Durum sheds $31 per tonne in PROs

Malting barley and milling wheat values in the Canadian Wheat Board’s latest pool return outlook (PRO) are down substantially from July levels, but durum values have fallen farther.

Values for most classes of durum in the CWB’s 2009-10 PRO, released Thursday, are down $31 per tonne, with No. 1 Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD), 14.5 per cent protein, dropping to $260 per tonne.

No. 3 CWAD (13.0) dropped $30 from July levels to $22 per tonne on Thursday, while No. 5 CWAD dropped $27 per tonne, to $154.

Favourable projections for North American durum production, combined with the end of harvest in the Mediterranean and mostly good-quality crops reported from France, Spain and Greece, have piled pressure on international durum values, the CWB said.

“Despite increased production potential in the U.S. and Canada, the total durum crop is still expected to be slightly lower than in 2008-09,” the board wrote in its outlook.

“The quality of the American and Canadian crops is still largely to be determined, as less than five per cent of the harvest is complete in both countries. The quality of the North American harvest will play a large role in determining price movement during the next year.”

Milling wheat values in Thursday’s PROs are also down from July, by as much as $28 per tonne for No. 1 Canada Western Red Winter (CWRW) Select at 11.5 per cent protein, now sitting at $215 per tonne. Most classes of Canada Western Red Spring are down $26-$27 per tonne, with No. 1 CWRS (13.5) down $27 at $246 and CW Feed down $27 at $154.

PRO levels for No. 1 Canada Western Soft White Spring (CWSWS) and No. 1 CWSWS Select (less than 9.9 per cent protein) dropped $19 per tonne to $183 and $198 respectively.

“Still vulnerable”

Ongoing wheat harvests in the Northern Hemisphere and “generally favourable growing conditions” are pressuring wheat prices, the CWB said. 

“The lateness of the U.S. spring wheat crop continues to present increased quality risks, but yield potential is expected to be above average,” the board said.

“In Canada, some harvesting of winter wheat has occurred, but a significant portion of the crop is still vulnerable to yield and quality damage due to the lateness of the crop.”

In the CWB’s barley PROs, Pool A feed barley dropped just $4 per tonne Thursday from July levels, to $154 per tonne. 

“Despite the tighter global barley carryout forecast for 2009-10, lower feed demand and adequate coarse grain availability have lowered feed barley price expectations,” the CWB wrote.

“Canadian production is a supportive factor, with Statistics Canada’s first production estimate of the crop year indicating that the 2009-10 crop will be the smallest since 2002-03.”

But values for malting-grade barley have fallen much farther in Thursday’s PRO. Select CW six-row is down $19 at $206 per tonne, while Select CW two-row is down $21 at $224 per tonne.

“Excellent quality and above-average yields in Europe have pressured international malting barley prices over the past month,” the CWB said.

“Increased supplies of European malting quality barley, combined with higher global carry-in, have increased overall world supply. This has resulted in a significant narrowing of the spread between malting-quality barley and feed barley, especially for six-row.”

Canadian supplies of malting barley are expected to be lower due to the smaller crop, the CWB said — and harvest weather during the next month will be “critical” in gauging those supplies.

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