December 9, 2008


US Wheat Outlook on Tuesday: Seen mixed, looking toward other markets



U.S. wheat futures are called to open mixed Tuesday, with pressure seen from weak neighboring markets and a stronger dollar.


In overnight electronic trading, Chicago Board of Trade March wheat edged up 3/4 cent to US$4.91 1/4.


CBOT corn and soybeans were lower overnight and could weigh on wheat, a trader said. The firm U.S. dollar is seen as bearish for the grains and soybeans as it makes U.S. commodities less attractive to foreign buyers.


Grains and soybeans climbed Monday in a rebound from heavy losses last week. The markets could pull back in a "turnaround Tuesday" scenario amid a lack of follow-through buying, a CBOT floor analyst said.


"Calls are mixed, with weakness from a higher U.S. dollar and soft demand trends," Midwest Market Solutions said about wheat.


The U.S. continues to struggle for export business against other countries, particularly those in the Black Sea region, an analyst said. There are concerns about the quality of wheat from countries like Russia and Ukraine, but price-sensitive buyers have shown they're willing to book Black Sea wheat because of the low cost.


Production in Australia, which has traditionally been a major exporter on the world wheat market, is estimated at 20.0 million metric tonnes, the government's chief commodities forecaster said in a new report. The new estimate from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics, or Abare, should not have a major influence on the wheat markets as it is barely changed from its early November estimate of 19.9 million tonnes, CBOT traders said.


The markets are already comfortable with estimates of 19 million to 20 million tonnes for Australia, a CBOT trader said. Australia's 2008-09 production has rebounded sharply from last year, when drought slashed output, although dryness and rains at harvest have been concerns this year.


A slow-moving disturbance may bring rain or storms to south-central and east Australia later this week, private weather firm DTN Meteorlogix said in a forecast. The wetness could "further delay and disrupt the wheat harvest and increase the risk for quality problems," the firm said.


In the U.S. central and southern Plains, an increase in the chance for precipitation during the next six to 10 days will favor wheat, Meteorlogix said.


The next downside price objective for the bears is pushing and closing CBOT March wheat below solid technical support at last week's contract low of US$4.71, a technical analyst said. Bulls' next upside price objective is to push and close the contract above solid technical resistance at US$5.20, he said.


First resistance is seen at US$5.00 and then at US$5.20. First support lies at Monday's low of US$4.78 3/4 and then at US$4.71.

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