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March 24, 2017
  • Much-needed rain across the U.S. Plains pressured wheat futures markets lower this week. Strong demand for U.S. wheat and a weaker U.S. dollar lent limited support. CBOT May wheat fell 11 cents to $4.25/bu, KCBT lost 25 cents to $4.28/bu, and MGEX declined 8 cents to $5.41/bu. CBOT May corn dropped 11 cents to $3.56/bu and CBOT May soybeans decreased to $9.76/bu.
  • The break in the futures markets increased export demand and decreased U.S. farmer willingness to sell this week supporting basis across the United States. Pacific Northwest (PNW) logistics continue to improve, pressuring nearby PNW basis.
  • USDA’s weekly Export Sales Report included net wheat sales of 418,500 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. 16, 2017, were 25.8 million metric tons (MMT), 36% higher than a total of 18.9 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 Mar. 21 U.S. Drought Monitor reported warm, dry conditions persisted across the U.S. Southern Plains worsening drought conditions. The last 60-days, Nebraska and most of Kansas received less than 25% of normal precipitation. Drought conditions worsened in Eastern Colorado, which has received less than 50% of normal precipitation over the past 6 months impacting both topsoil and subsoil moisture levels. With deficits of 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5 cm), significant rain is needed across the major-HRW growing areas to avoid rapid intensification of drought conditions. Rain fell across the U.S. Northern Plains last week, providing beneficial moisture ahead of spring planting. The 10-day forecast expects average temperatures across the United States and average rainfall, which could slow further deterioration of drought conditions.
  • On Mar. 20, UkrAgroConsult reported 83% of Ukraine’s winter wheat is in good or satisfactory condition unchanged week over week.
  • According to Reuters, Argentine workers at Rosario, which exports nearly 80% of Argentina’s agricultural exports, plan to strike on April 6 to demand better wages.
  • The Baltic Index rose to 1196, up 2% from 1172 last week.
  • The Dollar Index decreased to 99.67 down 2% from last Friday’s close of 101.29.
  • 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.

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