17.07.2023 – Once again we have to deal with the wheat crisis. Because today the export agreement between Ukraine and Russia expires. Whether there will be an extension this time is open, because Moscow is blocking. And then there is the latest report of the US Department of Agriculture on the world market.
Lively ups and downs in wheat: first the United States Department of Agriculture sank the price last Wednesday. Here is the four-hour chart of the September contract in cents per bushel. And then it went north because Russia’s President Vladimir Putin blocked. There had been such threats time and again. But how will it end this time?
Wheat for the world
The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, however, judged that the whole world would be affected if the agreement were to be terminated. That’s because, according to UN data, some 32.9 million tons of grain had been exported since the agreement was concluded last July, 725,000 tons of it by the World Food Program (WFP) for underdeveloped countries such as Ethiopia, Somalia or Yemen. That was more than half of the grain shipped by WFP in 2022, he said – making the importance of the corridor abruptly clear. We are curious to see how the political tug-of-war will develop. What is already clear is that many fields near the front lines in Ukraine will not be harvested, and that this will reduce the harvest.
Bearish WASDE report
And with that, we look at global supply. Last Wednesday, USDA had its say with the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). The agency raised its estimate for global wheat production volume for the 2022/23 season to 790.20 million tons. The volume in the 2021/23 season had been 781.05 million tons. It also said exports would increase from 202.85 million tons to 217.17 million tons. It added: “The projected season-average farm price is forecast at $7.50 per bushel, down $0.20 from last month.”
Barchart.com commented: “The July WASDE report hit the agricultural sector like a ton of bricks.” But the website still remained bullish: “The kneejerk selling in the soybean, corn, and wheat futures market turned out to be a mistake, and the bearish tone of the July WASDE report provided market participants that bought the dip with a gift.” The arguments: Drought in the Northern Hemisphere; rising production costs added to the product; and just the war in Ukraine. In addition, USDA tends to traditionally give a best-case scenario. At least with regard to the influencing factor of the Ukraine war, Barchart has been proven right for the time being. We are curious to see how the matter develops – we will keep you up to date!
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