KANSAS CITY: News that Egypt favored US competitors in its latest wheat purchase helped push hard red winter wheat futures lower at the Kansas City Board of Trade on Thursday amid a mix of other market factors. New-crop July wheat ended down 6-3/4 cents at $4.78-1/2, while the September was down 7-3/4 cents at $4.88-1/2.
Volume was light. Man Financial traded 150 July, ADM traded 100 July, Prudential bought 200 July, Frontier bought 200 July and sold 100 July, Fimat USA bought 200 July, and Country Hedging bought 200 December and sold 400 July, floor sources said. The market sag was in part follow-through from Wednesday s losses, with seasonal harvest pressure among a mix of factors. News that Egypt s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said it bought no US wheat but 120,000 tonnes of Russian or Kazakh wheat on Thursday for delivery up to July 15 was also seen as bearish.
Egypt is one of the world s leading wheat importers, buying up to 6 million tonnes a year abroad.
Weekly export data from the US Department of Agriculture offered little to boost prices. USDA reported that net export sales of US wheat over the last week totalled 56,900 tonnes, a marketing-year low, while sales totalled 337,600 tonnes for delivery in 2007/08.
The total of 394,400 tonnes was within trade expectations for 250,000 to 500,000 tonnes. Still, USDA did say that private exporters reported the sale of 200,000 tonnes of hard red winter wheat to Iraq for the 2007/08 marketing year, which begins June 1. On the wheat weather front, the news was mixed: Showers in the US Plains were boosting soil moisture reserves but increasing chances for disease in the new HRW wheat crop, while the North China Plain remains dry, increasing stress to winter wheat there, said DTN Meteorlogix.
Showers were boosting soil moisture in Australia but more rain was needed, according to Meteorlogix. Meanwhile, warm and dry weather in Europe last month prompted French analyst Strategie Grains on Thursday to cut its estimate for the bloc s 2007 grain output by 5 million tonnes. The nine-day relative strength index stood at 51 in the July ahead of Thursday s opening, near the midway mark between the 70-and-above range considered indicative of an overbought market and the 30-and-below point seen indicative of oversold conditions.