Friday, April 6, 2018
- Drought in the U.S. Southern Plains and spring wheat planting delays in the U.S. Northern Plains pushed KCBT and MGEX wheat futures sharply higher this week, which in turn supported CBOT wheat. CBOT May closed 21 cents higher to end the week at $4.72/bu, KCBT jumped 39 cents $5.07/bu, and MGEX grew 29 cents to $6.07/bu. CBOT May corn finished 1 cents higher at $3.88/bu and CBOT May soybeans fell 11 cents to $10.34/bu.
- Nearby export basis is supported by delayed rail and barge traffic because of snow and cold temperatures across the U.S. Northern Plains and fog and high water on the Gulf tributary rivers. Farmer selling across the United States has been slow, supporting export basis through new crop months. Demand for elevation capacity and freight from corn and soybeans continues to support nearby export basis.
- USDA’s weekly Export Sales Report included net wheat sales of 109,000 metric tons (MT) for marketing year 2017/18. Sales were below trade expectations of 200,000 to 500,000 MT. Total known outstanding sales and accumulated exports of all classes of wheat for 2017/18, through March 29, 2018, were 22.9 million metric tons (MMT), 15% behind last year’s year-to-date total. USDA expects 2017/18 U.S. wheat exports to reach 25.2 MMT.
- On April 2, USDA rated 32% of the winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition, down from 50% good to excellent in their last crop condition report on Nov. 28. USDA reported 30% of winter wheat is in poor or very poor condition.
- The April 5 Drought Monitor reported another winter storm swept across Montana, Wyoming and the western half of North and South Dakota, bringing beneficial moisture to the region that experienced the worst of the drought last year. But the additional snow cover is also keeping farmers out of their fields, delaying spring wheat planting. The U.S. Southern Plains were largely missed by last week’s precipitation, worsening drought conditions. Extreme to exceptional drought now covers 26% of Kansas, 25% of Oklahoma, and the entire Texas panhandle, which are dominant HRW-growing areas. The forecast calls for below normal temperatures across the drought-stricken region, threatening the vulnerable crop.
- According to Reuters, spring wheat planting in Ukraine is off to a slow start with just 2% of the expected area sown, compared to 55% completion on the same date last year. Ukrainian farmers are expected to plant 450,000 acres (182,000 hectares) of spring wheat in 2018/19, down 5% from last year, if realized.
- FranceAgriMer rated 78% of French common wheat in good to excellent condition, unchanged from the week prior.
Baltic and U.S. Dollar Indices
- The Baltic Index continued its downward slide, falling to 953 from 1055 last week.
- The Dollar Index rose slightly to 90.45 from 90.15 last week.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates