Friday March 09 2012
CHOPPY wheat prices shed the previous week’s late gains as record world supplies continued to confound attempts to reflect strength in the much tighter maize market. Recent cuts in the previously record fund short exposure in Chicago also diminished support from this group which sold heavily mid-week. US and EU traders remain aware of the need to price realistically in a still competitive export market with Black Sea supplies far from spent and winter shipment logistics likely to ease soon (Russia sold wheat to Libya this week). Near-eastern import demand was again active as Syria, Morocco, Iraq and Iran sought cargoes, reflecting a need to keep well-stocked amid political tensions over Iran and Syria and a looming drought in parts of North Africa. The focus is increasingly swinging toward the global new crop which Australian government body ABARES this week forecast lower – including a smaller local crop. Yet Australia has a massive old crop surplus and, even if the next crop does decline, it might well end up with better milling quality than the past two weather-damaged harvests.
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