Prairie spring wheat bids drop as loonie rises

(Country Guide file photo)

CNS Canada –– Cash spring wheat bids across Western Canada moved lower during the week ended Friday, as the strengthening Canadian dollar cut into basis levels.

Average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat prices were down by about $5-$7 per tonne over the course of the week, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points across the Prairie provinces compiled by PDQ (Price and Data Quotes). Average prices ranged from about $216 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to as high as $231 in southern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location, but lost anywhere from $4 to $9 tonne to sit at roughly $36-$51 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$160 to $171 per tonne — unchanged on a U.S. dollar basis compared to the previous week. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$9-$20 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 range from $12 to $27 below the futures.

Average Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) bids were down by $1-$5 per tonne compared to the previous week. Average CPSR prices came in at about $172-$182 per tonne in Saskatchewan, and $189-$198 per tonne in Alberta.

Average durum prices were down by $8-$11 during the week, with bids in Saskatchewan ranging from roughly $293 to $300 per tonne.

The May spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted Friday at US$4.90 per bushel, down seven 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 May K.C. wheat contract was quoted at US$4.5425 per bushel on Friday, down US12 cents compared to the previous week.

The May Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled Friday at US$4.5225, US14.5 cents lower compared to one week earlier.

The Canadian dollar closed at US74 cents on Friday, up by more than a cent relative to its U.S. counterpart compared to the previous week.

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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