What can farmers expect in the wheat market in 2019?

Marlene Boersch with Mercantile Consulting Venture is projecting a 6% increase in 2019 spring wheat acres in Western Canada and a 10% drop for durum acres.

Durum has been struggling with Italy, one of our key customers, raising concerns over glyphosate residue which has resulted in a drop in durum shipments to that country.

Boersch says there is an abundance of durum available right now, so she doesn’t expect to see any significant increases in Canadian exports.

In the meantime, Canadian officials continue to talk to our customers in Italy to try and find a solution.

When it comes to the wheat market, she’s expecting old crop wheat prices to climb another 25 to 35 cents a bushel as more international business moves to North America.

 “The market has basically been waiting for Australia to slow down the exports which will allow more North American wheat to flow into the market once they slow down. I think that’s starting to happen in January, general estimates are that Russia will not do more than 1.5 million tonnes in January compared to close to 5 million tonnes a month at the peak.  I think that over the next six weeks or so we might see a bit of an increase in price.”

When it comes to our top three export markets for wheat, Indonesia is number one followed by China and Japan

“Japan is always an important buyer to us because they buy quality. Their actually a little bit behind the pace year to date but I think that will pick up in the New Year. In Japan, we also have the benefit that CPTPP will kick in and will give us progressively an advantage over U-S shipments into Japan as well.”

Boersch talked about the Changing Wheat Trade Matrix as part of CropSphere 2019.

She also writes a weekly market report which is available on the Sask Wheat website.

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