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March 7, 2014
  • Wheat futures closed sharply higher this week due to political instability in Ukraine, a major wheat exporter. Spillover strength from corn and concern that cold weekend temperatures could damage wheat added support. Monthly state reports released by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service showed crop quality in the southern U.S. Plains deteriorated in February, which boosted KCBT contracts. Continued logistics issues in Canada and strong demand for high protein wheat supported MGEX. MGEX March wheat closed 81 cents higher at $7.52/bu. CBOT added 47 cents to $6.46/bu and KCBT gained 38 cents to $7.15/bu. CBOT March corn added 24 cents to $4.81/bu and CBOT March soybeans gained 43 cents to $14.58/bu.
  • The MGEX nearby contract closed at a premium to KCBT on Thursday for the first time since November 21, 2013. KCBT still holds a premium to MGEX in the deferred months.
  • The political turmoil in Ukraine has not disrupted grain exports to date, but reports that traders are hesitant to fix new contracts have sparked speculation that demand could shift to other origins.
  • Efforts to alleviate transportation backlogs in Canada have yet to make a significant difference and logistics remain incredibly complicated. MGEX contracts rallied again this week on speculation that Canadian demand could transfer to the U.S. due to the logistics problems. HRS basis from the gulf remains firm due to limited rail capacity in the U.S.
  • According to USDA’s Export Sales Report, weekly sales of 556,100 MT for delivery during the 2013/2014 marketing year were up 52 percent from the previous week and 10 percent from the prior 4-week average and above trade expectations of 250,000 to 450,000 MT. Total known outstanding sales and accumulated exports, through February 27, 2014 were 28.6 million metric tons (MMT), 23 percent greater than last year's year-to-date total of 23.3 MMT. USDA forecasts 2013/14 U.S. wheat exports (including donations) to reach 32.0 MMT.
  • The Baltic Panamax Index fell from 1,099 last week to 1,075.
  • The US Dollar Index closes mostly unchanged from 79.76 last week to 79.72.

File Name
PR 140307.pdf
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