U.S. stock levels reported by Department of Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released reports on quarterly stock levels for major grains as well as wheat production from the 2018 crop. As always, the commodity market was watching closely and generally found the report to be bearish. Corn stocks for the 2017-18 crop year were reported at 2.14 billion bushels compared to the lower trade estimate average of 2.01 billion bushels. Soybean ending stocks for old crop came in well above expectations at 438 million bushels compared to an estimated 401 million bushels. Wheat came in slightly below expected, at 2.379 billion bushels compared to an estimated 2.343 billion bushels. Wheat production for 2018-19 came in at 1.884 billion bushels compared to the trade estimate of 1.872 billion bushels.
Wheat markets were lower, this week. Prices fell on some technical pressure off of the recent bump from the lows. Stocks levels were slightly smaller than expected, but production in the U.S. were larger than analysts were anticipating. Spring wheat harvest is done in the U.S., and winter planting is progressing on schedule. Recent rains are beneficial for the crop's development ahead of winter dormancy.
Durum prices were unchanged, this week. Harvest is wrapping up; the USDA showed North Dakota's crop was 97 percent harvested. There is little to be excited about for durum markets, so expect prices to stay near these current lows for the weeks ahead.
The canola market has continued to work steadily higher. The outside soybean oil market has led that charge, with prices stepping slowly upward from recent lows. Canola harvest has had some weather issues to contend with, lending support. In western areas, snow and cold temperatures have made harvest difficult, leading to weather premium returning to canola prices. Next week's forecast show improved conditions, however.
Peas and lentils
Harvest efforts in Canada have been slowed by rains. Well over half of the crops in Saskatchewan have been harvested, but recent wet and cold conditions are an issue. First, farmers are slowed in their work this week. Second, the quality of the crops remaining in the field will suffer. Official reports on harvest totals and quality will continue to come out later in the fall.
The U.S. barley crop has been completely harvested. There has been little to drive prices in the past week, however.
Mustard seed markets were generally quiet as new crop supplies come online. Canadian harvest has progressed slowly given the poor weather conditions across the Prairies. Seventy-four percent of the crop is harvested compared to 70 percent in the previous week. This is lagging the pace set last year, when 88 percent of the crop was done at this time, but is ahead of the five year average pace of 68 percent. This harvest pace suggests that roughly 130,000 metric tons of new crop mustard seed is now available.