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March 17, 2017
  • After falling to a two-week low on Monday, wheat futures climbed steadily higher this week regaining most of the losses. A weaker U.S. dollar and dry conditions across the U.S. Plains lent support. CBOT May wheat lost 4 cents to $4.36/bu, KCBT slipped 2 cents to $4.53/bu and MGEX added 10 cents to $5.49/bu. CBOT May corn grew 3 cents to $3.67/bu and CBOT May soybeans fell 6 cents to $10.00/bu.
  • With spring arriving across the United States, rail and barge logistics are running more smoothly, pressuring basis lower this week. Sharply lower basis for all classes of wheat are noted in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) where improved weather and better rail logistics are allowing the trade to work through the backlog of vessels.
  • The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System opens for the season on March 20.
  • The Columbia-Snake River system opens on April 2 after an extended closure for planned maintenance.
  • USDA’s weekly Export Sales Report included net wheat sales of 264,400 metric tons (MT) for marketing year 2016/17. Sales were within trade expectations of 250,000 to 450,000 MT. Total known outstanding sales and accumulated exports of all classes of wheat for 2016/17, through Mar. 9, 2017, were 25.4 million metric tons (MMT), 37% higher than a total of 18.6 MMT last year on this date, and 7% above the 5-year average. USDA expects 2016/17 U.S. wheat exports to reach 27.9 MMT.
  • The March 16 U.S. Drought Monitor reported winter weather returned to the Midwest last week with below-normal temperatures recorded across the region. While the Midwest remained dry, southern Texas received beneficial moisture. Oklahoma and most of Wyoming and Kansas remain very dry. The 10-day forecast expects below-normal temperatures to persist across the Midwest. Drier than normal conditions are expected across the U.S. Southern Plains.
  • Strategie Grains expects 2017/18 European Union (EU) common wheat production to reach 144 MMT. If realized, that would be up 6% from 2016/17. Strategie noted beneficial precipitation fell in late February and early March.
  • Reuters reported spring sowing began in Russia and Ukraine under generally favorable weather and soil conditions.
  • Germany’s association of farm cooperatives expects German wheat yields to increase 2% year over year to 7.9 metric tons per hectare (117 bushels per acre) in 2017/18 after a wet, mild winter. Spring sowing has not yet begun in the country due to wet field conditions.
  • The Baltic Index rose to 1172, up 8% from 1086 last week.
  • The Dollar Index increased to 101.29 up slightly from last Friday’s close of 101.26.
  • Current hard red spring (HRS) price indications are for Northern Spring. Dark Northern Spring is available, but premiums vary. SRW indications are for a minimum falling number of 250. Higher minimum specifications will carry a premium.

File Name
PR 170317.pdf
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