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January 5, 2009

(See attached file: PR 090105.pdf) (See attached file: PR 090105.xlsx)

Highlights:
  • Futures traded higher since the last Price Report amid better than expected export sales and spillover support from corn and soybeans. Weekly export sales were more than double the high end of trade expectations, and 65 percent above last week's sales. U.S. soybean prices were supported by excessive dryness in Brazil and Argentina while corn values were led by continued weakness in crude oil. For the week, nearby wheat futures at the CBOT were up 25 cents/bu, the KCBT was 31 cents higher while the MGE closed 13 cents/bu above last week at $6.57/bushel. Soybeans ended the week up 42 cents/bu while corn finished 18 cents/bu at $4.11/bu.
  • U.S. export sales came in at 418,100 metric tons (MT) this week, up 65 percent from the previous week, 74 percent from the prior 4-week average and well above trade estimates of 100,000 to 200,000 MT. Soft white sales were impressive at 165,000 MT with major purchases from Iran (60,600 MT) and Sri Lanka (55,000), pushing the marketing year total to 2.4 MMT. Hard wheat sales were also strong with 102,700 TMT of HRW and 68,600 MT of HRS going to various destinations. Year-to-date total sales stand at 80 percent of the USDA total year forecast of 27 MMT.
  • Slow export demand for U.S. durum pushed the export price range $20/MT lower to $360/MT to $430/MT.
  • The SW/SRW spread narrowed this week to $14/MT from $18/MT last week.
  • Barge rates were down 15 to 28 percent from last week amid a sharp decline in grain shipments. For the week, grain shipments by barge were down nearly 30 percent from the previous week and off 60 percent from this time last year. Rates on the Illinois river (impacting SRW and corn) were down 15 percent to $20/MT while St. Louis routes were off 27 percent at $12/MT.
  • The dollar hit a 3-week high against the euro this week as traders continue to buy dollars ahead of expected fiscal stimulus by the U.S. government. The euro traded at $1.366, after falling over 2 percent on Monday, the lowest since Dec 15. The dollar continued to gain against the yen trading at 93.33, the highest since Dec 8.

File Name
PR 090105.pdf
PR 090105.xlsx
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