Wheat prices take another step up

15-06-2022 | |
Photo: Mark Pasveer
Photo: Mark Pasveer

A new report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) holds few, if any, surprises. After the announcement, the price development of wheat and maize on the futures market in Chicago therefore remained almost flat.

USDA has fractionally lowered its forecast for the global wheat crop to 773.4 million tons. Wheat consumption figures have been reduced to a similar extent. As a result, the forecast for closing stocks at the beginning of July next year remains unchanged at 267 million tons. That is 13 million tons less than the current season, which ends at the end of this month. And about 25 million tons less than in the 2020-2021 season.

China hardly shows any differences

It is striking that China hardly shows any differences in these figures with the previous seasons. And also in the United States, according to this expectation, the decrease is limited to about 1 million tons compared to the current season. The largest decrease is expected in the European Union; from 14.4 million tons of stock now to less than 11 million tons next year.

EU: Larger stocks due to less exports

It must be said that the stock in the EU will be slightly higher this year due to disappointing exports. Instead of the 37.5 million tons that USDA forecast in January, EU exports this season will remain at around 29.5 million tons, according to the latest figures. And that leads to more wheat being transferred to the new season in the EU.

EU wheat harvest forecast cut

USDA has cut EU wheat harvest forecast a fraction to 136 million tons. That is more than 2 million tons less than the 2021 harvest. That could be lower now that the wheat in France is growing worse than previously expected. In addition, weather services predict an unusually early heat wave from the middle of this week. Spain is already dealing with the hottest heat wave in 20 years for the time of the year.

All in all, the futures markets will start rising again this week. The next contract (September) rose again early on Monday towards € 400 per tonne. The futures market in Chicago also opened the week with slightly rising prices.

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John Ramaker Commodities market editor, Boerderij