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March 15, 2013


(See attached file: PR 130315.pdf) (See attached file: PR 130315.xls)

Highlights:
  • All three wheat futures contracts closed higher for the first time in 7 weeks. Gains were driven by strong export demand and increased domestic use for feed and alternative fuel. A weaker U.S. dollar and strength in the corn market also supported markets. CBOT May wheat gained 26 cents to close at $7.23/bu. KCBT May contract gained 17 cents to $7.52/bu and MGEX closed at $7.96/bu, a 4 cent increase. CBOT May corn added 26 cents to $7.17/bu and CBOT soybeans dropped 45 cents to $14.26/bu.
  • The tight corn/wheat price relationship has led to increased use of wheat for animal feed and some ethanol plants have started to use small percentages of wheat in the alternative fuel process.
  • On Thursday, USDA reported weekly export sales for the 2012/13 season of 888,500 MT, well above trade estimates for 500,000 MT. Total sales to date of all classes of wheat for the this marketing year are 24.2 MMT, 2 percent lower than last year's year-to-date total of 24.7 MMT. USDA forecasts 2012/13 U.S. wheat exports (including donations) to reach 27.9 MMT.
  • Winter wheat condition ratings improved in the southern U.S. Plains this week after several storms provided welcomed precipitation in the drought-stricken region. The percentage of the crop rated good to excellent in Kansas improved 3 points to 27 percent. In Oklahoma, 20 percent of the winter wheat is rated good to excellent, up from 16 percent the previous week. In Texas, the percent of the crop rated good to excellent remained unchanged at 18 percent but the percent rated poor to very poor fell 1 point to 45 percent.
  • The Baltic Panamax Index rose from 1124 to 1162 this week. The index has posted gains for six straight weeks and increased 75 percent since February 1. Increased activity due to the South American harvest and higher U.S. grain exports supported the index this week. Maritime Research's Grain Freight Index rose this week from 488.1 to 492.8.
  • The US Dollar Index fell this week from 82.73 to 82.26 on Friday.


File Name
PR 130315.pdf
PR 130315.xls
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