New Delhi — The US spring wheat harvest for the 2019-20 (June-May) crop picked up pace in the latest week to reach 55%, but still trails sharply behind the same period of 2018, led by slower harvests in North Dakota and Minnesota, latest US Department of Agriculture data showed.
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The estimate for harvest progress during the week ended September 1 was below both market expectations of 57% and the five-year average of 78%.
The spring wheat harvest in Minnesota is continuing at a slower-than-usual pace, reaching 65% in the week to September 1, down from 97% in the same period a year earlier, according to the USDA's Crop Progress Report released late Monday.
In a separate report issued by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, the agency said Minnesota's spring wheat harvest was nine days behind the usual level.
Minnesota is expected to account for the second-largest spring wheat crop in the US in 2019-20.
The harvest in North Dakota at 52% was "well behind" last year's level of 86%, NASS said.
North Dakota is expected to produce 8.7 million mt of spring wheat in 2019-20, the largest volume of any US state.
Spring wheat crop ratings across the six key states declined further, with only 67% of the crop rated in good to excellent conditions, down from 69% a week ago. That was also behind the year-ago rating of 74% and market expectations of 69%.
Most-active hard red spring wheat futures trading on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange fell to a 13-year low to $4.66/bushel Tuesday before recovering to $4.91/bu during the overnight session.
Markets were reacting to the prospect of greater availability of wheat globally.
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