December wheat was up 8 1/2 cents late in the overnight session. Outside market factors look positive today with a lower US dollar and strength in equity and energy markets. Milling wheat futures in Europe were up more than 2.2% overnight, and this helped support the US markets. Talk of lower than expected spring wheat yields and growing concerns for the winter wheat planting outlook in the US if drought-busting rains do not materialize soon lent support. Egypt announced another optional origin tender right after the close yesterday. Traders will monitor prices and quantities for this tender today. The weekly Crop Progress report showed that 29% of the spring wheat harvest was completed as of Sunday, compared to 13% last week and 49% a year ago. The 10 year average for this time of year is 55%. Historically, the lowest percent completed as of this date was 16% in 1993. Spring wheat crops were rated 62% good/excellent compared to 66% last week and 82% last year. The 10 year average for this time of year is 69%. The report alos showed that 94% of the winter wheat harvest was complete, compared to 91% last week and 94% last year. The 10 year average for this time of year is 95%. On top of the Egyptian tender, Iraq is tendering for 50,000 tonnes. Thailand flour millers bought 35,000 tonnes of prime hard wheat from Australia. Ukraine's grain harvest is progressing, with the Agriculture ministry expecting a total harvest near 50 million tonnes, up from 39.23 million last year. Traders see Ukrainian wheat exports near 9.7 million tonnes for the 2011/12 season, up from 4 million last year, and Russian exports near 20 million, up from 3.4 million last year. The Romanian Agriculture ministry reports that wheat production should be 7.2 million tonnes this year, up from 5.7 million last year. The Agriculture Minister in Kazakhstan believes thier grain exports this season could exceed 10 million tonnes, compared with 5.9 million last year. December wheat closed moderately higher on the session yesterday but more than 10 cents off of the early peak. A bullish tone to grain markets and other commodity markets plus a weaker US dollar helped spark the buying. The early rally pushed the market to the highest level since June 16th, with more talk of a loss of acres for the spring wheat crop and "La Nina" dryness concerns for the upcoming winter wheat plantings helping to support. Weekly export inspections, released during the session yesterday, came in at 17.4 million bushels, which was below the range of estimates. Inspections need to average 22 million bushels per week to reach the USDA projection for the year.
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