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November 14, 2008
(See attached file: PR081114.pdf) (See attached file: PR081114.xlsx)

  • Futures traded higher this week amid spillover from outside markets and end-user bargain hunting late in the week. The CBOT nearby contract closed 33 cents/bu higher at $5.54/bu, KCBT closed 25 cents higher, while the March MGE contract ended 26 cents lower at $6.52/bu. Soybeans ended the week 25 cents/bu lower and corn closed up 5 cents/bu at $4.07/bu.
  • USDA increased its projection for 2008/09 global endings stocks 800,000 MT to 145 MMT due to increased production estimates for the EU and Russia. As a result, the global stocks-to-use ratio is projected to reach 22.1 percent, up from last year’s record low 19 percent but well below the 28 percent 10-year average.
  • U.S. winter wheat plantings advanced four points this week to 94 percent to keep pace with the five-year average. Emergence is mostly ahead of the five-year average with only the Pacific Northwest lagging last year’s pace. The condition of the crop was rated one point better than last week at 68 percent good to excellent.
  • U.S. export sales came in at 248,300 MT this week, down 32 percent from the previous week and 40 percent from the prior 4-week average. Top buyers were Nigeria (80,000 MT), Egypt (64,900 MT), Taiwan (54,300 MT) and Mexico (43,700 MT). Sales were at the low end of analyst expectations of 250,000 to 350,000 MT. Additionally, sales of 5,000 MT for delivery in 2009/10 were reported for Mexico.
  • U.S. FOB values strengthened this week with HRS prices hitting a six-week high. Nearby HRS 14.0 for delivery from the Gulf hit $330/MT this week, up $7/MT from last week and up $17/MT from the previous five-week average. HRS from the PNW was seen $17/MT higher from last week at $328/MT.
  • The SRW/SW spread narrowed to $13/MT this week the lowest level in over a year. Nearby unspecified SW out of the PNW is seen at $213/MT this week compared with $200/MT for SRW.
  • Major freight indices moved higher this week with the Baltic Dry Index closing at 841, up from 829 a week earlier. The Baltic Panamax index closed at 953, up from 836 last week and up 37 percent from its recent low.

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