July 20, 2018
- Supported by technical buying and decreasing estimates for Russian and European Union (EU) wheat production, wheat futures rose this week. Slow export demand from a strengthening U.S. dollar and uncertainty surrounding U.S. trade policies limited gains. CBOT September wheat added 19 cents to close at $5.16/bu, KCBT increased 17 cents to $5.08/bu and MGEX grew 23 cents to $5.55/bu. CBOT September corn climbed 14 cents to $3.55/bu and CBOT August soybeans rose 31 cents to $8.50/bu.
- Export basis continued to weaken this week for all classes and ports due to increased farmer selling and slow export demand. Uncertainty surrounding U.S. soybean exports also caused softening of export basis in October and November 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 300,000 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 6.43 million metric tons (MMT), 32% behind last year’s year-to-date total of 9.42 MMT. USDA expects 2018/19 U.S. wheat exports to reach 26.5 MMT.
- On July 16, USDA reported winter wheat harvest was 74% complete, ahead of the 5-year average of 71%. USDA reported 93% of U.S. spring wheat has headed, ahead of the 5-year average of 85%. USDA rated 80% of spring in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week.
- The July 12 U.S. Drought Monitor reported warm, dry weather was common over much of the country. In Oregon, several wildfires are threatening mature wheat. Estimates of losses are not yet available as the focus is getting them contained. The current forecast expects hot, dry conditions across the Pacific Northwest (PNW), while the U.S. High Plains could receive additional rainfall.
- On July 20, FranceAgriMer reported French wheat harvest is 64% complete, up from 20% last week.
- According to Reuters, Chinese 2018/19 winter wheat production could fall to 128 MMT, down 2% from last year due to poor weather that delayed planting and hurt quality.
- The Russian Agriculture Ministry reported Russian farmers have harvested 24.6 MMT of wheat from 15.6 million acres (6.3 million hectares) as of July16. Russian wheat harvest got an early start due to hot, dry conditions and farmers are significantly ahead of last year’s pace.
- Bolsa de Cereales, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, reported Argentina wheat planting is 92% complete as of July 19, significantly ahead of last year’s pace.
Baltic and U.S. Dollar Indices
- The Baltic Index rose to another 8-month high of 1,657.
- The Dollar Index grew to 95.09, the highest level in a year.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates