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Wheat news

Wheat news from around the world - 2014, Week 22

Wheat trade
Decline of HRW (Gulf)* wheat continued its steady decline and closed on Friday May 30 at US$ 317/t.
France Grade 1 (Rouen)** declined slightly early in the week and then remained almost constant around US$ 265/t.

The longest run of declines since September 1998 continue as traders factor in the prospect of cooler, wetter weather in coming months that will help crops across whole north hemisphere.
Weak demand for U.S. soft red winter wheat and ample global supplies have pressured the front Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures contract to a point where the exchange might need to raise storage rates for the first time in three years.
Read more: storage rates (1)
According to the International Grains Council, world wheat production will be smaller than estimated last month as dry weather erodes prospects for the harvest in the U.S. Global wheat output will be 694 million metric tons in the 2014-15 season, less than an April forecast of 697 million tons and 2.1 percent smaller than the previous year. Production in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter, will be 55 million tons, compared with a previous forecast of 59 million tons. 
Wheat harvest:
  • is finished in Indo-Gangetic plains - India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
  • is finished also in north-west Mexico (Sonora).
  • going on in North Africa and Near East where spring wheat is grown during the winter.
  • winter wheat harvest started in Iran.
  • started in some provinces of China (Jiangsu, Guizhou, Sichuan).
Wheat crop is  in full growth in temperate zone of northern hemisphere - US, Europe, Russia and China.
Wheat planting is almost done in central Mexico, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Wheat planting is starting in Australia and Southern America - Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay.
Egypt:  A wheat harvesting and rural tourism festival designed to increase the production of wheat and rural products in general is now under way in Alexandria. 
Read more: Egypt (1)
Morocco’s government has lowered its cereal production estimate and we estimate Moroccan wheat production at 5m tonnes (including 1.3m tonnes of durum), 700,000t less than previously.
Read more: Morocco (1)
IndiaDespite weather vagaries and aggressive buying of wheat by private traders this season, procurement by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has touched 26.67 million tonnes (as on Friday May 24), as compared to 25.42 mt during the same period last year.
  • Procurement ended in Punjab and Haryana on Saturday May 24 and both states have achieved their estimated targets of 11 million t and 6.5 million t, respectively. 
  • Madhya Pradesh was expected to procure 8 million t as compared to 6.5 million t last year; FCI sources say it might be 7 million t, the figure being 6.8 million t till Friday May 23. 
  • Uttar Pradesh was expected to contribute 3 million t to the central pool but has procured only 0.3 million t.
Read more: India (1)India (2)
PakistanThe Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation (Passco), a state-run grain buying agency, is falling short of the purchase target of 1.6 million tons of wheat in three provinces – Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan – this season, officials say. On the other side Sindh Food Department (SFD) procured 30 %more wheat compared to last year, ahead of the cutout date which is June 15. 
North America
US/California: Researchers at UC Davis are working to stem a decline in California wheat production by developing varieties that are more drought tolerant, resistant to diseases and more nutritious.
US:Kansas: The Kansas wheat harvest is expected to start in about 10 days, and most farmers expect a fairly miserable crop. In its May 1 forecast, the USDA forecast 260 million bushels, the smallest harvest since 1996, with an average yield of 31 bushels per acres. Since then, the sun has beamed down, winds have blown hard, temperatures have been in the 90 a few times – and not enough rain has fallen, particularly in western Kansas, to make up any deficits.
Read more: USA-Kansas (1)
US/Ohio: The wheat crop is going to be harvested later than normal in almost all areas of Ohio this year due to the cooler than normal spring temperatures. This leaves farmers with some tough choices once the wheat acres are harvested. 
Read more: USA-Ohio (1)
US/Oklahoma: Recent rains are expected to have little impact on the local wheat and canola harvest. Rainfall totals in southwest Oklahoma are more than 3 inches below normal. 
US/Texas: Wheat harvest began in drought-hit central Texas this past week and, as expected, the yields are low and the protein is high.
Read more: USA-Texas (1)
Mexico/Sonora: With only about week till the end of 2014 harvest, the average yield seems to be lower than expected - 5.54 t/ha. According to Sagarpa official the main reasons of lower yield are warm weather during grain filling and lodging after strong winds that occurred towards the end of March. 
Read more: Mexico (1)
South America
ArgentinaDue to very high soil moisture in several key wheat regions, the start of wheat planting has been delayed for a week or so, but have finally started.
Bolivia: Heavy rains in the growing areas of Santa Cruz have delayed the wheat planting. Fifty percent of Bolivia's foreseen 120,000 ha of wheat were supposed to be planted by Friday May 30, however the planting has hardly started.   
Read more: Bolivia (1)
AustraliaAustralia will finish sowing at the end of June. Various weather models predict a 50% chance of an El Niño effect from then, which would increase the probability of a dry spring, adding to production concerns.
Russia & UkraineCrops in Ukraine and Russia are good, but conditions dry. Both are major exporters and if the situation in Ukraine deteriorates internal transportation, loading in the ports and/or navigation on the Black Sea may be affected, providing short-term support for the market. 
In Denmark and Sweden 100,000ha more has been planted, which will increase production by 900,000t and 600,000t respectively, while in Spain, which had 150% of normal precipitation in March, production is up by 200,000t to 6.1m tonnes. Dry weather in France and Germany is a risk, but wheat is in good condition.
Read more: Europe (1)
*(US Wheat, Hard Red Winter, Fob US Gulf ports)
**(EU - France Grade 1 Rouen) 

Wheat news from around the world - 2014, Week 20

Wheat trade
HRW (Gulf)* was steadily declining whole week and closed in Friday (5/16/2014) at US$ 334/t (week loss of more then U$ 20/ton).
France Grade 1 (Rouen)** was also declining whole week although much less dramatically and closed on US$ 276/t on Friday May16, 2014.

Why that sharp decline in price?
First on speculation that beneficial crop weather in North America will bolster supplies. However the rains may have come too late to Great Plains to change significantly overall bad shape of the winter wheat. USDA projects U.S. wheat supplies for 2014-15 will fall 10% below 2013-14 levels. But the wheat crop in most of other countries looks very well so far - bumper harvest in India, good weather and crop progress in Europe and inverntories in Canada will double to a two-decade high after output surged 38 % in 2013. However, the situation in Ukraine, important wheat exporter remains unresolved.
References/Read more - wheat trade (1); wheat trade (2); wheat trade (3); wheat trade (4)
Wheat harvest is in its peak in Indo-Gangetic plains - India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh (finished).
Harvest in north-west Mexico (Sonora) is in full swing.
Harvest is also going on in North Africa and Near East where spring wheat is grown during the winter.
Crop is  in full growth in temperate zone of northern hemisphere - US, Europe, Russia and China.
Wheat sowing will be soon starting in Southern America - Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay.
India: Although wheat is grown primarily under irrigation in India, country production depends heavily on weather pattern, particularly the temperatures towards the end of cropping season. In some years India can afford to export few million tons, in other years needs to import. Big problem is storage - almost every year thousands of tons rotten in poo-standard open-air storage places.
According to the recent study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), India can record 10 million tonnes (mt) of annual wheat export through sustained annual production of about 95 mt and continuous reduction in post-harvest crop losses due to inadequate storage capacity.
In 2014 the harvest started late and slow due to unseasonal rains. However during last week the procurement quickly picked up and reached the levels of 2013 in both Punjab and Haryana. All seems to indivate that 2014 is another bumper wheat harvest year.
References/Read more - India (1); India (2); India (3); India (4); India (5)

Pakistan: The government has so far procured about 4.1374 million tons of wheat through its wheat procurement campaign for the year 2014-15 across the crop sowing areas in the country, which is only about 1/2 of the plan to fulfill the domestic requirements as well as keep the strategic food reserves.
References/Read more - Pakistan (1)
Egypt: The world's biggest wheat importer wants to boost domestic production in an effort to cut its import bill. Government considers raising price of wheat to encourage farmers to step up production - Price increase would aim to encourage local farms selling more wheat to the state in order to make Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, less relient on imports. Each year the state and private buyers purchase around 10 million tonnes from abroad. Egypt estimates its total local wheat crop this year at around 9 million tonnes, of which the government is aiming to buy 4 million. So far procurement reached about 2.5 million tonnes of local wheat, more than half its target. Procurement season that lasts until mid-July.
Despite the earlier announcement that Egypt would not start importing wheat this year until July, The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) has contracted to purchase 60,000 tons of wheat from Ukraine. The wheat will be imported starting on 20 June over a period of 10 days.
References/Read more - Egypt (1); Egypt (2); Egypt (3)
Strategie Grains underlined ideas of Europe performing strongly in wheat exports next season, but said that the prospect for prices was "rather bearish" nonetheless, undermined by the competitiveness of corn for animal feed. The influential analysis group lifted its forecast for European Union soft wheat exports in 2014-15 by 1.4m tonnes to 24.3m tonnes - a figure it has now raised by nearly 4m tonnes in four months, and which would be a record high were it not for the strong performance this season.
References/Read more - Europe (1)

Spain: Yellow rust put on alert wheat farmers of the province Castilla and Leon. The ITACYL (Agricultural Technology Institute) reports that a race of this fungus, probably transmitted from Denmark and the UK, has surprised the rainfed production and could be very serious if not not treated on time with fungicides.
References/Read more - Spain (1)
Australia: Fungicide-resistant Septoria tritici blotch (STB) has been identified in a number of Australian wheat crops by researchers. STB is caused by a fungus, Zymoseptoria tritici (synonym Mycosphaerella graminicola, Septoria tritici), which survives in wheat stubble. While STB is a serious disease of wheat found in all the major wheat growing regions of the world, the prevalence of the disease in Australia had been low due to prolonged periods of drought.
References/Read more - Australia (1)
North America
US: Much expected rains in Great Plains came maybe to late to help significantly poor wheat crop in Kansas or south-west Oklahoma where production is expected to drop up to 50% compared to last year. Virginia agriculture officials say this year's winter wheat crop is expected to be smaller than last year's crop and predict about 9% drop. On the other hand, Nebraska’s winter wheat crop is coming along much better, as well as North Dakota where the ag. department pegs this year’s crop at 33.1 million bushels, more than double last year’s crop.
References/Read more - US (1) - Kansas; US (2) - Nebraska; US (3) - Oklahoma; US (4) - North Dakota; US (5) - Virginia

Mexico: Wheat harvest in the important wheat producing regions of north-west Mexico is almost over, but wheat is grown also in other parts of the country - one of such places is Valle de Zamora in Michoacan - despite adverse weather conditions and early advanced, the wheat crop in this agricultural cycle exceeds 20 thousand tons. The harvest is expected to conclude in late May or early June, depending on the rainy season.
Harvest in north-west Mexico (Sonora) is in full swing. Wheat producers in this region asked the three levels of government for support of one thousand dollars per hectare, to avoid burning the residues, to prevent the air pollution. Farmers claim not to be able to absorb the costs of equipment needed to incorporate plant residues to the soil. However in case they would apply principles of conservation agriculture, the crop residues shall be maintained on the soil surface ... extension system in Sonora still have the work to do.
References/Read more - Mexico (1); Mexico (2)

South America
: Wheat planting begun and the 2014-2015 area is expected to increase by 18.8 % compared to the previous cycle, according to estimates by the Grain Exchange Buenos Aires. However that is still much lower compared to the peak wheat planting in 2007 when the area reached almost 7 million hectares.
References/Read more - Argentina (1), Argentina (2)

Bolivia: At least 114,000 farm-holds produce wheat in Bolivia. But there is a deficit of 60 percent, according to a report submitted by the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE). Bolivia implemented program to increase wheat production in coming years.
References/Read more - Bolivia (1), Bolivia (2)

Venezuela: The situation in baking and pasta producing industries is serious - inventories were depleted and the shortage of in-country produced pasta is notorious. The lack of wheat flour forced Venezuelan baking industry and pasta-production to decrease, and in some cases to stop the production.
References/Read more - Venezuela (1)