March wheat was down 6 1/2 cents late in the overnight session. The US dollar was higher and traders continue to monitor the Egypt situation. The continued bullish tone for food agricultural futures including wheat, rice, vegetable oil, dairy and sugar provided solid support to the wheat market recently, and bitter cold weather in the plains overnight might have caused some damage to the winter wheat crop. The market traded nearly 10 cents higher on the session overnight before pushing down to more than 6 cents lower late. Ideas that the cold weather has peaked for now and ideas that Egypt violence means it will take longer to see a stable government tha would boost food imports helped to pressure the market. Wheat surged higher on the session yesterday and even saw a late rally to push nearby March futures to a new contract high. Bitter cold weather is moving out of the plains for the next few days. Ideas that North African and Middle Eastern countries will continue to stock up on food items added to the positive tone yesterday, but worsening conditions in Egypt into the evening there helped support a bounce in the US dollar and trigger a setback in the wheat market. End of January state-by-state crop condition updates this week helped to provide underlying support. As of the end of January, Kansas winter wheat crops rated good to excellent came in at just 27% vs. 56% last year and 49.7% as the 5-year average. Poor to very poor ratings were 37%. Good to excellent ratings in Texas were 17%, Oklahoma 21% and Nebraska 41%. Traders see weekly sales totals for the pre-opening release this morning near or just shy of 1 million tonnes, compared with 1.047 million tonnes last week and just 385,100 tonnes of old crop sales needed each week to reach the USDA export forecast for the season. Pakistan plans to export up to 3 million tonnes this year. Weather has been favorable in key Russian wheat areas and traders are optimistic for a much larger crop and significant export capabilities this season. Jordan is tendering to buy 100,000 tonnes of wheat. Iraq is also tendering for 100,000 tonnes and Lebanon is tendering to buy 22,500 tonnes of milling wheat. Bangladesh is in the market for 50,000 tonnes.
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