The Good: Wheat markets rebounded today after a rocky road of trading since Monday. The news that pushed wheat higher was the results of Iranian tender which indicated that 500,000 tonnes was purchased for prompt (January and February) delivery. USDA weekly export sales of wheat were strong at 650,507 tonnes, with Mexico and Peru purchasing the largest amounts. Spring wheat sales were also strong with 129,998 tonnes reported for the week, with the largest purchases from the Philippines and Japan. Spring wheat futures were up 13 cents per bushel in the March contract to close the day at US$10.27 per bushel. Spring wheat futures tried to test the US$10 per bushel mark and has bounced off of that critical level.
The Bad: Durum exports during the past week (week 19) were only 3,400 tonnes, which is a low for the current crop year. The exports were a “hold topper” in Vancouver, with no St. Lawrence movement reported. Durum exports so far this year have reached 1.12 million tonnes, which is down sharply from the previous two crop years. The good news is that total exports of durum this year are projected at 2.3 million tonnes, which means that exports to week 19 are already 50 per cent complete.
The Ugly: The windstorm that moved through the Southern Plains and western Corn Belt yesterday was record breaking on a number of fronts. The drought monitor shows the reason that the dust storms yesterday reminded one of the 1930s. The drought continues to intensify in the Southern Plains, especially in western Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. Most of the region is currently in a moderate to severe drought. The cause of the windstorm was the cold front that passed through the Prairies on its way to the central U.S. By the way, the drought in the Northern Plains continues through the early part of winter.