Ray Grabanski, Progressive Ag
Wheat The wheat market experienced sharp losses on the week as Matif Wheat futures pushed world values lower. Matif Wheat futures pushed below major support at $193.25 but did recover above that level in Feb. 21 trade. The euro rebounded on the week and the U.S. dollar was lower to the $96.50 area. The tough thing though is that this currency exchange since the first of February has flipped in favor of European wheat values on the world stage.
Wheat After being range-bound for nearly four months, Matif Wheat futures broke lower through key support levels as Strategie Grains estimated a 15-percent increase in European Union wheat production for 2019. The mid-January support level of $202.75 per metric ton, the Nov. 29 low of $201 per metric ton, the Nov. 19 low of $200 per metric ton and the Sept. 13 low of $199.25 per metric ton were all breached this week. With French prices breaking below support levels, it is a particularly negative sign for U.S. wheat to be competitive in world export markets.
Wheat Resistance levels held firm this week as the wheat market encountered a higher trending U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar experienced seven sessions in a row of gains from the $95 to the $96.49 level. Matif wheat futures closed at $202 per metric ton, which was the lowest level since mid-January.
Wheat The wheat market saw losses this week as the polar vortex cold snap didn't give this market its expected boost.
Wheat The wheat market experienced buying interest to kick off the holiday shortened week. The big market mover was rumors of China potentially purchasing 7 million metric tons of U.S. wheat. Keep in mind that 8 million metric tons is just under 300 million bushels, or three-fourths of the total U.S. spring wheat crop. The current cold snap gripping the U.S. and fears of winterkill across the Southern Plains also provided underlying support.
Wheat The wheat market experienced a couple of days with decent gains during regular trade only to close with minor gains in an overall sideways pattern this week. All three wheat contracts ran up to their 50-day moving averages but failed to punch through them. This led to more technical selling in the Jan. 10 session. Weekly export inspections were well below expectations coming in at 260,000 metric tons (9.6 million bushels). This was the lowest weekly total of the marketing year, which gave the market pause early week.
Wheat The wheat complex finished 2018 on a lower tone when it was reported that Russia may offer rail subsidies through the summer months to get more eastern wheat moving to their southern ports. This led to losses in New Year's Eve trade that saw Minneapolis contracts reaching new contract lows and Kansas City and Chicago contracts reaching their lowest levels since late January 2018.
Wheat The wheat complex was under pressure all week but saw some buying at the new contract low of $5.445 in Minneapolis. The U.S. dollar continues choppy trade, experiencing a fifth session of back-and-forth 50-point moves. The Dec. 27 session was lower to the $96 level. Matif wheat futures have backed off of recent two month highs to $203.25 per metric ton.
Wheat Russian news and export numbers drove the market this week. Early week, it was announced that Russia will be holding an export meeting Dec. 21. There was speculation that Russia may curb exports as their supply diminishes because of the frantic pace they have been moving wheat this year. There was similar speculation a few months ago that this may happen at a similar meeting, but it did not.
Wheat The wheat markets found support early week from the action in the soybean complex as Chinese-U.S. talks from the G-20 summit appeared to be fruitful. Weekly export inspections were 473,000 metric tons, which was at the high end of trade estimates which built the case for Dec. 3 gains.