 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.126 $0.001 +0.10% +0.12% USD/AUD 0.6983 0.001 +0.14% +0.37% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

GRAINS-Soybeans retreat from 10-day high as market awaits USDA report

11 Jul 2019

SYDNEY, July 11 U.S. soybeans edged lower on Thursday, falling from a 10-day high touched earlier in the session, as traders readied for a widely watched U.S. government report that is expected to lay bare the impact of recent adverse weather.

Australia promises national vote on recognition of indigenous people by 2022

10 Jul 2019

SYDNEY Australia will hold a national vote within three years on whether to include recognition of indigenous people in its constitution, the government said on Wednesday, an issue that has spurred decades of often heated debate. | Video

GRAINS-Corn prices drop to 1-week low as U.S. weather improves

10 Jul 2019

* Market fears over U.S. crops ease * Wheat prices fall to 1-mth low, soybeans edge down By Colin Packham SYDNEY, July 10 U.S. corn futures fell as much as 1% on Wednesday to hit a one-week low, pressured as forecasts of improved weather for U.S. crops eased fears of widespread yield losses. Wheat prices dropped more than 0.5% to their weakest in a month, while soybeans edged lower. The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.9% at $4.33-1/4 a bushel by 0356 GMT. They earlier touched their lowest since July 3 at $4.31-1/2 a bushel. Corn fell 1.5% in the previous session. Analysts said easing concerns about U.S. production were weighing on prices. "Weather forecasters expect a somewhat better turn in U.S. Midwest crop conditions. That at least means that corn crops are unlikely to suffer any further setbacks," said Tobin Gorey, director, agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its weekly crop report on Monday that 57% of the U.S. corn crop was in good-to-excellent condition, up from 56% last week and matching analyst expectations. The most active wheat futures were down 0.8% at $4.99 a bushel. That was near their session-low of $4.98-1/4 a bushel, the weakest since June 10. Wheat closed down 1.6% on Tuesday. The USDA said 64% of U.S. winter wheat was in good-to-excellent condition, up from 63% last week and above expectations of 63%. Some 47% of the U.S. winter wheat harvest was completed, above trade expectations for 45%. The most active soybean futures were down 0.3 percent at $9.01-3/4 a bushel, having firmed 0.7% on Tuesday. The USDA said 53% of U.S. soybeans were in good-to-excellent shape, down from 54% last week and bucking analyst expectations for an improvement. Grains prices at 0356 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 499.00 -3.75 -0.75% -2.35% 521.75 39 CBOT corn 433.25 -4.00 -0.91% -2.37% 440.39 46 CBOT soy 901.75 -2.50 -0.28% +0.45% 908.67 47 CBOT rice 11.84 -$0.04 -0.38% +0.94% $11.78 67 WTI crude 58.60 $0.77 +1.33% +1.63% $55.58 60 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.121 $0.000 +0.01% -0.06% USD/AUD 0.6919 -0.001 -0.12% -0.73% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Joseph Radford)

GRAINS-Soybeans edge lower, USDA report on crop condition caps losses

09 Jul 2019

* USDA pegs condition of soybean crop below forecasts * Corn falls for first time in 5 session * Wheat falls despite USDA condition report By Colin Packham SYDNEY, July 9 U.S. soybeans edged lower on Tuesday, but losses were checked after data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed that the condition of North American crops lagged behind market expectations, which led to supply-crunch fears. Corn fell for the first time in five session as prices slumped nearly 1%, while wheat also traded lower. The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.3% at $8.95 a bushel, as of 0409 GMT, having closed down 0.5% on Monday. Analysts said soybeans were under pressure amid broad commodity weakness, but the USDA data was limiting losses. The USDA said 53% of the soybean crop is in good-to-excellent shape, down 1% from last week's report, and behind market forecasts. "The USDA's crop survey published after trading closed, paints a picture of soybeans that are well behind the normal development cycle," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The most active corn futures were down 0.8% at $4.40-1/4 a bushel, having gained 0.3% in the previous session when prices hit a high of $4.48 a bushel - their highest since June 28. Analysts said the improvement in the condition of U.S. crops over the past week was weighing on prices. The USDA said 57% of the corn crop is in good-to-excellent condition, up 1% from last week's report, and matching analysts' expectations. The most active wheat futures were down 0.8% at $5.07 a bushel, having closed up 0.3% on Monday. The USDA said 64% of the winter wheat crop is in good-to-excellent condition, ahead of market forecast. SovEcon and IKAR, the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, on Monday downgraded their forecast for Russia's 2019 wheat crop as they continued to assess the negative impact of June's hot, dry weather. Grains prices at 0409 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 507.00 -4.00 -0.78% -1.55% 522.23 43 CBOT corn 440.25 -3.50 -0.79% -0.45% 440.33 53 CBOT soy 895.00 -2.75 -0.31% +0.06% 907.60 39 CBOT rice 11.73 $0.00 +0.00% +2.00% $11.78 60 WTI crude 57.45 -$0.21 -0.36% -0.10% $55.58 50 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.121 $0.000 -0.03% -0.12% USD/AUD 0.6956 -0.001 -0.20% -0.33% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

GRAINS-Corn jumps 1% as U.S. crop forecast stokes supply woes

08 Jul 2019

* Corn up more than 5% over last four sessions * Warm, dry weather a threat to U.S. crops * Wheat edges higher, soybeans rally despite Chinese uncertainty By Colin Packham SYDNEY, July 8 U.S. corn futures rose 1% on Monday, extending gains into a fourth consecutive session, as forecasts for hot, dry weather stoked fears about yield losses following recent unfavourable conditions. Wheat edged higher as the strength of corn underpinned gains, while soybeans rose more than 0.5%. The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 1% at $4.46-1/2 a bushel, as of 0320 GMT, having gained 0.2% in the previous session. Traders said weather models were supporting prices. "The Midwest is expected to be warm and dry, and this could be damaging to some crops," said a Melbourne-based trader who declined to be named as he is not authorised to talk to the media. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week that 56% of the corn crop is in good-to-excellent as farmers struggle with recent adverse weather. Corn is now up for a fourth straight session, gaining over 5% over the period as prices recover from a surprisingly large forecast from the USDA the last month. In its annual acreage report, the USDA said U.S. farmers seeded 91.7 million acres of corn, well above market expectations. The most active wheat futures climbed 0.2% to $5.16 a bushel, having closed up 0.2% on Friday. The most active soybean futures rose 0.6% to $9.00-1/4 a bushel, having closed down 1.6% on Friday when prices hit a low of $8.93 a bushel - their lowest since June 27. Analysts said soybeans were under pressure from China's continued struggle with African swine fever. Grains prices at 0320 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 516.00 1.00 +0.19% +0.39% 521.97 47 CBOT corn 446.50 4.25 +0.96% +1.19% 439.48 58 CBOT soy 900.25 5.75 +0.64% -0.94% 906.28 42 CBOT rice 11.50 $0.00 +0.00% +2.09% $11.79 48 WTI crude 57.60 $0.09 +0.16% +0.45% $55.62 52 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.123 $0.000 +0.04% -0.50% USD/AUD 0.6986 0.001 +0.10% -0.47% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Australian student released from North Korea says he's 'very good'

04 Jul 2019

SYDNEY/TOKYO An Australian student who was detained in North Korea was freed and safely left the country on Thursday, arriving in Tokyo via Beijing later the same day after Swedish officials helped broker his release. | Video

Australia senate backs $110 billion tax cut plan to boost economy

04 Jul 2019

SYDNEY Australia's upper house Senate passed on Thursday A$158 billion ($110 billion) worth of tax cuts over the next decade, the centrepiece of the conservative government's plan to boost an economy that is threatening to stall.

Australian government poised to secure $110 billion tax cut plan

02 Jul 2019

SYDNEY Australia's conservative government is close to securing enough votes to pass sweeping tax cuts after independent lawmakers said on Tuesday they were poised to strike an agreement with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

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