Wheat futures ended the month of March up, as dryness continues to build in the US southern states.
Eyes continue to remain focused on the US weather. Parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas experienced low temperatures last week, raising concerns about potential damage to winter wheat crops. Conditions have also been drier than ideal, with incidence of drought increasing, 20% of Oklahoma was classed as experiencing some form of drought as at 29 March, up from 14% a week earlier Drier than usual conditions are also persisting in the northern spring wheat areas.
Last week the USDA released their prospective plantings report – This year’s total wheat area is estimated at 20.1 million ha, below the lowest trade and represents a 46 year low. The decline in the US wheat area has been driven by drops in both winter and spring wheat sowing – with spring plantings of 4.6 million ha, the lowest since 1972. The winter wheat area is expected to be 8% lower year-on-year (14.7 million ha).
French winter crops continue to be reported in good condition. Ratings as at 28 March are broadly comparable to 2015 and unchanged week-on-week for winter wheat at 92% rated good to excellent.
Russia is forecast to produce 61 million mt of wheat which would result in an export task of 23 million tonne and the Ukraine despite a rough start to their crop establishment in some regions is now forecast to produce a record 27.25 million tonne and to export a record 15.5 million tonne.
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