China Cancels Another Shipment of US Wheat

Asian Country Has Canceled a Combined 504,000 Tons of US Wheat Recently, the Most in USDA Records Dating to 1999
Soft red winter wheat in a field in Kirkland, Ill. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News)

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China canceled another batch of U.S. wheat export shipments, adding to an already record number of cancellations that have weighed on Chicago futures.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in a March 11 statement said private exporters exited purchases of 264,000 metric tons of U.S. soft red winter wheat to China. It was the third straight session with such an announcement, bringing the cancellation total to 504,000 tons, the most in USDA data going back to 1999.

Wheat futures fell as much as 2.7% to $5.235 a bushel after the announcement, the lowest intraday level since August 2020, before prices turned higher.

“Those cancellations show that China can get wheat cheaper from others,” said Ben Buckner, chief grains analyst for AgResource Co.

China's record US wheat cancellations

Still, wheat futures recovered by late morning. Abundant world crop supplies have been pressuring prices for months, but because money managers already had such sizable bearish positions, the market has been struggling to stay down as traders cover their short bets.

While wheat’s strength is unexpected given another cancellation by China, “we’re about to trigger a major round of short covering,” Dennis Smith, broker at Archer Financial Services in Chicago, said in a note.

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