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Wheat Slumps to Lowest Level of 2020 As USDA Predicts ‘Stable Supplies’

February 11, 2020 at 18:02 by Andrew Moran

Wheat futures are on track for their worst finish of the year as the US government released its outlook for the current marketing year and projected “stable supplies.” US wheat exports have been mixed this month as shipments are down for the 2019–2020 season, but sales are up for the 2020–2021 season. The agricultural commodity has had a rough start to the year, and analysts are not optimistic about the rest of 2020.

March wheat futures tumbled $0.08, or 1.45%, to $5.44 per bushel at 16:46 GMT on Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). Wheat is poised to settle at its lowest level of the year and it is trading at a two-month low. Year-to-date, the crop is down close to 3%.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expecting “staple supplies” for the domestic wheat market. Experts anticipate a boost of 25 million bushels in exports, alluding to “competitiveness in global markets.” The USDA also reduced its projections for ending stocks by 25 million bushels, bringing the total to a five-year low of 940 million bushels.

Investors were looking to Chinese demand to drive wheat prices, but it looks like traders will keep an eye on supplies coming to market.

Last week, the USDA reported export sales of 338,600 metric tons for 2019–2020, down 48% from the previous week and 35% below the four-week average. Wheat export sales reached 404,800 metric tons for 2020–2021, up 85% from the previous week and 4% below the four-week average.

In other agricultural markets, March corn futures shed $0.0275, or 0.72%, to $3.79 per pound. March soybean futures slipped $0.0225, or 0.25%, to $8.82 a bushel. May orange juice futures picked up $0.012, or 1.23%, to $1.0245 per pound.

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