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Wheat Rallies 2% on Supply Concerns amid US Winter Blast

Wheat futures surged as much as 2% on Tuesday as wintry weather woes triggered supply concerns. Wheat prices slumped this month amid profit-taking, but the drop is considered to be short-term, based on fundamentals and the fallout from the winter weather. Could the wheat market touch the $7 mark in the first quarter?

March wheat futures rallied $0.1325, or 2.08%, to $6.50 per bushel at 14:19 GMT on Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). Wheat is coming off a 1% weekly drop, adding more than 1% to its 2020 gain.

The US is being blanketed by Arctic-like conditions, with snow and freezing temperatures impacting 100 million Americans. The blast of winter extended as far south as Texas. But this is creating concerns about potential crop damage from frigid temperatures.

Old Man Winter’s late-season push has raised worries that the cold blast could affect parts of the US Plains where wheat is grown. But the Commodity Weather Group recently estimated that 10% of US soft wheat crop and 15% of the hard wheat crop were being threatened by winterkill initiated by the freezing temperatures.

Although some traders say it might be premature to judge if the winter weather will have consequences for wheat production, the market’s reaction has been mixed. Prices have climbed to a one-week high, but the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) weekly commitments of traders report found that non-commercial traders increased their net-short positions in wheat.

In other industry news, the Russian Grain Union (RGU) is warning that a permanent floating duty on wheat exports from Russia could lead to a drop in production and higher prices. Moscow will be imposing the export levy on June 2.

If there is a decline in profitability, farmers would likely react by decreasing planted wheat areas for the 2021–2022 marketing season spring wheat.

RGU president Arkady Zlochevsky said in a statement:

If we subtract all costs, including a €50/t export duty, transport, transshipment and other costs from the current market price for Russian wheat of about $285/t fob, we get only Rbs9,000/t, which is below the cost of production.

Late last year, the Russian government slapped a levy on wheat shipments to curb domestic food prices. Officials extended and expanded the export tariff earlier this year, but the measure has not resulted in lower prices.

In other agricultural commodities, March soybean futures picked up $0.1025, or 0.75%, to $13.8175 per bushel. March corn futures added $0.0725, or 1.35%, to $5.4575 a pound. March coffee futures advanced $0.022, or 1.79%, to $1.2525 per pound.

If you have any questions and comments on commodities today, use the form below to reply.


© AndrewMoran for Commodity Blog, 2021. | Permalink | No comment |
Published under: Wheat

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