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March 2, 2012

(See attached file: PR 120302.pdf) (See attached file: PR 120302.xls)

  • Wheat futures closed higher this week mostly due to strong technical sales and dry weather concerns in the U.S. Unseasonably warm and windy weather in the southwest U.S. plains is threatening the HRW crop as it comes out of dormancy. News of the first U.S. wheat sale to Iran since October 2009 supported markets on Thursday. MGEX led wheat markets with a 41-cent gain to close at $8.28/bu. KCBT and CBOT each added 30 cents to close at $7.11/bu and $6.71/bu, respectively. The CBOT corn contract gained 18 cents to close at $6.59/bu and CBOT soybeans closed at $13.28/bu, a 49-cent increase.
  • Official EU data released Monday forecasted 2012/13 common wheat production in the 27-nation bloc at 131.9 MMT, a 2.5 percent increase from 2011/12. Estimated EU wheat exports are 15.0 MMT and projected ending stocks are 15.1 MMT.
  • Australia’s wheat production is expected to fall by 15 percent to 25.0 MMT in 2012/13 but still well above the 10-year average of 20.3 MMT. According to a Reuters survey of 10 analysts, lower global wheat prices might prompt farmers to shift acreage from wheat to other crops. Australia produced an estimated record high 29.5 MMT in 2011/12.
  • Russia’s Agriculture Ministry announced Friday that it expects wheat output to rise in 2012/13 to 57.0 MMT from 56.2 MMT in 2011/12. The ministry projected slightly lower exports of 20.0 MMT in 2012/13, down from an estimated 21.0 MMT this year. It also raised total estimated 2011/12 grain exports to as much as 28.0 MMT, exceeding the limit of 25.0 MMT set by Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov to avoid export restrictions.
  • The Baltic Panamax index closed slightly higher this week at 844, up from 836 last week. Freight rates remained unchanged as vessel owners remain hesitant to lock in rates. Maritime Research’s Grain Freight Index gained for the second week in a row, up from 502.2 to 505.4.
  • The ICE Dollar Index gained this week to close lower this week at 79.46, up from 78.40 last Friday. The stronger dollar limited gains in the wheat markets on Wednesday.

File Name
PR 120302.pdf
PR 120302.xls
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