August 3, 2018
- U.S. wheat futures rose for the third straight week following reports of shrinking wheat production in the European Union (EU) and Russia. Mediocre export demand and a strong U.S. dollar continue to limit gains. CBOT September wheat rose 26 cents to $5.56/bu, KCBT increased 35 cents to $5.67/bu and MGEX added 20 cents to close at $6.13/bu. CBOT September corn grew 8 cents to $3.70/bu and CBOT August soybeans climbed 16 cents to $8.86/bu.
- Pacific Northwest (PNW) hard red winter (HRW) and hard red spring (HRS) export basis continued to soften this week pressured by increased farmer selling. PNW soft white (SW) cash prices rallied due to increased export demand. Slow export demand for other wheat classes continues to pressure U.S. export basis. Historically, October, November and December U.S. export basis levels are supported by increased freight costs due to competition from large soybean export programs; however, with sharply lower soybean export sales on the books, exporters have eliminated the historic export basis premiums associated with those months to try to maintain a steady flow of U.S. grain through their facilities.
- USDA’s weekly Export Sales Report included net wheat sales of 382,500 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 7.20 million metric tons (MMT), 28% behind last year’s year-to-date total of 10.1 MMT. USDA expects 2018/19 U.S. wheat exports to reach 26.5 MMT.
- On July 30, USDA reported winter wheat harvest was 85% complete, slightly behind of the 5-year average of 86%. USDA reported U.S. spring wheat harvest is 4% complete, inline with the 5-year average. USDA rated 78% of spring in good to excellent condition, down from 79% last week.
- The August 2 U.S. Drought Monitor reported the PNW and U.S. Northern Plains remained mostly dry this week allowing harvest to begin in some areas and roll on in others. While the dry weather in the PNW is beneficial for harvest, the last 6- month total precipitation for the region is 50 to 75% of normal, putting all of Oregon and Washington and 66% of Idaho in abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions. The U.S. Central Plains received beneficial moisture, lessening drought conditions in Kansas, parts of Oklahoma, Colorado and Wyoming ahead of fall planting season. Light rain fell across North Dakota and South Dakota. The current forecast expects cooler temperatures across most of the United States
- On August 3, FranceAgriMer reported French wheat harvest is nearly complete, 10 days ahead of the 5-year average.
- German 2018/19 winter wheat production will fall 25% to roughly 18 MMT according to the German farmers association DBV due to severe drought conditions across the European Union’s second largest wheat producer.
- After the Ukrainian Agriculture Minister announced an export ban on milling on Thursday, (which caused wheat futures to go limit up) the statement was retracted. Today, apparently to reassure global markets about Ukrainian wheat availability, Reuters reported the ministry increased its 2018/19 wheat production forecast to 24.0 MMT.
- The Russian Agriculture Ministry reported Russian farmers have harvested 29.5 MMT of wheat from 19.3 million acres (7.8 million hectares) as of July 27. While harvest began early this year in Russia due to dry conditions in some regions, rain has come at the wrong time and slowed Russian wheat harvest and hurt quality.
- Bolsa de Cereales, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, reported Argentina wheat planting is 97% complete as of August 2, significantly ahead of last year’s pace.
Baltic and U.S. Dollar Indices
- The Baltic Index rose to 1756, up from 1676 the week prior.
- The Dollar Index grew to 95.17, up from 94.67 last week.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates