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Lance Lindbloom, Special to Agweek

August USDA reports to provide key data

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will release its monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates Report. This particular report will hold a lot of vital information for the market. Not only will yields for major crops be adjusted (typically August is when spring crop yields begin to really take shape on the government-released balance sheets), but planted area for spring crops will be adjusted as well.

Recall that the wet spring had U.S. crop planting historically delayed. As a result, the June 29 planting report did not show actual planting for spring crops, as corn, soybeans, and other crops were still going in the ground.

Farmers were resurveyed in recent weeks, and their actual planting information will be reported on Aug. 12. On top of that supply-side uncertainty is the impact of the trade war with China. Look for potential changes to the soybean complex as a result of reduced export demand forecasts.

Wheat

Wheat markets did not push lower this week, but continue to sit on support. Little movement on a lack of new information has kept prices trading in a narrow range.

Spring wheat crop conditions were unchanged from a week ago at 73% good/excellent. Harvest is getting started as well (though only 2% is done compared to the normal 14% pace). Winter wheat harvest in the U.S. is keeping pressure on the market, and is nearly complete.

The most telling thing for the North American wheat markets is that Egypt's most recent export tender resulted in buys from Ukraine, Russia, and Romania; U.S. and Canada were not competitive.

Durum

The durum market has been steady for the last several weeks, just off of the low. Little has happened to move prices (even with lower production prospects because of decreased planted area from a year ago).

In North Dakota, the durum crop is rated 69% good/excellent. Development is lagging the normal pace with just 10% of the crop mature compared to 22% last year.

Canola

The canola market found some support late in the week after being pressured by the intensifying trade war between the U.S. and China. Trade relations between Canada and China remain icy, though there is some optimism of the two sides beginning to work toward a solution amid the worsening U.S./China relationship.

Late-week support came from the soybean oil market, which found legs on an export sale of soybeans to South Korea.

Barley

U.S. barley harvest is getting rolling. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported 3% completion for harvest compared to 18% for the five-year average pace. Weather forecasts hold some rains across the Northern Plains into mid-August. This will not help with field work.

Mustard seed

Mustard seed markets have been quiet to start August. Buying activity across the world has been light, and export interest low.

Canadian mustard seed crop conditions improved over the last few weeks of July and into August on improved weather. From mid-July to the start of August, the percent of the crop rated poor fell from 38 to 12.

Pulses

Harvest for pulses has not really begun in Canada, but the expectation for good yield is circulating. Yields for peas in Alberta, for example, are expected to rise to 2,500 pounds per acre from last year's 2,346.

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