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March 3, 2017
  • Wheat futures ended the week mixed with dry weather in the U.S. Plains supporting KCBT and CBOT wheat. A strong U.S. dollar, which makes U.S. wheat less competitive against other origins, limited gains in those markets and pressured MGEX lower. CBOT March wheat added 2 cents to $4.35/bu, KCBT rose 8 cents to $4.62/bu and MGEX lost 8 cents to $5.37/bu. CBOT March corn gained 11 cents to $3.75/bu and CBOT March soybeans climbed 13 cents to $10.27/bu.
  • Exporters continue to work through the backlog of vessels driving a sharp inverse in export basis in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Traders report increased demand for spot vessels in the Gulf as companies seek to supplement supplies while waiting for PNW backlogs to clear up.
  • The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System opens for the season on March 20.
  • USDA’s weekly Export Sales Report included net wheat sales of 353,200 metric tons (MT) for marketing year 2016/17. Sales were within trade expectations of 300,000 to 500,000 MT. Total known outstanding sales and accumulated exports of all classes of wheat for 2016/17 through Feb. 23, 2017, were 24.7 million metric tons (MMT), 37% higher than a total of 18.0 MMT last year on this date, and 9% above the 5-year average. USDA currently expects 2016/17 U.S. wheat exports to reach 27.9 MMT.
  • The March 2 U.S. Drought Monitor reported above average temperatures caused winter wheat to break dormancy as much as a month early across the United States. Drought conditions expanded across Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. The 5-day forecast expects dry conditions and above average temperatures to continue across the Southern Plains.
  • Winter wheat ratings declined in Illinois, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota in February, according to the monthly USDA Crop Progress report. The biggest change was noted in Montana, where USDA rated 51% of winter wheat in good to excellent condition compared to 70% in January. The percentage of Oklahoma wheat rated good to excellent increased to 43%, up from 33% in January. USDA reported 15% of Oklahoma wheat in poor or very poor condition, down from 17% in January, but significantly higher than the 1% poor or very poor on the same date last year. USDA resumes weekly crop progress reporting on April 3.
  • The European Commission expects European Union (EU) wheat production to rebound to 143 MMT in 2017/18. Production fell to 134 MMT last year after excessive rain cut yield. EU wheat harvested area is expected to decline 1% to 23.8 million hectares (58.8 million acres), but higher yields are expected to offset. The Commission expects durum production to decrease to 8.8 MMT, down 2% from 2016/17 due to smaller planted area.
  • As of Feb. 27, FranceAgriMer reported 93% of winter wheat was in good or excellent condition, unchanged from the prior week. FranceAgriMer rated 82% of French durum in good or excellent condition, down from 85% last week.
  • On Feb. 28, Reuters reported that Egypt’s state grain buyer GASC purchased 535,000 MT of wheat, the largest since January 2014.
  • The Baltic Index rose to 904, up 3% from 875 last week.
  • The Dollar Index increased to 101.82, up 1% from last Friday’s close of 101.09.
  • Current hard red spring (HRS) price indications are for Northern Spring. Dark Northern Spring is available, but premiums vary. SRW indications are for a minimum falling number of 250. Higher minimum specifications will carry a premium.

File Name
PR 170303.pdf
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