Wheat futures were under pressure, sellers were encouraged not just by pressure from the strong dollar but from a retreat in Black Sea concerns too. Indeed, with talk remaining of cheap Russian wheat offers, and Ukraine grain exports still flowing, Paris prices slid too although, down 1.7%, gaining some cushion from a retreat in the euro against the dollar.UK feed wheat dipped by 0.6%, with May-23 falling from recent highs of £245/t to slip back below £240/t
Latest USDA data showed drought expanding in Texas, although retreating somewhat in Oklahoma and Kansas. In another sign of a potential protein play, higher quality Minneapolis wheat remained in positive territory for the week.
Vegetable oils found traction, supporting rapeseed futures, in a week in which commodities overall struggled, sapped by dollar strength.
The dollar hit its highest levels in six weeks, as higher-than-expected data on US inflation and retail sales lifted forecasts for the peak in US interest rates, and pushed expectations for the subsequent easing phase over the horizon.
However, grains outperformed, and in particular vegetable oils which, helped by some upbeat US soyoil data, made gains for the week, shrugging off negative crude oil markets.
US industry crush statistics showed soyoil stocks at 1,829M pounds as of last month, well below the 1,906M-pound figure investors had expected, and down nearly 200M pounds year-on-year too.
US soyoil export sales data for last week which at 8.30Kt were the best in four months, if still humdrum by historical standards. Soyoil futures stood up 1.3% for the week as of mid-Friday, while in Kuala Lumpur, palm oil added 5%, lifted too by worries over Indonesian exports given curbs on shipment permits and a boost to domestic consumption from an upgraded biodiesel programme.
The vegoil gains helped Paris May 2023 rapeseed futures hold steady for the week, despite pressure from a French agriculture ministry upgrade to its estimate for domestic winter crop sowings.
Chicago soybeans for May 2023, meanwhile, eased by 0.7%, tested by talk of acceleration in Brazil’s harvest, after a rain-slowed start.
May 2023 Chicago corn futures showed similar losses, undermined by, besides the firm dollar, easing concerns over Brazilian sowings of safrinha crop, seeded as a follow-on to soy, although offered some help by some more encouraging signs on US exports, including a purchase by China.
Next week may start quietly, with holidays in Argentina, Brazil and the US, but will end with more intrigue for grain investors, bringing the USDA’s annual Outlook forum, on Thursday and Friday. Thursday is also the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.