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Wheat Futures Retreat From Rally Driven by Cold Snap

November 13, 2019 at 14:02 by Andrew Moran

Wheat futures are retreating from their recent rally, despite many parts of the US, including the important Midwest, still facing harsh conditions from the winter weather. With a cold spell impacting wheat-growing areas of the US Plains, financial markets are concerned that the low temperatures will threaten crops. Wheat prices were further lifted on improved export inspections by the US government.

December wheat futures tumbled $0.04, or 0.77%, to $5.13 per bushel at 12:56 GMT on Wednesday on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). Wheat prices have surged 8% since August, and they are up about 2% year-to-date.

This week, temperatures plummeted to as low as -18 degrees Celsius (near zero Fahrenheit). The cold snap came earlier than many had anticipated, and observers fear that the freezing temperatures could damage recently planted crops.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report showed that the nation’s winter wheat crops were rated good-to-excellent condition, unchanged at 57%. However, because of the frigid temperatures, next week’s report should be interesting to peruse.

Meanwhile, the USDA published a separate report which found that export inspections climbed 234,904 metric tons, which were better than what analysts had penciled in. This is a 22.1% jump from the previous week. Overall, inspections have increased 23.1% from the same time a year ago and exports are projected to come in 1.5% higher in the 2019–2020 marketing year.

The industry is witnessing ample global wheat supplies this year. But observers are forecasting relief within the next two years as many major producers are reporting lower output levels, including the US, Russia, and Australia.

In other agricultural commodities, December corn futures slipped $0.0225, or 0.6%, to $3.755 per pound. December soybean futures dipped $0.01, or 0.11%, to $9.16 a bushel. January orange juice futures shed 0.05 cents to 98.5 cents per pound.

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