April 2018 Winter Wheat Prices Recap

Winter wheat prices fluctuated with the weather and ongoing forecasts across the top US producing states. Digging into the string of weekly quality and progress reports, the state of the U.S. winter wheat crop can be defined by one word: Ugly.

On Monday, April 30th, the winter wheat prices rallied as the USDA ended the month by providing an update on the condition of U.S. Winter Wheat. The USDA reported that winter wheat rated “good to excellent” came in at 33%. That figure represented a 2-percentage point increase from last week and topped average expectations by a point.

However, it’s still well behind last year’s rating at this time of 54% G/E.


The announcement comes the same week that the annual winter wheat tour kicks off across the U.S. Plains. With only 2% of the Kansas winter wheat crop headed though, how relevant will the crop tour be for giving us a direction for winter wheat prices?

Here’s a breakdown of the action on the contracts that we were watching for Chicago soft red winter wheat prices this month:  

  • May 2018: +13.6% or 61.5¢ to $5.125 USD / bushel
  • July 2018: +9% or 42¢ to $5.105 USD / bushel
  • Dec 2018: +8.1% or 40.8¢ to $5.473 USD / bushel
  • Mar 2019: +7.8% or 41¢ to $5.633 USD / bushel


Here’s a breakdown of the action on the contracts that we were watching for Kansas City hard red winter wheat prices this month:

  • May 2018: +11% or 51.2¢ to $5.185 USD / bushel
  • July 2018: +10.5% or 51.2¢ to $5.375 USD / bushel
  • Dec 2018: +9.2% or 49¢ to $5.788 USD / bushel
  • Mar 2019: +8.9% or 48.5¢ to $5.933 USD / bushel


April was a very busy month for our analysts, as we covered daily market trading and turned our focus to a wealth of data that emerged from agencies and analysts around the globe.

This month we talked about the US wheat quality tour, the USDA and StatsCan reports, and US trade policy. Specifically, we have looked at:

Be sure to sign up for your free 3-week trial at GrainCents as this month could be the most impactful for how and when you price your winter wheat for the rest of 2017/18 old crop supply, as well as a significant portion of your 2018/19 new crop production.


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.

Most Recent Posts
Dec 11 – December WASDE, USDA Disappoint Grain Markets Again
December 11, 2019 Brennan Turner
Grain markets are mostly lower after yesterday’s December WASDE report didn’t change anything, leaving the trade to look for new headlines.
October 4: Corn Prices Edge Higher With October WASDE in Focus
October 04, 2018 Garrett Baldwin
Corn prices ticked higher Thursday as traders and analysts began to speculate on next week’s release of the October WASDE report.
Accounting for Weather Ahead of Corn & Soybean Plant 2019
March 18, 2019 Brennan Turner
While the trade war is still grabbing a lot of headlines, it's the recent volatile weather that is starting to help grain prices improve.