By Joanna Newman

HOPES that the US Government would make a gesture to boost wheat prices ahead of this weeks elections proved unfounded.

The market had been expecting an announcement of immediate wheat shipments to Russia. This which would have helped alleviate the severe oversupply situation in the US and thereby raised market prices for farmers.

However, USDepartment of Agriculture negotiations for Russian food aid have apparently become bogged down and could drag on for months. Now that elections are out of the way, there is little incentive for the USDA hurry.

Other Governments are also likely to be competing with offers of grain donations to Russia to help their own domestic oversupply problems.

Meanwhile the domestic winter wheat crop is already almost completely in the ground thanks to good weather conditions and this is further depressing prices.

Farmers have planted 90% of their crop, in line with the five-year average of 91%. The Chicago December futures contract closed on Tuesday, 3 November at 287.5¢/bushel, down from 295.2¢ a week ago.

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