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Frontrunner - 19th February 2021

A period of extreme cold has affected the primary US winter wheat producing states in recent days. Temperatures nearing record lows of between -15-20°c have been recorded as far south as Texas and concerns that wheat crops will be subject to winter kill has triggered volatile trading in Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures. Prices rallied to their highest since the end of January as the chief meteorologist of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggested crops in Texas and Oklahoma had been lost to the severe cold.

This week at its Annual Outlook Forum, the USDA said that it expects to see a record combined area of US corn and soybeans of 182 million acres. US farmers, encouraged by seven-and-a-half-year high prices will increase their corn planted area to 92 million acres this spring, compared to 90.8 million acres last year. The US is the world’s leading corn exporter and this season will see its shipments rising by 21 million tonnes on the previous year to 66 million tonnes. This is helping to meet increasing demand to China where corn imports will rise to 24 million tonnes, which is over 17 million tonnes up on the year.

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