Prairie flax crop in good shape, bids ease

(Resource News International) — Higher than expected acres seeded to flax and indications the crop is in good to very good condition in key growing regions of Manitoba and Saskatchewan have resulted in some lower cash bids for flaxseed from elevator companies.

“Crop production estimates for flaxseed have been growing, and as they have been climbing, values have been declining,” Gerry Klassen, a Winnipeg-based commodity trader and grain analyst, said.

Flaxseed in Saskatchewan was not seeded in its dry regions while in Manitoba, the crop has been enjoying the combination of sun and wetness, he noted.

“The indications from producers is that the crop in both provinces is doing very well as a result,” Klassen said.

With indications that the crop has been doing good, end-users have also not been aggressively sourcing flaxseed at this time, which has caused bids to ease from levels seen just a few weeks ago.

Klassen also noted that if end-users need flaxseed, there has been little trouble in sourcing supplies.

Cash bids for old-crop flaxseed delivered to the elevator in Saskatchewan, as reported by Prairie Ag Hotwire, currently range from $10.25 to $10.44 a bushel, in Manitoba from $10.06 to $11.05 and in Alberta at around $9.42. New-crop bids for flaxseed in Saskatchewan presently range from $9.78 to $11.50 a bushel, and in Manitoba from $11.25 to $11.50.

Cash bids for old-crop flaxseed delivered to the elevator in Saskatchewan on June 30, as reported by Prairie Ag Hotwire, ranged from $10.87 to $12 a bushel, in Manitoba from $11.05 to $11.81 and in Alberta around $10.57. New-crop bids for flaxseed in Saskatchewan at that time ranged from $9.78 to $11.50 and in Manitoba from $11.25 to $11.50.

“New-crop bids for flaxseed in the $11 to $11.50 range is a pretty good deal,” said Bill Craddock, a commodity trader and south-central Manitoba producer. With the pending large U.S. soybean harvest, he said, there was a good chance that oilseed values in general will undergo a huge downturn by September.

“I’m expecting to see a ‘6’ in the first digit of the CBOT soybean contract by that time, and if that’s the case, the other oilseeds may have no choice but to drop in tandem in order to attract demand,” Craddock said.

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