The US wheat market got hit pretty hard overnight. The prospect of rain in the HRW belt countered the delay in spring wheat sowing.
The crop progress report was out after the close. It shows a 1% increase in the percentage of the winter wheat crop in the US rated good to excellent but it also shows an increase of 2% of the amount of the crop rated poor to very poor.
This is tending to confirm what those on the ground are saying. Crops that went in in slightly less than ideal conditions are suffering while those that were sown into better condition are at least average. The US crop is behind in development thanks to the cold spring they are experiencing. This may yet prove to be what saves this crop as it may well still be small enough to use the moisture predicted.
Spring wheat sowing pace only jumped an additional 1% this week with 3% sown versus the average of 15%. There is talk of some producers walking away from unsown acres for crops such as soybeans, time will tell.
A weaker ruble is also hurting this market somewhat making Russian wheat once again more competitive on the world market. The spring sowing pace around the Black Sea is also improving as the weather becomes more favourable. In general the wheat crops there are in good shape although acres are back a little.
In the EU block we see the cold wet weather continuing the hamper spring sowing the good news is that the winter crop appears to have come through the winter unscathed. This allowed forecasters to increase average wheat yields to 6.23t/ha, slightly better than 2017.