Australia reported a record 34.4-million-metric-ton wheat crop forecast for 2021-22, although ongoing rain continues to slow harvest and threaten quality. Rains are perhaps viewed as more isolated late this week but could continue into next week.
Egypt stepped up to purchase 600,000 metric tons from Russia, Romania and Ukraine this week, regarded by some as the largest purchase made in years, by others, the largest purchase ever. By some accounts, the world's largest wheat buyer remains 500,000 mt behind its normal pace of buying, which signals that they could step up for another significant purchase.
The U.S. Southern Plains remains dry. As of last week's U.S. Drought Monitor, the USDA estimates 49% of the U.S. winter wheat crop is facing signs of drought. As of Nov. 28, the USDA estimated the winter wheat crop condition at 44% good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week and the second lowest since 2010.
Canada's weather events leading to rail outages in the mountains, along with an extended period of wet weather that has slowed vessel loading on the West Coast has also acted to limit supplies available to world markets. On Nov. 30, the Port of Vancouver unloaded 437 hopper cars, according to the AG Transport Coalition, which is the largest single day of activity since the first weather event hit on Nov. 15-16. Many challenges remain, with a third extreme weather event hitting B.C. today which will add further stress to recovery efforts.
As seen on the attached chart, the cash price reported by pdqinfo.ca for No. 1 CWRS 13.5% in the northern Alberta region reached a crop year high on Nov. 26 at $478.88/mt and as of Nov. 30, had corrected $14.58/mt lower while gaining back $6.74/mt on Dec. 1, not indicated on the chart. Across the nine prairie regions monitored and reported by pdq, spring wheat had corrected from $11.17/mt lower to $16.23/mt from recent highs as of Nov. 30, with the smallest correction seen in eastern Manitoba and the largest in southern Alberta.
The Dec. 1 close saw gains range from $0.52/mt in Manitoba to $8.83/mt in southern Alberta with a renewed sense of optimism found. As seen on the attached chart, cash bids remain in a solid uptrend over the first four months of the crop year.
Focus over the remainder of the week will lie on the Dec. 3 Statistics Canada production estimates. Current estimates show all-wheat production estimated at 21.715 mmt, the smallest in 14 years, while durum production is pegged at 3.545 mmt, the smallest 11 in years. A lower revision is a definite possibility and would add to the already tight supplies of global milling wheat and durum.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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