September 5: Wheat Futures Slide as Trade Tensions Remain High

Wheat futures were back in the red on Wednesday as traders eyed seasonally cool weather set to hit the Midwest this weekend. Rainfall is expected to increase as well between today and September 12.

Corn prices and soybean prices were also in the red as traders and analysts have begun setting their forecasts for the September WASDE report.

Let’s take a look at what happened today during a relatively quiet day at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat Futures Sink as September WASDE Approaches

December SRW contracts fell 9.75 cents to end the day just under $5.22 per bushel. The March 2019 contract shed 9 cents to close the day at $5.425.

In Kansas City, December HRW contracts shed 4.5 cents to finish at $5.28 per bushel. The March 2019 contract fell 8.5 cents and ended the day just under $5.50 per bushel.

Spring wheat prices also faced pressure on Wednesday. The MGEX December contract lost 4.5 cents to close the day a tick above $5.80. The March contract lost 4.75 cents and ended the day at $5.96 per bushel.

The downturn came despite a somewhat positive news on exports. Today, U.S. Census data showed that wheat exports for July came in at 1.766 MMT (or 64.9 million bushels if you’re converting metric tonnes to bushels at That figure was 15.4% higher than shipments in June. However, it was more than 25% off from the same time last year.

Today, Japan announced it had purchased about 108,000 MT of wheat from both the U.S. and Canada.

In addition, Egypt’s GASC announced that it purchased 60,000 MT of wheat from Russia in its most recent tender.

Soybean Prices Lose Ground Wednesday

Soybean contracts also retreated today. The November soybean contract in Chicago lost 6.25 cents to end the day at $8.38 per bushel. The January contract fell 6.25 cents to close just under $8.51.

Grain markets were reacting to yesterday’s crop progress report which continues to show a mature, and healthy soybean supply. In addition, the USDA released its Fats and Oils report for July.

The agency said that 178.84 million bushels were crushed in July. That is the second largest monthly crush total on record.

Canola prices followed soybean prices lower Wednesday. The November 2018 canola contract lost CAD $0.20 to end the day at CAD $496.60. The January contract shed CAD $0.20 to end at CAD $503.80 per tonne.

Corn Prices Fall

Ongoing concerns about crop size and weather pushed corn prices lower in Chicago. The December corn contract shed 3 cents to end the day just above $3.65 per bushel. The March contract shed 2.5 cents and closed just above $3.77 per bushel.

Markets have been looking for any development that would indicate a smaller crop than what the USDA forecasted in August. However, a recent survey by Allendale puts U.S. corn yields at 177.7 bushels per acre.

Anyone looking for updates on ethanol will need to wait a day. The EIA will report weekly ethanol production and inventory levels tomorrow thanks to the Monday holiday.

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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.

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