Monday, June 6, 2011

May & early June always the time for weather volatility and pricing opportunity

It is the time of year, where international grain futures jump at shadows and catch phenomena on a hit of a cold snap. The extreme weather that has been experienced over the last six months has caused volatility of a scale not seen since 2007/08.

Abnormally cold/wet weather continues in Canada prairies and northern US spring wheat states, highs around 10c and overnight frosts and summer has just commenced! Delayed plantings, cool temps slowing crop growth. Whilst some warmer temperatures in US corn belt are welcome encourage drying in the paddocks. May weather was way too wet in the Midwest; with many paddocks will have to be re-sown after paddocks dry out.

Europe crops finally getting good rain in France and Germany, however still waiting for soaking rains in UK. Cumulative rains received 15 – 31mm in drought stressed crop areas over the weekend. Temperatures have been hot, in the low 30’s for most of the past week. Seven day forecast calling for welcome cooling, but less rainfall in France; heat taking hold in Eastern Europe, Russia and Baltic countries

Forecast for heavy rain in Ukraine did not materialise last week; instead it was very dry. Recent intense heat made drought stress worse; frequent high temperatures in the mid 30’s have severely impact on wheat yields and winter rapeseed. Russian weather is relatively better; scattered showers occurred on the weekend in central Volga grain districts.

China spring weather has been wet with up-and-down temperatures in the key corn-soybean belt on Manchurian Plain; unsettled conditions will continue for a few more days. The Yangtze River valley drought is very severe; adversely key winter rapeseed growing area; May rainfall less than half of normal; same intense drought occurred February-April; anticipate oilseed shortages this season. The domestic soy crop would need to be gigantic to offset rapeseed loss. The government has just came out that the domestic wheat crop has increased from last season, having trouble believing this after record dry in key regions from October through to April.

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