- All wheat futures prices were up for a third week in a row. CBOT soft red winter (SRW) futures rose 58 cents to close at $7.10/bu. KCBT hard red winter (HRW) futures were up 64 cents to end at $6.73/bu. MGE hard red spring (HRS) futures gained 54 cents to close at $7.18/bu. CBOT corn futures jumped 97 cents to end at $6.55/bu. CBOT soybean futures gained $1.06 to close at $15.39/bu.
- Basis remained steady this week in the Gulf and PNW. Futures are rising in part because of concern over crop conditions following winter weather in some areas and farmer selling was light in anticipation of higher prices.
- USDA reported total U.S. winter wheat conditions unchanged from last week. Winter wheat reported as good or excellent was 53 percent. Freezing temperature this week are a concern, but in areas where it snowed, notably Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado, the snow provided some protection against potential crop damage. As of April 18, farmers had planted 19 percent of the country’s total intended spring wheat area, up from last year’s 11 percent and 58 percent ahead of the 5-year average.
- This week’s U.S. 2020/21 wheat commercial sales of 240,200 metric tons (MT) were up substantially from last week’s 56,600 MT but below trade expectations of 250,000 MT to 550,000 MT. Year-to-date commercial sales for delivery in 2020/21 total 25.4 million metric tons (MMT), even with last year. USDA expects total 2020/21 U.S. wheat exports will reach 26.8 MMT, 2% higher than last year, if realized.
- Net sales of new crop wheat were 373,800 metric tons (MT) for delivery in 2021/22.
- View the most recent USW Commercial Sales report here.
- A cold front brought snow to Kansas this week while bringing rainfall to parts of Oklahoma and northern Texas. Even with the rain, the USDA reports 60% of Texas and 26% of Oklahoma’s topsoil moisture short or very short. The Plains states were cooler with areas of snow, but precipitation was still below normal in much of the Dakota’s and Montana. According to the USDA, 65% of Oregon and 60% of Washington are short or very short of topsoil moisture.
- Morocco’s government announced it will increase its custom duty on soft wheat and durum imports to help domestic farmers. Wheat import duties are suspended through May to ensure price stability and consistent supply following two consecutive years of drought.
- Nigeria’s central bank plans to halt dollar funding for wheat imports. The move forces local traders and millers to secure private funding. Bread prices have risen 15 percent over the past year. The USDA attaché in Lagos predicts consumption to rise 10 percent year-over-year to 4.9 MMT. Nigeria is the fifth largest importer of U.S. wheat.
- The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange (BAGE) expects Argentine farmers to plant 6.5 million hectares (16.0 million acres) of wheat in 2021/22 unchanged from the previous season. Sowing begins in May and harvest ends in January.
- Russian agriculture consultancy IKAR reduced its forecast for Russia’s 2021 wheat crop from 81.0 MMT to 79.5 MMT. More than 700,000 hectares (1.7 million acres), around 17 percent of the planted area- primarily in central Russia, has to be replanted following dry conditions during fall planting.
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, gained 18% on the week to end at 2,750.
- The U.S. Dollar Index decreased from last week’s 91.56 to close at 90.87.