USDA updated its hard red spring wheat crop condition ratings this week, confirming that the drought that decimated the hard red winter wheat crop in the Southern and Central Plains has also spread north, says U.S. Wheat Associates market analyst Joe Sowers.
HRS condition ratings by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service have declined every week for nearly two months, with 42% of the crop now estimated in good to excellent condition compared to 78% this week last year. The poor growing conditions have led NASS to forecast a decline in HRS production exceeding 42 mbu (1.1 MMT) from last year to 425 mbu (11.6 MMT), 9% lower than last year and 18% below 2004/05. The forecast average yield is 33 bushels/acre compared to 37 bushels last year. More than 90% of the U.S. HRS acreage is planted in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana where production is forecast to fall by 9% (20 mbu), 18% (12 mbu), 13% (9 mbu) and 2% (2 mbu) respectively.
This month NASS left its HRW production forecast unchanged at 660 mbu (18 MMT), down 29% from 930 mbu (25 MMT) last year. With more than 70% of the crop harvested, including all of the crop in the two largest HRW states of
Although harvests in the southern hemisphere are months away and may still be aided by favorable weather, USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates released last week supported reports that severe drought has reduced plantings in Australia and Argentina. The WASDE forecast for Australian production was revised down from 24 MMT to 21.5 MMT. "This revision for
It is anticipated that HRS and HRW prices will "ration" supplies, Sowers explains. Minneapolis HRS futures closed Wednesday at $5.38/bushel, up 53% from $3.51 a year ago. Although basis prices have dropped, the14% protein HRS basis in