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Market Analysis

Thursday, April 2, 2020

   Oklahoma wheat prices may peak in the June through August time period. Worldwide, consumers have been hoarding bread, pasta, flour and rice. Bakers have increased production, which has increased flour demand. In response, flour mills are increasing the production of flour, which increases the demand for wheat. Wheat prices are rising and some countries are releasing wheat out of reserves.

   On the supply side, Russia appears to have decided to increase wheat stocks. (Russia’s wheat ending stocks-to-use ratio was projected to be 10 percent compared to 43 percent for the U.S. and 31 percent for the world.) There is also concern that the COVID-19 lockdown in India and other countries may impact the 2020 world wheat harvest (harvest is starting in India, Pakistan, and North Africa) and that COVID-19 is impacting transport of commodities from the interior to the export market.

   Another concern may be that the U.S. hard red winter wheat harvest starts in Texas in about six weeks and will be in Oklahoma the last of May. Producers may want to develop harvest strategies in the case that custom harvester movement is limited. Producers who harvest their own wheat may consider generating additional income by agreeing to custom harvest additional acres.

   The good news is that Oklahoma and Texas wheat is the next wheat to be harvested that is available for export. The bad news is that the IGC’s (International Grain Council) 2020/21 wheat marketing year world wheat production is a record 28.3 billion bushels. The world will start the 2020/21 wheat marketing year with a record 10.6 billion bushels in storage. These two records imply a record supply of world wheat for the 2020/21 wheat marketing year.

Risk Management Strategies

Thursday, April 2, 2020

   At this writing, wheat may be forward contracted for harvested delivery for $4.72 (KC July -20₵) in Northern Oklahoma, $4.52 (-40₵) in Southern Oklahoma and $4.61 (-30₵) in the Panhandle. Historically, the best time to sell Oklahoma wheat is during the June through August time period; however, producers may want to forward contract a small amount now

Kim's Soap Box: Is there a way to "beat the system?"

   Date updated: Friday, April 10, 2009 (archives)

   There just has to be a way to know when to sell wheat and when to store it. In reviewing some old files, I found a one-page guide on how to determine which marketing strategy to use at harvest. The strategies included sell cash, hedge, store, and option strategies. The signals were if the basis and/or the KCBT Dec futures price were above or below normal. I collected cash prices, basis and futures prices from 1970 to present and evaluated the signals. The result was that the basis is a relatively good indicator if a storage hedge will work. The futures price was useless as a signal.

   The research is not complete, but my expected conclusion has been published by Carl Zulauf (Ohio State University) and Scott Irwin (University of Illinois), "With few exceptions, the field crop producers who survive will be those who have the lowest cost of production because efforts to improve revenue through better marketing of the commodity produced will meet with limited success over time."..."A good marketing program starts with a good program for managing and controlling the cost of production."