Wheat markets gained in Friday trading while the Australian dollar eased.
- Chicago wheat December 2023 contract up US8 cents per bushel to 664.25c/bu;
- Kansas wheat December 2023 up 28.25c/bu to 846.75c/bu;
- Minneapolis wheat December 2023 up 7.25c/bu to 850.5c/bu;
- MATIF wheat December 2023 up €2.50/t to €238.75/t;
- Black Sea wheat December 2023 down US$0.25/t to $277.75/t;
- Corn July 2023 contract up US4 c/bu to 586.25c/bu;
- Soybeans July 2023 contract up 15.5c/bu to 1405.5c/bu;
- Winnipeg canola July 2023 contract down C$12.90/t to $711.20/t;
- MATIF rapeseed August 2023 down €9 to €416/t;
- ASX January 2024 wheat contract up A$2/t to $383/t;
- ASX January 2024 barley contract unchanged at $317.80/t;
- AUD dollar down 57 points to US$0.6645.
USDA surprised the market with a much lower than expected Hard Red Winter wheat number in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates data released on Friday which factored in shocking conditions in the US. The report noted above-average abandonment of HRW area, estimating that only 67 percent of planted area will be harvested, the lowest ratio since 1917.
According to Türkiye’s Defense Minister, parties to the Black Sea grain deal are nearing an extension after two days of talks between Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish and UN officials. But the Kremlin said there was nothing new to report on a possible renewal of the deal and a potential meeting between Putin and Turkish President will not help finalise an extension. Russia continues to insist on concessions for its grain and fertiliser export.
SovEcon reports that as of May 4, Russian farmers had sown 3.5 million hectares of wheat, with Spring wheat seeding at a record pace amid favourable weather conditions and warm temperatures during the sowing campaign. SovEcon expects a significant slowdown in sowing pace in the coming weeks, with the total area expected to be 13Mha, similar to last year’s estimate of 12.9Mha. The decline in profitability of wheat production is anticipated to limit any increase in the sowing area. SovEcon estimates the wheat crop in 2023 to reach 86.8 million tonnes.
In Canada, the Saskatchewan crop report for the week ending May 8 noted cold weather and snow storms during April delayed the start of 2023-24 fieldwork, with plantings at 9pc complete compared to the five-year average of 23pc. Progress was most advanced in south-western, west-central and north-western regions. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated at 5pc surplus and 72pc adequate, an improvement compared to autumn, but more precipitation is required.
FranceAgriMer reports that as at May 8, 2023-24 common wheat conditions were rated at 94pc good to excellent versus 93pc in the previous week, and 82pc in the previous year, winter barley at 92pc (92pc, 79pc), spring barley at 95pc (94pc, 76pc). Maize plantings are 80pc complete which is close to the five-year average of 85pc.
CONAB Brazil has lifted its total corn-production forecast by 700,000t to 125.5Mt versus 113.1Mt last year, citing higher yield expectations in nearly all areas. CONAB has lifted its soybean-production forecast by 1.2Mt to 154.8Mt, well up on last year’s 125.5Mt, amid an increase in planted area in Mato Grosso, Rondonia and Tocantins, paired with slightly higher yield expectations.
Japan’s MAFF has purchased 125,974t of milling wheat from the US, Canada and Australia, including 16,344 tonnes of 14pc-protein US DNS 4815t of US WW, 59,540t of CWRS from Canada and 45,275t of ASW from Australia.
Trade was limited ahead of the release of the May WASDE on Friday. Sorghum continued its capitulation, dropping A$50/t over the week.
On the production front, winter cereals are off to a patchy start, with dry conditions in Western Australia’s Geraldton zone and northern and central New South Wales, and wet conditions in Victoria’s Western District and parts of the Riverina in southern NSW.
Pest pressures including slugs are also being felt on early canola crops.
It is looking relatively dry on the eight-day forecast, with the exception of south-east Queensland, which has 10-50mm currently on the map which would be very welcome if it eventuates.