Dryness in Argentina Hits Corn and Wheat Outlook; Election Haze Supports Safe-Bet Soy
Reuters – 09/29/2019
Dryness in Argentina is hitting the outlooks for wheat and corn crops, local climate experts said, while low-cost soy is being supported by growers looking to hedge their bets with political uncertainty rising ahead of October’s presidential vote. While large regions of the grain exporter’s Pampas farm belt are in good condition, around one-fifth of the growing area has been hit by arid weather over recent weeks, said Eduardo Sierra, meteorologist at the University of Buenos Aires. Sierra, climate consultant to the highly referenced Buenos Aires Grains Exchange, has cut his 2019/20 wheat crop forecasts to 17 million tonnes from 20 million tonnes previously and his corn crop outlook for this season by a fifth to 40 million tonnes. His soy projection has edged down to 50 million tonnes.
Iraq’s Wheat Milling Conundrum
World-Grain – 09/30/2019
Iraq is a conundrum when it comes to wheat and flour. Despite around 300 privately owned mills, it is among the world’s largest wheat flour importers at over 2 million tonnes per year. The wheat supply is not enough but new mills continue to be built. The government pays farmers close to $500 per tonne for their wheat, and yet production had declined and quality falls far short of bakers’ and consumers’ requirements. The milling industry is almost entirely in private hands but depends on the government for all wheat deliveries and flour offtake. Mill revenues are from tolling fees and bran sales. Mills do not sell flour. Earlier this year, World Grain went to Sulaymaniyah, the commercial and industrial center of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, to meet with Saad Kola, chairman of Iraq’s largest wheat milling company, Kulok Group. He talked about his company and candidly shed some light on the challenges it faces in such a uniquely difficult business environment.
WSU’s New Wheat is Touted to Make Better Noodles
The Lewiston Tribune – 09/28/2019
A new spring wheat variety from Washington State University is widely available to farmers for the first time, and the university believes it will have a major impact on the market. It is called Ryan and, according to a WSU news release, data from the Washington State Crop Improvement Association found it led all public spring wheat varieties for certified seed production in Washington last year. Ryan is reported to be useful in making udon, a popular Japanese dish with thick wheat flour noodles served in broth. It is made with premium soft wheat varieties mostly coming from Australia. It can also be used for traditional white wheat products like cookies and crackers. According to WSU, Ryan has a mutation called partial waxiness that gives it high levels of a starch molecule called amylopectin. It has a chewy bite and a favorable bright, clear appearance that is the result of being bred for low levels of polyphenol oxidase.
Slow But Steady Progress in Wheat Harvest
American Ag Radio Network – 09/30/2019
Producers in wheat-growing regions were able to make some progress over the last week. As of September 23, USDA estimates that 87 percent of the U.S. spring wheat crop has been harvested, behind last year and the 5-year average. The most recent crop progress report from USDA estimates that 73 percent of the North Dakota durum was harvested, but some areas of production are reporting harvest completion of 50 percent or less. In Montana, about half has been harvested. The North Dakota Wheat Commission reports that harvest in South Dakota is nearly complete and that it has progressed from 73 percent last week to 85 percent in North Dakota. Much of the region received precipitation over the weekend, with isolated areas receiving four or five inches or more. At this point, some of the wheat may not be harvested due to inability to access fields and severe quality downgrades.
Column: Some Items to Keep in Mind Ahead of USDA’S Stocks, Wheat Report
Reuters – 09/30/2019
Agriculture market participants know that U.S. corn and soybean supplies have been building to multi-decade and even record highs over the past year. Monday’s data from the U.S. government will likely cement that, and then analysts can finally look ahead to the supply cuts expected over the next year…Analysts predict the full U.S. 2019-20 wheat crop to come in at 1.968 billion bushels, down fractionally from USDA’s previous estimate. That would be the largest wheat harvest in three years but nearly 2% lower than the five-year average. Spring wheat production is seen at 585 million bushels, down 2% from USDA’s last peg. That would be the eighth-largest harvest on record since 1919, but 6% smaller than a year ago. The winter wheat crop is seen up fractionally from USDA’s previous figure at 1.327 billion bushels, which would be the largest in three years but 3.5% below the five-year average.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates