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February 22, 2013
(See attached file: PR022213.pdf)(See attached file: PR022213.xlsx)

  • Wheat futures continued to drop this week, hitting an eight month low. Increased demand for US exports pushed the market higher earlier in the week, but ample moisture across the drought-stricken Great Plains and western Midwest pushed prices back downward. Falling corn prices also gave the wheat market futher room to move lower. In wheat futures the CBOT March contract fell 27 cents per bushel to $7.15, KCBT fell 25 cents to $7.50, and the MGEX fell 16 cents to $8.03 per bushel. CBOT corn futures fell 9 cents to $6.99 on increased precipitation across the Great Plains and Midwest. Soybean futures rose 36 cents to $14.61 on increased demand from China and long ship delays in Brazil.
  • The USDA reported weekly commercial wheat export sales of 699.3 TMT for the week ending February 14, above trade estimates of 400.0 to 600.0 TMT. US wheat exports for the week totalled 516.2 TMT.
  • The USDA is estimating that US farmers will plant a total of 56 million acres of wheat in 2013/14, down 0.5 compared to last year. These acres will produce an estimated 57.2 MMT, down 7.4 percent. Lower corn and soybean prices and better production in other parts of the world will push farm average wheat prices down to $7 per bushel.
  • US wheat exports, buoyed by low supplies in competing exporting countries, are booming in the last half of the 2012/13 marketing year. Egypt, China, and Brazil have recently purchased a large amount of US wheat. However, a recent Iraq tender was won by Australia and the feed wheat market continues to be dominated by India.
  • The USDA expects normal corn and soybean yields in 2013/14, which combined with higher than average acres will result in large crops which will push prices downward. Farm average prices for corn at estimated at $4.80 per bushel, soybeans at $10.50 per bushel.
  • The Baltic Panamax Index rose from 832 to 892 this week, a new high for this calendar year, as shippers reported increased demand for Panamax sized vessels to haul coal and grain. Maritime Research's Grain Freight Index fell again this week from 490.5 to 488.0.
  • The US Dollar Index rose from 80.58 to 81.47 this week as continued concerns over the health of the European economy pushed the US dollar higher versus a weighted basket of foreign currencies. The Index includes the Euro (57.6% weight), Japanese Yen (13.6%), British Pound (11.9%), Canadian Dollar (9.1%), Swedish Kroner (4.2%), and the Swiss Franc (3.6%)

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