OVERVIEW

Global production for 2014/15 is down slightly from last month but still projected at a record. Global trade is nearly unchanged with higher EU exports offsetting a drop in Argentina. The U.S. season-average farm price is unchanged.

EU Surpasses the United States as Largest Wheat Exporter Once Again

The EU first overtook the United States as the world's top wheat exporter in 2013/14 and the gap is projected to widen in 2014/15. The EU has a record crop and is the world's most competitive supplier. French wheat has been priced below Black Sea for much of the season, due in part to lower-than-average quality. Although Russia and Ukraine shipped at a record pace during the first half of the marketing year, trade is expected to plunge on Russia's export duty and Ukraine's voluntary export limits. Despite Russia's waning presence in the market, the United States is unlikely to fill the gap due to uncompetitive prices and a strengthening dollar.

U.S. PRICES:

Export prices for most wheat classes rose slightly in February. Hard Red Spring (HRS) prices jumped $20 to $289/ton and Soft White Winter (SWW) rose $15 to $254/ton, both on strong demand and the fast pace of shipments in recent weeks. Hard Red Winter (HRW) ended the month unchanged at $246/ton but spiked mid-month due to concerns about frigid weather affecting crops in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Soft Red Winter (SRW) prices were up $2 to $234/ton.

TRADE CHANGES IN 2014/15

Selected Exporters

  • Argentina is cut 500,000 tons to 5.5 million as the government slowly issues export licenses.
  • EU is boosted 500,000 tons to 31.5 million on recent sales to Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco.

Selected Importers

  • Algeria is lowered 300,000 tons to 7.1 million on expectations of a larger 2015/16 crop.
  • Morocco is boosted 300,000 tons to 3.4 million on a strong pace to date and a recent large purchase of EU soft wheat.
  • Philippines is raised 300,000 tons to a record 4.1 million based on growing consumption and strong early-season purchases.
  • Syria is down 300,000 tons to 1.7 million on slow purchases.
  • Thailand is up 300,000 tons to 2.3 million on recent purchases of feed-quality wheat used primarily in the shrimp industry.
  • Yemen is cut 300,000 tons to 3.3 million on the slow pace of purchases.