The Good: Spring wheat September futures closed up 36.25 U.S. cents per bushel as the market reacted to a strong rally in corn along with a continued dry forecast for the Northern Plains. The rally did reverse the dramatic drop in futures prices over the past two weeks. The markets will likely trade sideways tomorrow as U.S. markets prepare for the Memorial Day long weekend. The main driver of the rally was corn, which finished limit up in the nearby July contract. Spring wheat futures added a nine cent per bushel premium to Chicago and Kansas City winter wheat contracts. This premium was the result of new crop weather concerns along with good new crop sales during the past week.
The Bad: Although wheat prices were pushed higher by the rally in corn today, HRW export sales this past week were disappointing as new crop sales were only 59,100 tonnes. The wheat marketing year will close at the end of the month and HRW sales were a measly 59,100 tonnes. HRS sales were a respectable 193,231 tonnes for new crop positions, but HRW sales should be much higher at this point of the marketing year. The harvest is underway in northern Texas and will soon be moving into Oklahoma. This is the first global export wheat available and is attracting crickets in terms of offers for new crop. I may be exaggerating to some extent, but new crop HRW sales are the lowest since the 2017-18 crop year.
The Ugly: If you were thinking that the drought monitor would improve drastically with the rains last week you were say mistaken. Although there was some slight improvement in moisture ratings for North Dakota, the bulk of the state remains in extreme or exceptional drought. One region that saw an expansion of the drought region was the PNW, which is now rated as being in a severe to extreme drought. This is very bad timing for the white winter wheat crop in Oregon and Washington, which is just entering the heading stage. The forecast for the PNW is hot and dry for the next two weeks.