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October 3, 2008

(See attached file: PR081003.pdf) (See attached file: PR081003.xlsx)

  • Futures were lower this week as strength in the dollar and financial market uncertainty outweighed bullish wheat stocks and export sales data. USDA’s Grain Stocks report provided a boost Tuesday but futures followed row crops sharply lower Wednesday and Thursday. The CBOT nearby contract closed 76 cents/bu lower at $6.40/bu, KCBT closed 75 cents lower, while the MGE ended 87 cents lower at $7.03/bu. Soybeans ended the week $1.72/bu lower and corn closed down 89 cents/bu at $4.54/bu.
  • Export sales rebounded 370,000 metric tons (MT) this week to 651,000 MT amid strong demand for hard red winter (HRW). For the week, HRW sales totaled 405,600 with notable sales to Nigeria (135,000 MT), Saudi Arabia (60,000 MT) and unknown destinations (90,300). Total marketing year commitments for all wheat classes are seen at 17.1 MMT, down 29 percent from this time last year.
  • USDA’s Quarterly Grain Stocks Report said wheat stored in all positions on Sept. 1, 2008, totaled 50.5 MMT, up eight percent from Sept. 1, 2007, but slightly lower than the five-year average. USDA estimates were below trade expectations, which ranged from 50.9 to 53.1 MMT.
  • Ocean freight declined substantially this week with the Baltic Panamax Index closing at 2,281, off 34 percent from last Friday. The PNW/Japan rate closed down $10/MT at $38/MT, while Gulf/Japan ended off $8/MT at $60/MT.
  • U.S. winter wheat plantings advanced 20 points this week to 42 percent planted, up from 38 percent this time last year, but slightly behind the five-year average of 45 percent. Kansas and Nebraska accounted for nearly a quarter of the plantings increase this week, advancing 25 and 26 points respectively. Fourteen percent of the crop was emerged, 1 point ahead of last year but 4 points behind the five-year average. Emergence was most delayed in Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Oregon.
  • Statistics Canada raised its 2008/09 all-wheat production estimate 1.8 MMT from the previous forecast to 27.3 MMT, the largest since 1996. Spring wheat production was forecast 1.2 MMT higher at 17.5 MMT while durum production was up 160,000 metric tons at 5.1 MMT.

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