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December 17, 2010

(See attached file: PR 101217.pdf)(See attached file: PR 101217.xls)

  • Wheat prices were lower this week due to a stronger dollar and an improved weather forecast for eastern Australia. The CBOT March contract fell 18 cents this week, closing at $7.56/bu. The KCBT nearby contract lost 20 cents, to $8.11/bu, while MGEX suffered the largest loss, falling 27 cents to $8.42/bu. Corn prices were up, supported by drier weather in Argentina and passing of the U.S. tax bill, which included an extension of the ethanol tax credit. CBOT corn nearbys gained 22 cents from last week, closing at $5.96/bu. The Chinese government decided not to increase interest rates, providing some support to soybean prices, which were up 25 cents from last week, to $12.98/bu.
  • Strategie Grains released their monthly crop report this week. The French analyst projected 2010/11 EU soft wheat ending stocks at 8.2 MMT, down 39 percent from a year ago. Strategie Grains stated that the tight EU supply “indicates that potential demand or projected exports will need to be further reduced.” The firm made its first 2011/12 EU production forecast, projecting EU soft wheat output to reach 136.5 MMT next year.
  • Informa Economics updated their 2011 acreage projections. Informa reduced their 2011 U.S. winter wheat plantings projection, from 39.7 million acres last month to 39.5 million acres this month, and estimated total 2011 U.S. wheat plantings at 56.1 million acres. The firm also reduced their corn acreage forecast from 93.1 million acres to 90.8 million acres, while their soy acreage projection was increased by 1.8 million acres, to 77.6 million acres.
  • The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange increased their 2010/11 Argentine wheat production forecast. The Exchange raised their projection by four percent, to 13.5 MMT, which matches USDA’s current projection.
  • This week’s gains in corn and losses in wheat narrowed the nearby SRW/corn spread from $2.01/bu last week to $1.60/bu this week.
  • The dollar was stronger this week, making a steep gain on Wednesday after falling to a four-week low of 79.28 on Monday. The Ice Dollar Index stood at 80.54 on Friday, its highest point since December 1.
  • Freight rates were down this week due to slowing demand for coal and a large supply of available vessels. The Baltic Panamax Index lost 14 percent from last week’s close and closed at 2,037.

File Name
PR 101217.pdf
PR 101217.xls
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