- All wheat futures prices fell on the week as crop condition ratings improved. CBOT soft red winter (SRW) futures fell 2 cents to close at $6.11/bu. KCBT hard red winter (HRW) futures lost 3 cents to end at $5.65/bu. MGE hard red spring (HRS) futures dropped 14 cents to close at $5.99/bu. CBOT corn futures gained 7 cents to end at $5.59/bu. CBOT soybean futures were up 2 cents to close at $14.02/bu.
- The USDA estimates that all wheat planted acres in 2021 will be 46.4 million acres, up 5% (18.8 million hectares) compared to 2020. Winter wheat acres are estimated at 33.1 million acres (13.4 million hectares), up 9 percent year-on-year. Corn acres are estimated at 91.1 million acres (36.9 million hectares) up less than one percent from 2020. Soybean acres are expected to be 87.6 million acres (35.4 million hectares) up five percent compared to last year and the third largest planted acreage on record.
- The USDA Planting Intentions report that estimated lower than expected corn and soybean planted area immediately pulled wheat futures prices higher. USDA’s report estimated a small decline in spring wheat area, but wheat struggled to follow the rally as the market tried to shake off wheat’s discount to corn.
- This week’s U.S. wheat commercial sales of 250,000 metric tons (MT) were down 27% from last week’s 344,000 MT but within trade expectations of 125,000 MT to 450,000 MT. Year-to-date commercial sales for delivery in 2020/21 total 25.1 million metric tons (MMT), 1% higher than last year. USDA expects total 2020/21 U.S. wheat exports will reach 26.8 MMT, 2 percent higher than last year, if realized.
- View the most recent USW Commercial Sales report here.
U.S. Drought Monitor
- Except for the Texas Panhandle and Colorado most wheat growing areas saw little or no rainfall for the week. The Plains states remained dry with strong winds, and drought conditions expanded across parts of the Dakotas. Dry conditions worsened in eastern Washington as well.
- Argentine farmers are expected to plant over 7.0 million hectares of wheat in 2021/22, up 4% compared to 2020/21, announced the agriculture ministry. The ministry also predicted that farmers could export as much as 14.0 MMT of wheat in 2021/22.
- Farmers in Ukraine are nearly a month behind their planting schedule that usually begins at the end of February. Snow and wet conditions kept farmers out of their fields until the end of March. Russian wheat farmers are also delayed but only by about ten days. One analyst put planting 70% behind the same time last year but added that he is optimistic farmers can catch up. SovEcon raised Russia’s wheat production forecast to 79.3 MMT.
- Ukraine’s economy minister said Ukraine will not reach its 17.5 MMT wheat quota this season following slower than expected wheat exports. He noted that exports are 500,000 MT behind the predicted forecast year-to-date.
- France’s winter wheat crop is rated 87 percent good or excellent, in line with the five-year average and well above the 63 percent good or excellent rating at this time last year.
Baltic and U.S. Dollar Indices
- The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), an assessment of the average cost to ship raw materials such as grains, coal and iron ore, dropped 4 percent on the week to end at 2,072.
- The U.S. Dollar Index increased from last week’s 92.76 to close at 93.02
Source: US Wheat Associates