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May 18, 2012
(See attached file: PR051812.pdf)(See attached file: PR051812.xlsx)

  • Wheat futures rose sharply higher this week due to dry weather around the globe decreasing world wheat production and and the expiration of the May contracts. There have been reports of dry weather in the US Southern Plains, Eastern Europe, Ukraine, southern Russia, and Australia. As well farmers are expected to plant less wheat than earlier expected in Argentina. The CBOT closed up 102 cents on the week at $6.95 per bushel. KCBT closed up 104 cents on the week at $7.05 per bushel. The MGEX closed up 48 cents on the week at $7.89 per bushel. Corn futures bounced back slightly from last weeks fall, supported by the rising wheat price. Corn futures rose 28 cents on the week to close at $6.36 per bushel. Soybean futures remained steady closing up 1 cent on the week to $14.05 per bushel.
  • Farmers in the US are wrapping of their spring wheat planting much earlier than normal thanks to dry weather allowing them to get into their fields earlier and keep up a good pace. Farmers across Western Canada are also benefiting, planting acres that we're underwater last year.
  • In its weekly crop conditions report on Monday the USDA the US winter wheat crop as 62 percent good to excellent, down slightly from 63 percent last week. The crop was rated 14 percent poor to very poor, higher than last week, but still well below last years 44 percent. The crop is maturing at a much faster rate than normal with 72 percent of the crop reported to be headed, well above last years 50 percent and the five year average of 46 percent. The USDA also reported that farmers have planted 94 percent of their spring wheat acres, up 10 percent compared to last week, and well above last years 33 percent and the five year average of 64 percent.
  • The slide of the Baltic Panamax Index was repeated for the third week in a row with it closing on Friday at 1,274, down from last weeks 1,322. Lower demand for ocean freight, a glut of new ships being delivered into the market, and rising concenrs over the economic recovery of many countries; has pushed the index downward.
  • The ICE Dollar Index continued to rise this week, closing at 81.42, up from 80.40 last Friday. The dollar is being pushed upward by increasing concerns over the stability of the euro following recent elections in France and Greece. Both countries voted in governments that are not supportive of austerity measures.

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