Washington Wheat Update

Washington Wheat Update

Washington Wheat Update

I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Glen Squires with the Washington Grain Commission says this year’s wheat harvest in the state was below the five year average, due largely in part to a lack of moisture throughout the winter and spring months followed by hot dry weather.

SQUIRES: USDA has pegged our production in Washington as 130.6 million bushels and that’s the lowest since about 2009.

Squires says Washington wheat producers faced another challenge this year as well, and that’s higher protein in the soft white wheat.

SQUIRES: Right now the PNW average is about 10.9% for soft white wheat. Here in Washington we’re a little higher than that - probably 11.2% protein - average. And that’s not the best because overseas customers like Japan 10.5 max is what they want. Now customers in Latin America they like the higher proteins.

Domestically wheat supplies are down, which would tend to increase prices, but globally it is the largest supply ever, which depresses prices.

SQUIRES: The price of soft white wheat right now at the port is ranging between 6.55 and 6.70 a bushel. Those prices are clearly down from last year. On the export side white wheat is holding up very well. Compared to exports last year we’re just about right even. Exports to South America are up actually 136%. The one area that we’re down in exports is Yemen. We usually export 400 or 500 thousand metric tons there and we’re down about 75% compared to this time last year. Put it all together compared to our pace last year, we’re 1.5% better than last year. So in other words the demand is remaining strong.

That’s Washington Ag Today.

I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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