Ray Grabanski, Progressive Ag
Wheat The wheat market started out explosively higher this week in the Kansas City and Chicago contracts with Minneapolis tagging along. There were no deliveries against the Chicago May contract on April 30 and May 1. This lack of delivery pushed the Chicago May contract up 34 cents in two days. It was obvious that funds were covering short positions. The latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released April 24 showed funds adding 5,000 net short positions in Chicago.
Wheat It was a very wild week in the wheat complex as May Minneapolis futures have rebounded 61 cents from the April 3 low of $5.7175. Prospects of delayed planting and farmers switching away from spring wheat plantings gave speculative buyers the edge. The same was true in the Kansas City and Chicago contracts with condition ratings declining on the April 9 run.
Wheat The wheat complex traded sharply higher April 3 in reaction to the lowest winter wheat condition ratings since 2004 and the second lowest in the past 20 years. Kansas City led the way with 24 cent gains at one point. April 2 was the first week ratings were compiled across the states, but Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas have been giving weekly ratings updates since the end of February. Good to excellent ratings have been in the low teens the past six weeks compared to the low 40s a year ago. It is unlikely that 2018 crop yields will reach 2017 levels.
Wheat Heavy buying came into the entire wheat complex Feb. 28 with the possibility that Minneapolis may have finally broken its down trend. The sub $6.00 level was reached a few times as March contracts went into delivery, but for now the May contract could not close lower than $6.08 and we would view this as heavy support. We've been waiting for Minneapolis to join the Kansas City/Chicago rally — so better late than never. We would have to see May break the $6.40 area to officially show the downtrend reversed.
Wheat It was a fairly wild open in the wheat complex early week with Kansas City and Chicago up 5 to 6 in the overnights after the three-day weekend. Those gains held mid-session Feb. 20 before turning lower. July Kansas City hit $5.175 and looked poised for a breakout until weather forecasts called for beneficial rains over the eastern third of the hard red winter wheat belt in the next seven days.
Wheat The wheat market experienced very choppy trade this week. We started out the week with good gains on continued dry forecasts for the southern Plains. Technically, we had a reversal lower in both the Chicago and Kansas City markets Feb. 13. Both the six to ten and eight to 14-day forecasts were calling for rainfall through much of Oklahoma and Texas for the last few weeks of February that brought selling pressure.