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Grain prices retreat ahead of USDA quarterly results

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Dry Bulk,

CRM Agri have reported that the US agricultural market has not only been anticipating the release of a quarterly report on US crop stocks, a data series which has a reputation for provoking market moves due to the insight it gives into consumption levels, but also a briefing on farmers’ 2024 sowings plans.

The Prospective Plantings report has marked something of a starting pistol for the US sowings programme, using the results of a farmer survey to update USDA forecasts for the year’s crop area, just as Midwest growers are preparing to start spring plantings.

The potential for significant volatility after the reports has often provoked a careful reassessment of positions, and profit-taking.

In Chicago, wheat - the best performer of late of the big three contracts – sustained the most pressure, with May-24 futures trading at 1.8% lower.

Paris futures for May-24 also shed 1.8%, retreating close to the €200/t mark, although losses for London feed wheat for May-24 were limited to 1.4%, after the contract earlier found support at the £170/t mark.

The prospect of the USDA data overshadowed concerns over Russian exports prompted by the blocking of a reported 400 000 t in exports by merchant TD RIF, amid an ownership dispute.

Updated EU export data showed soft wheat shipments at 22.8 million t so far in 2023/24, down by 381 000 t year on year, although the EU Commission acknowledged that the latest statistics remain incomplete.

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