Argentine Wheat Gets a Boost as Storms Hit U.S. Crop
Reuters – 06/06/2019
Argentina’s wheat planting area in the 2019/20 season could hit the highest level in two decades thanks to a spike in local grains prices due to heavy rains affecting the United States Midwest, the Argentine Wheat Association (ArgenTrigo) said. Spanning at least 6.8 million hectares, the wheat area would be the largest since it hit 7 million hectares in the 2001/02 cycle in Argentina, one of the world’s biggest grains suppliers. The price of wheat rose 10% in the last month in Argentina, driven by the outlook for higher international demand due to doubts about the quality of U.S. winter wheat, which competes with Argentine grain. The price hike improves prospects for Argentine farmers who had a record production of 18.7 million tonnes last season from the 6.3 million hectares planted, according to the Rosario grains exchange (BCR). “If with the price 20 days ago, the producer was already increasing the area, this emboldens them a little more,” David Hughes, president of ArgenTrigo, told Reuters.
Rising Grain Prices Hit Asian Wheat Importers, but Corn Buyers Prepared
Flour millers in Asia have been caught on the wrong side of a rally in wheat prices as they waited for the market to decline, a stark contrast to animal feed producers who booked cargoes of corn several months before prices for that grain jumped. Benchmark Chicago corn futures climbed by almost a fifth in May as heavy rain and flooding across the U.S. Midwest delayed planting. Wheat gained by a similar amount, largely following the corn market higher. “Some flour millers are scrambling to get hold of supplies now (after earlier holding off on purchases),” said a wheat trader who sells Black Sea cargoes in Southeast Asia. “The rally in prices has caught them off guard.” Most Asian wheat importers, including millers in Indonesia, the world’s second-largest buyer of the grain, are covered for supplies until July, but purchases of cargoes for August arrival are less than 50-percent complete, three trade sources said.\
Canada Frets About Potential Chinese Crackdown on More Exports, Mulls Xi Meeting
Reuters – 06/06/2019
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday he was concerned that China could broaden its crackdown on Canada’s exports, and that he might seek a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month. China has already blocked imports of Canadian canola seed and looks set to boost customs’ examinations of pork shipments as a diplomatic dispute deepens. “We are worried about their actions on canola and the potential for other actions against other products,” Trudeau said during a televised news conference in northern France, where he was taking part in ceremonies to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings…Overall canola exports fell by C$47 million in April, or 14.7%, as shipments to China stopped, Statistics Canada said on Thursday. Exports of wheat, though, jumped C$136 million, or 21.7%, with China accounting for much of the increase…China bought 1.5 million tonnes of wheat from Canada from August 2018 through April 2019, nearly double the pace a year earlier and the most since 2004-05, according to Canadian Grain Commission data. Canada and the United States are the two biggest suppliers of high-protein wheat, which provides the gluten strength necessary for baking. Chinese buyers, though, are shunning U.S. wheat amid a separate trade dispute.
US New Crop Wheat Sales Rise 21.9% on Week, Physical Exports Grow 71.7%
S&P Global – 06/07/2019
US net export sales of wheat for the new crop beat market expectations with an increase of 21.9% on week to 501,893 mt for the week ended May 30, data from the US Department of Agriculture showed Thursday. Market analysts had estimated new crop wheat export sales for the week to be in the range of 100,000-400,000 mt. Sales for the 2019-20 marketing year, or new crop, were larger than the expected trade range, a market analyst said. The new marketing year for US wheat began on June 1. In the week ended May 30, Taiwan emerged as the largest buyer for the new crop, with net sales to the Asian country totaling 111,100 mt. After Taiwan, net sales to Panama and Mexico accounted for highest volumes reported in the latest week, the USDA report showed. However, net export sales of wheat for the old crop were down noticeably from the previous week, seeing reductions of 26,000 mt for delivery in the 2018-19 season that ended May 31. In the week ended May 23, net sales were reported at 152,986 mt. Reductions were primarily from unknown destinations, the Philippines, Guatemala and South Korea, according to the USDA.
Podcast: Busy Art Bettge Makes Soft White Wheat His Business
Washington Grain Commission – 05/21/2019
For those who live in Moscow, Idaho, Art Bettge is a two term city councilman. But for those involved with the Pacific Northwest wheat industry, Bettge is a cereal chemist with 40 years of experience. After retiring from the Pullman-based Western Wheat Quality Lab in 2008, Bettge opened a consulting firm specializing in the biochemical and genetic constituents of wheat and how they affect end-use functionality. In episode 126, entitled: Busy Art Bettge Makes Soft White Wheat His Business, listen in as the cereal scientist explains the difference between poor and high quality wheat and why modern manufacturing will make it essential to develop varieties which can withstand highly automated processing.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates