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April 29, 2011

(See attached file: PR 110429.pdf)(See attached file: PR 110429.xls)

Highlights:
  • Wheat futures were lower this week with fund selling pushing the market down sharply. CBOT wheat posted a 34-cent loss on both Wednesday and Thursday due to large fund liquidations. Beneficial rainfall for both the southern Plains and Europe also pressured prices. The futures markets gained on Friday from a weaker dollar, but overall wheat futures were down on the week. The CBOT nearby contract lost 30 cents, closing at $7.69/bu, while KCBT nearbys lost 39 cents, to $8.93/bu. Losses were limited in Minneapolis where wet conditions and cool temperatures have prevented spring wheat planting progress. The MGEX May contract lost six cents this week, closing at $9.45/bu. Despite falling by the 30 cent limit on Thursday due to fund selling and a four-month low in export sales, corn futures gained on the week due to the weaker dollar and heavy fund buying on Friday. The CBOT May corn contract gained 16 cents from a week ago, closing at $7.54/bu. Soybean prices also finished higher, gaining 12 cents on the week to close at $13.92/bu.
  • Statistics Canada released their preliminary Canadian wheat planting intentions for the 2011/12 crop year. Statistics Canada projected Canadian plantings at 24.7 million acres, a 17 percent increase from the previous year. The projections included a nine percent increase for spring wheat plantings, to 18.0 million acres, and a 60 percent increase for durum plantings, to 5.1 million acres.
  • The Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry said this week that Ukraine’s total grain harvest could potentially reach 45 MMT for 2011/12, up from 39.2 MMT last year. The Ukrainian government expects 2011/12 wheat exports to reach between 8.0 and 9.0 MMT, up from 3.5 MMT in 2010/11. Independent analyst UkrAgroConsult currently projects the total 2011/12 Ukrainian grain crop at 44.5 MMT, with wheat accounting for 20.4 MMT.
  • Spring wheat plantings are behind schedule due to precipitation and cool temperatures. USDA reported spring wheat planting at six percent complete for the week ending April 24, down sharply from the five-year average of 25 percent complete and 39 percent complete this time last year.
  • Gulf HRW proteins spreads have narrowed with expectations that this year’s HRW crop will have higher protein levels due to the severely dry conditions the crop has experienced this growing season. The spread between Gulf HRW 12.5 and 12.0 fell from $0.20/bu to $0.05/bu.
  • A weaker dollar supported commodity prices on Friday. The ICE Dollar Index fell to 72.97 on Friday, its lowest point since July 30, 2008. The index stood at 74.10 a week ago.
  • Freight rates were up slightly this week with Chinese iron ore purchases supporting the market. The Baltic Panamax Index finished the week at 1,450, up from 1,377 last week. Destination routes were also higher, with Gulf/Japan up from $50/mt last week to $52/mt this week.

File Name
PR 110429.pdf
PR 110429.xls
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