July 13, 2018
- Seasonal harvest pressure and slow export demand resulting from a strengthening U.S. dollar and on-going trade uncertainty pressured wheat futures sharply lower this week. Expectations for lower global wheat production provided limited support. CBOT September wheat lost 18 cents to close at $4.97/bu, KCBT dropped 21 cents to $4.92/bu, and MGEX fell 26 cents to $5.32/bu. CBOT September corn closed the week down 19 cents at $3.41/bu and CBOT August soybeans plunged 59 cents to $8.24/bu.
- Export basis softened this week for all classes and ports due to seasonal harvest pressure and poor export demand. Exporters noted that falling futures usually encourage demand, but customers are choosing to find alternative sources or waiting to make purchases until the effects of U.S. trade policies and retaliatory tariffs are determined. Uncertainty surrounding U.S. soybean exports also softened October and November export basis as exporters try to maintain a steady flow of U.S. grain through their facilities.
- USDA’s weekly Export Sales Report included net wheat sales of 136,400 metric tons (MT) for marketing year 2018/19. Total known outstanding sales and accumulated exports of all classes of wheat for the 2018/19 marketing year were 6.13 million metric tons (MMT), 30% behind last year’s year-to-date total of 8.75 MMT. USDA expects 2018/19 U.S. wheat exports to reach 26.5 MMT.
- On July 2, USDA reported winter wheat harvest was 63% complete, ahead of the 5-year average of 61%. USDA reported 81% of U.S. spring wheat has headed, ahead of the 5-year average of 69%. USDA rated 80% of spring in good to excellent condition, up from 77% last week.
- On July 12, USDA forecast 2018/19 world wheat consumption to exceed world wheat production by 12.6 MMT due to the first decline in world wheat production in 5 years. USDA expects global wheat production to fall to 737 MMT, down 3% from 2017/18. Global trade will reach a record 185 MMT in 2018/19, 7% above the 5-year average. 2018/19 global consumption will set a sixth consecutive record at 749 MMT. World ending stocks will fall to 261 MMT, down 5% from 2017/18, if realized. 2018/19 U.S. wheat production will total 51.2 MMT, up 8% from last year.
- The July 12 U.S. Drought Monitor reported additional rain fell across North Dakota and South Dakota, which improved soil moisture conditions across both states. Rain also fell across parts of Nebraska, slowing harvest. The PNW remained dry allowing winter wheat harvest to begin. The current forecast expects additional rain to fall across the United States with most regions experiencing above average temperatures.
- On July 13, FranceAgriMer reported French wheat harvest is 20% complete, up from 3% last week. French common wheat condition is rated 72% good to excellent, down from 73% good to excellent the week prior.
- Stratégie Grains cut its estimate for 2018/19 European Union (EU) common wheat (excluding durum) production to 132 MMT, down from its 140 MMT estimate in June due to sharp reductions in Germany and France where growing conditions have been poor.
- The Russian Agriculture Ministry lowered its forecast for 2018/19 Russian wheat production to 64.4 MMT. If realized, that would be 24% below 2017/18 levels.
- The Rosario Grain Exchange forecast 2018/19 Argentine wheat production at 20.0 MMT due to favorable growing conditions. If realized, that would be up 11% year over year.
Baltic and U.S. Dollar Indices
- The Baltic Index rose to a new 8-month high of 1,632, up 1% from last Friday.
- The Dollar Index grew to 95.16, up from 94.39 last Friday.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates