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April 30, 2010
(See attached file: PR 043010.pdf)(See attached file: PR 043010.xlsx)

Highlights:
  • Futures traded flat this week. Monday opened with large losses in the wheat markets due to a strengthening US dollar and large world supplies. After bottoming out on Wednesday, the wheat markets reversed course, buoyed by larger than expected export sales and changing investor sentiment, closing near last weeks prices. The CBOT May wheat contract ended the week at $4.92/bu, a loss of 1 cent. KCBT prices remained flat at $5.06/bu. In Minneapolis the HRS wheat futures closed at $5.26 /bu, a loss of 1 cent. All three wheat futures have been trading fairly flat over the last four months, with prices held up by farmers unwillingness to sell at low prices and prices held down by weak export demand. Nearby soybeans remained largely unchanged, losing 10 cents to close at $9.90/bu. CBOT corn prices were up 13 cents, to $3.66/bu as rainy weather slowed planting and the Chinese made an unexpected US corn purchase.
  • The USDA is becoming increasingly worried over the spread of fusarium head blight in the wetter wheat growing regions of the US. Many scientists are worried that the disease will soon overcome currently resistant varieties grown in the US. To help fight it the USDA has been investigating wheat strains from East Asia that are more resistant.
  • The US dollar was pushed higher this week as a credit downgrade in Spain caused renewed worry over how far the Greek debt crisis will spread. Good US economic data helped push it down from highs set on Wednesday, but not enough to overcome earlier gains. The continued weakness of the Euro is driving investors to the US dollar.
  • Over 10,000 French grain farmers gathered in Paris to demand better government support for farmers. The farmers want the government to provide interest free export credits and expanded public storage to help clear the country's excess wheat and barley stocks. The farmers also wish to see the easing of several environmental regulations, such as restricting the use of pesticides, which the farmers believe are making profitable farming impossible and painting farmers in a bad public light.
  • The Baltic Panamax Index rose this week, closing at 3,900. Most experts see this as a sideways movement with continued concerns over the future introduction of new vessels. The freight rates continue to be dominated by Chinese demand for minerals and oilseeds.

File Name
PR 043010.pdf
PR 043010.xlsx
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