Wheat Atlas Blog

Wheat news

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)

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