KANSAS CITY — While parts of the U.S. southern Plains hard red winter wheat growing area on the cusp of harvest were battered by heavy weekend rains that slowed combines and raised quality concerns, the world wheat export arena was exceptionally busy the last few days, although the United States did not appear to be a large beneficiary of the buying.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture later today will issue its weekly Crop Progress report showing winter wheat harvest advancement as of June 22.

Over the June 21-22 weekend, there was news that Egypt bought 180,000 tonnes of wheat from the Black Sea region for shipment in the first half of August. In addition, Pakistan contracted to buy 55,000 tonnes for August-September delivery. Observers said the purchase was from the Black Sea region as well.

Even larger was a report Monday that Saudi Arabia bought 780,000 tonnes of optional-origin wheat for shipment in the fall, of which 660,000 tonnes were hard wheat and 120,000 tonnes were soft wheat. Saudi Arabia was reported to be seeking offers from the United States, European Union, Australia and South America.