Asian Buyers Snap Up Spring Wheat on Competitive Prices
Reuters – 07/23/2019
Asian flour millers have been actively buying U.S. and Canadian spring wheat since last week as competitive prices drive demand for the grain used largely in making breads and pizza crusts. Millers from the region’s top importer Indonesia, and other countries such as Japan, the Philippines and Thailand, have signed contracts to import about 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes since last week, two Singapore-based trade sources said. “We usually don’t see such strong buying of spring wheat in such a short span of time,” said one of the sources who works with an international trading company. “Prices have been pretty competitive. The price of spring wheat is close to the lowest since January if not the lowest,” the trader said. While some millers were taking spring wheat at around $250 to $255 a tonne, including cost and freight (C&F), others have taken cargoes on a free-on-board basis (FOB) at $225 to $230 a tonne, the sources said.
Southcentral North Dakota Wheat Yields Seen Above Average- Tour
Reuters – 07/23/2019
Wheat yield potential in south central North Dakota is trending above average, with the crop benefiting from ideal weather following a wet spring that delayed planting, scouts on annual tour found on Tuesday. “This is really good wheat for out here,” said Dave Green, executive vice president of the Wheat Quality Council, which runs the tour. “I think everything looks good for being so late.” North Dakota is the biggest U.S. producer of spring wheat,which is used to make artisanal breads, pizza dough and bagels. Spring wheat can also be blended with lesser grades of wheat to improve flour quality. Spring wheat makes up about a quarter of total U.S. wheat production. Yields along one route of the Wheat Quality Council’s annual tour of the state were pegged at 38.6 bushels per acre (bpa), based on the average of six fields surveyed in Stutsman, Morton and Stark counties. A year ago, the tour projected yields on the same route at 34.7 bpa. The five-year average is 33.8 bpa.
Idaho Wheat Harvest Later, Lower Yielding Than Last Year
IdahoStateJournal – 07/23/2019
daho’s fall wheat harvest is starting roughly seven to 10 days later than the five-year average, and early yields are down about 10 percent from last summer’s record volume, Idaho Wheat Commission Executive Director Blaine Jacobson estimated. As of July 23, Jacobson said harvest was underway in the Lewiston, Glenns Ferry and southwest Boise areas. He estimated 3 million bushels had been harvested, with good overall quality, protein levels and test weights. “We had a lot of cool, wet weather later in the spring that delayed both winter wheat and spring wheat,” Jacobson explained. Jacobson said recent hot weather should help both the fall and spring crops make up for lost time in a hurry. Jacobson said farmers aren’t seeing any issues with low falling numbers — which refers to a test to measure sprout damage. He said test numbers from the 2019 fall wheat crop have been coming at acceptable levels, above 300, and even pushing 400. Test weight — a quality indicator referring to the average weight of a cereal in pounds per bushel — have also been good, in the 60 range, he said. Protein levels, which can hurt quality of soft white wheat if they run too high, have been in the ideal range of about 10 percent, Jacobson said.
Miller Milling Serving a Fast-Growing Market
World-Grain – 07/19/2019
Addressing the nearly 100 invited guests at the grand opening ceremony of Miller Milling Co.’s new C mill at its Saginaw, Texas, U.S., facility, Jeff Thomas, president of Miller Milling, became sentimental as he reminisced about his days as a mill superintendent. Thomas, who in 2015 traded in his milling whites for a suit and tie as he moved to the company’s headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S., to become vice-president of operations before being promoted to president two years later, recalled a conversation he had with his mill employees in Saginaw many years ago. “For those who don’t know, I have a very close and personal connection to this facility,” he explained. “It was 13 years ago almost to this day that I started at this facility and was responsible for restarting it after it was closed. At that time, it was a pretty small plant — about a fourth of the size that it is today. “One of my first duties was to help develop a 10-person team to run the mill. As I look back over the first few years of developing the team and working together, I remember sitting in the breakroom telling them that one day this will be at least two or three times the size it was then. One of them said to me: ‘No way, it will never be that big.’ And some of the people that were in the breakroom that day are standing in the back of the room here today. I am proud to say we have accomplished that goal.”
The Most Complex Natural Resource Issue in the West
Boise Weekly – 07/24/2019
Conservationists have tried for years to breach the federally owned dams to no avail. It’s not just power officials who want the dams in place, but also grain shippers who use barges to transport crops down the river from Lewiston, the furthest inland seaport in the lower 48…While conservationists say dam removal is the issue, some depend on the dams for business purposes. Jeff Sayre, spokesman for CHS Primeland, a grain-shipper based in Craigmont, said the dams keep rivers at a level that allow shippers to haul wheat down the river to Portland, Oregon, where it is shipped all over the world. Without those dams on the river, the river levels would drop to a point where barges could no longer use the river for passage. “You just drop it off at Lewiston and down the river it goes,” Sayre said. The river acts as one of the largest thoroughfares for grain shippers in the country. All told, 10% of all U.S. wheat is shipped down the Columbia River, he said. Each bushel of wheat sells for roughly $6, and each year anywhere between 20 and 25 million bushels are shipped on the river, making the economic impact of the dams significant. Grain isn’t an afterthought for these small communities, it is the only economic driver, Sayre said. Conservationists have pushed for alternative forms of shipping, but Sayre said nothing is as cost-effective or efficient as shipping on river barges.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates