Iowa Public Television

 

Wheat prices slump as harvest continues

posted on June 9, 2000


IN THE COUNTRY, THE COMBINES HAVE BEGUN TO ROLL IN EARNEST ACROSS THE SOUTHERN PLAINS.
THE UNHAPPY WINTER WHEAT HARVEST IS MAKING ITS WAY NORTH AND AT LAST REPORT IS 8 PERCENT COMPLETE. THE USDA IS FORECASTING A 1.65-BILLION BUSHEL HARVEST, WHICH WOULD BE THE SMALLEST WINTER WHEAT CROP SINCE 1996.

THOUGH AHEAD OF SCHEDULE IN TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA, THE HARVEST WAS SLOWED AS IT REACHED KANSAS BY WIDESPREAD RAINS AND GROWING CONCERNS OVER YIELD-REDUCING FUNGUS. USDA SAYS LESS THAN HALF OF THE NATION'S WINTER WHEAT CROP IS IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.

IRONICALLY, THE PROSPECTS OF REDUCED YIELDS AND A SMALLER CROP HAVE DONE NOTHING TO BOLSTER PRICES. WHEAT FUTURES PRICES IN CHICAGO SLUMPED TO THEIR LOWEST LEVEL IN A MONTH, AS THE TRADE ANTICIPATED SUFFICIENT NEW DOMESTIC SUPPLIES AND IMPROVED FORECASTS FOR CHINA'S DROUGHT-PLAGUED WHEAT CROP.

WHEAT PRICES ALSO WERE PRESSURED BY THE SLUMPING CORN MARKET. NEARBY CORN FUTURES PRICES FELL TO FIVE MONTH LOWS AT MIDWEEK AS THE LIKELIHOOD OF A MIDWEST DROUGHT DIMINISHED.


Tags: agriculture commodity prices crops harvest news wheat