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February 1, 2008
(See attached file: PR080201pub.xls.xls) (See attached file: PR080201pub.pdf)

Futures traded up this week, with nearby spring wheat contracts ending at a record high. March spring wheat closed at $14.03/bu, up 11 percent from last week. Nearby SRW contracts traded up and down this week, ending 10 cents higher at $9.43/bu. The KCBT ended the week 20 cents higher at $9.90/bu.

FOB soft white prices were sharply lower on the week, ending down $2.75/bu ($101/MT) at $13.75/bu ($505/MT). FOB bids for HRS out of the PNW ended sharply higher at $17.53/bu ($643/MT). HRS FOB bids varied significantly and should be considered on a case-by-case base due to illiquidity in the current market.

Strong export demand continues to drive the market. Sales of 2007/08 US wheat hit 509 TMT, putting total commitments at 30.8 MMT, or 96 percent of projected exports. HRS exports hit 136 TMT for the week, placing total commitments nearly three percent above USDA projections for the entire market year. The tight situation has caused many buyers to cover in advance. With another 80 TMT booked last week, new crop sales have already hit 1.5 MMT compared with less than 100 TMT over the same period last year.

Freight levels continue to soften. The Baltic index for Panamax rates in the Gulf/Atlantic have dropped 25 percent since the beginning of the year. Additionally, the Maritime Grain Freight index hit its lowest level in nearly three months at 751.

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