Milling & Baking News - November 4, 2003 - (Page 1)

Theinewsweeklyiofigrain-basedifoods Wheat prices rally, direction hinges on demand , weather A n unanticipated late-October surge in wheat futures prices, ignited by actual and rumored foreign demand for U.S. wheat and concerns about extreme dryness across the northwestern portion of the hard red winter wheat belt, has thrown wheat markets off balance. Markets had been trending lower / since futures prices set season's highs in August. Pegging price direction given the impressive rally has been problematic, especially in view of the many contrary features vying for the market's attention, according to futures analysts interviewed by Milling & Baking News. In the week ended Oct. 24, December wheat futures prices soared 35c a bu higher in Kansas City, 41c in Chicago and 33c in Minneapolis. Those same contracts had set recent lows just the previous week. Prices seemed bent on making a break upward toward the August highs. Whether prices test and even exceed the August highs hinged largely on confirmation of expanded buying of Bakers and millers cautiously proceed on product promotion WASHINGTON - Continuation of a joint product promotion program has been approved by the boards of directors of the North American Millers' Association and the American Bakers Association. The announcement, made jointly by the two groups, comes four months after Q.B.A. trimming service functions to concentrate efforts on Sunbeam brand GREENWICH, CONN. - The Quality Bakers of America Cooperative, Inc. next year will scale back its service functions and focus most of its resources on support of the cooperative's Sunbeam brand. The changes at the Q.B.A. reflect a new mission statement adopted by the cooperative's board of directors Oct. 21 in Baltimore. That statement emphasizes the importance of the Sunbeam brand and redirecting services at the cooperative toward sales and marketing efforts on behalf of the brand. Under the new approach, only licensed bakers of the Sunbeam brand will be members of the Q.B.A. Beginning in 2004, the Continued on Page 14 inside U.S. wheat, particularly by China and the European Union. A rebound in U.S. wheat production from 2002, increased domestic wheat supplies and a forecast increase in U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2003-04 (projected at 633 million bus, up from 491 million bus last year) seemed to argue for weaker wheat prices in the coming few months. So, too, did recoveries in wheat production in Canada and Australia and initial forecasts for larger world wheat crops in 2004-05, should world weather be "normal." World wheat supplies in 2003-04 compared with demand were projected to be Continued on Page 24 LATE the A.B.A. and NAMA announced plans to create a joint committee to oversee the planning and implementation of a nutrition education public awareness program for grain-based foods. In coming months, a public relations and Continued on Page 18 NOVEMBER 4, 2003 NEWS LONDON - In surveying winter wheat planting conditions in the Northern Hemisphere, the International Grains Council noted that seeding in both the European Union and the Ukraine were negatively affected by dry weather. This would be the second year in which dryness appeared to be threatening area production. Seeding in Russia was also delayed, but by excessive moisture, and the I.G.C. pointed to a likely drop of 6% in plantings. Noting the 2% Continued on Page 8 Varied weather seen in 2004 THIS WEEK Marketing boost at Tasty; loss in quarter 12 Ingredient ConAgra narrows business portfolio Pension, health care costs weigh on companies 16 20 Week 33

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Milling & Baking News - November 4, 2003