Commercials cover export sales, boost canola

A steady lineup of ships waiting to move Canadian canola off the West Coast is keeping the canola cash market in Western Canada well supported and has helped shelter it from recent gyrations in the futures market.

“Viterra and Cargill have been calling customers of mine asking them to deliver canola early. That’s a sign that they still need quite a bit of canola moving in order to meet their sales commitments through the middle of July,” said one Winnipeg-based grain and oilseed broker.

Although it appears that China has backed away from the Canadian canola market for the time being, there are still ships to be filled.

According to the Canadian Ports Clearance Association, nine vessels scheduled to load canola are set to arrive in Vancouver between June 5 and June 21.

Meanwhile, growers have been very busy seeding and getting early field work done and have not been making many deliveries into the commercial pipeline, the broker said.

The current commercial demand may not significantly impact canola futures but basis levels will start tightening if the grain companies need to keep canola moving that badly and farmers ask to be rewarded for making early deliveries, he said.

“If someone calls me and asks me to deliver a month early, I’ll say, ‘Well, give me another boost in price and I can have it there in half an hour.’ That kind of thing is happening,” the broker said.

As of June 3, old-crop canola prices (delivered to elevator) in the cash market ranged from a low of $9.75 a bushel in Saskatchewan to a high of $10.64 a bushel in Alberta, according to prices collected by Prairie Ag Hotwire.

Those values are 14 to 54 cents a bushel higher than week-ago canola prices and 38 to 77 cents a bushel higher than month-ago prices.

New-crop canola prices ranged from a low of $9.73 a bushel in Saskatchewan to a high of $10.39 a bushel in Alberta.

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