Prairie cash wheat: Lower U.S. prices, weaker loonie generate mixed results

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MarketsFarm — Wheat bids in Western Canada were mixed during the week ended Thursday, with Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) bids down and Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) steady to higher.

Bids for Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD) were also higher on the week.

Price changes in U.S. wheat markets guided the gains and losses in Canadian prices, and a weaker Canadian dollar was supportive of values.

Average CWRS (13.5 per cent protein) wheat prices were down $1-$2 per tonne, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points compiled by PDQ (Price and Data Quotes). Average prices ranged from about $256 per tonne in western Manitoba, to as high as $280 per tonne in northern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location and ranged from $28 to $52 per tonne above the futures when using the grain company methodology of quoting the basis as the difference between U.S. dollar-denominated futures and Canadian dollar cash bids.

When accounting for currency exchange rates by adjusting Canadian prices to U.S. dollars, CWRS bids ranged from US$200 to US$218 per tonne. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$9-$28 below the futures.

Looking at it the other way around, if the Minneapolis futures are converted to Canadian dollars, CWRS basis levels across Western Canada ranged from $7 to $22 below the futures.

Average CPSR (11.5 per cent protein) wheat prices were steady to up $1 per tonne. Bids ranged from $248 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to $267 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Average durum prices were up $1-$4, with bids ranging from $304 per tonne in northwestern Saskatchewan to $314 per tonne in western Manitoba.

The March spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted Thursday at US$6.195 per bushel, falling 15.75 U.S. cents from the previous week.

Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPSR in Canada. The March K.C. wheat contract was quoted Thursday at US$6.26 per bushel, down 9.75 U.S. cents on the week.

The December Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$6.47 per bushel on Thursday, dropping 13.75 U.S. cents from the previous week.

The Canadian dollar fell back during the week, losing more than a cent to close at 78.06 U.S. cents on Thursday.

— Glen Hallick reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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