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WHEAT SCOOPS: 2024 wheat production, price

The below-average wheat stock situation could continue into late July and early August. As the 2024 wheat production situation changes, prices will change.

Kim Anderson

January 17, 2024

3 Min Read
Wheat Scoops

It’s about five months until the Oklahoma and Texas 2024 wheat harvest. At this writing, 2024 harvested wheat may be forward contracted in Pond Creek, Okla., and Perryton, Texas, for $5.70 (KEN24 - $0.55). Wheat may be forward contracted for 2024 harvest delivery in Altus, Okla., for $5.40 (KEN24 - $0.85). Often during the wheat harvest, Perryton prices are above Pond Creek prices.

During USDA’s 100th Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum (February 15-16, 2024), the 2024/25 marketing year crop supply and demand projections will be released. The projections will include 2024 U.S. wheat production, use and prices. The reports will be made available online. The URL for registration is https://reg.eventmobi.com/USDAOutlookForum2024.

The USDA Winter Wheat Seedings report (released January 12) estimated U.S. winter wheat seeded acres for the 2024 crop to be 34.4 million acres. Winter wheat-seeded acres are estimated to be 6% less than for the 2023 crop.

U.S. hard red winter (HRW) seedings were 24 million acres compared to 25.7 million acres for 2023. Oklahoma HRW-seeded acres were 4.3 million acres compared to 4.55 million acres last year. Texas-seeded acres declined from 6.4 to 5.9 million acres. Kansas-seeded acres declined from 8.1 to 4.3 million acres.

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Poor growing conditions for the 2023 crop resulted in well above-average abandoned acres. Even with a decline in seeded acres, improved crop conditions for the 2024 crop may result in a significantly lower abandonment of acres and potentially higher production than in 2023.

USDA/NASS Crop Condition reports released November 26 showed that 92% (94% average) of the 2024 Oklahoma wheat crop emerged. Texas wheat was 92% (93% average) planted and 78% (80% average) emerged. 

Observations show that after planting and emergence, wheat yields are mostly determined by March through May weather. The predicted El Nino weather pattern implies that the odds of above-average moisture during the wheat growing season are higher than normal. “Rain makes grain.”

The January WASDE projected hard red winter (HRW) wheat ending stocks to be 35% below the five-year average. The HRW stocks-to-use ratio was projected to be 11% below average.

U.S. wheat ending stocks were projected to be 22% below average, and U.S. wheat stocks-to-use was projected to be 16% below average. Both the world’s wheat ending stocks and stocks-to-use ratio were 8% below average.

Below-average ending stocks and below-average stocks-to-use ratios imply that 2024 wheat harvest prices should be above average. Harvest price is defined as the average daily June, July, and August price.

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The years 2009 through 2023 June, July, and August prices were used to calculate a 15-year average harvest price (Table 1). The average 2009 through 2023 harvest price in Pond Creek, Oklahoma was $5.83. The lowest average harvest price was $3.24 (2016), and the highest average harvest price was $9.02 (2022). The current Pond Creek 2024 wheat harvest forward contract price is $5.75.

wheat-scoops-table-pond-creek.jpg

The current wheat supply and demand situation implies that 2024 wheat harvest prices should be around $6.25 (above average). Given that the average (2009 – 2023) price range during harvest was $1.83, the projected price range is between $5.35 and $7.15. Table 1 shows that the lowest harvest price range was $0.78 (2013), and the highest harvest price range was $3.42 (2022).

There’s a lot of production and price uncertainty between now and the 2024 wheat harvest. Current data indicates that higher yields and less abandoned acres could offset the income impact of lower prices.

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