Weather forecasts are again a matter of concern. Further rainfall is forecast for this week, which has pushed harvesting operations to progress during the weekend where it was possible to do so. Despite the hoped-for potential, the yields achieved are still announced as average and therefore disappointing. This situation also led to a rebound of wheat prices on Euronext by the end of session on Friday.
The firmness also extends to the corn market. In old crop, the rise is confirmed due to fears about availability in a context of a tense lean season. On Euronext, the August21 contract, which closes this week, has reached a new high. In new crop, despite reassuring growing conditions, corn prices are also adjusting upwards against other cereals.
Corn and soybean prices were down slightly at the end of the week. Some position adjustments were made on Friday, last trading day before the end of July. Prospects for better weather also provided some relief, although everything remains to be confirmed by midweek.
In Chicago, wheat prices remain near the highest levels since early summer. The market continues to be driven by the prospect of large yield declines in spring wheat. Last week's crop tour in North Dakota confirmed that yield potential is down sharply compared to past years and would be the worst since 1993. This has led to a sharp increase in Minneapolis market prices, taking Chicago SRW prices in its wake.
The USDA's crop condition ratings update, due today, should further confirm the deterioration already seen in spring wheat. These figures will obviously also be scrutinised for corn and soybean.
In the Black Sea area, Russia is now the main concern, with less promising production potential in the Central and Volga regions. This deterioration is currently pushing some local analysts to revise their production estimates below 80 Mt. Therefore, this situation favours a strengthening of Russian prices. As a reminder, the USDA in its July monthly report estimated the Russian wheat production at 85 Mt. This figure could be revised downwards in the August 12 release.