Durum up slightly in CWB’s April PRO

The Canadian Wheat Board’s 2011-12 pool return outlook (PRO) for April is essentially its PRO for March but with small upticks in durum values.

Wheat and malting barley values in the April PRO, released Thursday, are unchanged from the CWB’s previous outlook in March. Values for milling-grade durum, meanwhile, were up by $1-$3 per tonne.

High-protein (14.5 per cent) No. 1 Canada Western amber durum (CWAD) rose by $2 per tonne from March values, to $355 ($9.66 per bushel), while No. 1 CWAD (12.5 per cent) rose $3, to $339 per tonne ($9.23/bu.).

Values for No. 3 and No. 4 CWAD, meanwhile, were up $1 per tonne, to $308 ($8.38/bu.) and $263 ($7.16/bu.) respectively. No. 5 CWAD was unchanged at $219 per tonne ($5.96/bu.).

Changes in April’s durum PRO were "minor," the CWB said, since a large portion of the durum pool is already sold.

World durum markets have moved "sideways" since the previous PRO, the CWB said Thursday, despite a negative outlook in the western Mediterranean’s durum crops. Losses are still expected in crops in Spain and Morocco despite some rains in their durum-growing regions in the past few weeks.

Dryness in parts of North Dakota and Montana is raising some concerns about seeding conditions, but most areas have enough moisture to plant durum, the CWB said. Increased durum acres on the Prairies, according to Statistics Canada’s latest report, are also expected to pressure durum values.

Wheat, barley

World wheat values have also moved sideways in the past month as markets begin to make the transition toward new-crop winter wheat, the CWB said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest prospective planting report predicts U.S. spring wheat acres will be fewer than previously expected. However, "rapid planting has become the more dominant market factor," as have favourable growing conditions for U.S. winter wheat and increased acres expected for corn, the CWB said.

The CWB noted it has now priced about 80 per cent of Prairie growers’ anticipated 2011-12 crop year deliveries of wheat, and expects that level to reach 88 per cent by the end of May.

Malting barley values are also largely unchanged due to the fact that the pool is "highly sold," the CWB said.

"Ample supplies of old-crop malting barley in Canada, Australia and Argentina continue to pressure international malting barley prices," the CWB said, noting prospects for the new crop remain "positive."

High-protein (14.5 per cent) No. 1 CW red spring (CWRS) wheat remains at $331 per tonne ($9.01/bu.); No. 3 CWRS is at $246 ($6.70/bu.) and CW Feed is at $219 ($5.96/bu.).

Per-tonne PRO values for Select CW two-row and six-row malting barley remain at $309 ($6.73/bu.) and $294 ($6.40/bu.), respectively.

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