Prairie spring wheat bids rise as loonie falls

(Country Guide file photo)

CNS Canada — Cash spring wheat bids across Western Canada moved higher during the week ended Thursday, as weakness in the Canadian dollar helped prop up prices.

Depending on the location, average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat prices were up by $5-$8 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 $225 per tonne in eastern Saskatchewan to as high as $238 in southern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location, but held relatively steady overall, ranging from $36 to $49 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$170 to $180 per tonne, up by about US$2 per tonne compared to the previous week. That would put the currency adjusted basis levels at about US$9-$19 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 C$12 to $25 below the futures.

Average Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) bids were also stronger compared to the previous week, rising by as much as $8-$10 per tonne in some locations. Average CPSR prices came in at about $188-$208 per tonne in Saskatchewan, and $202-$214 per tonne in Alberta.

Average durum prices were down by $5 during the week, with bids in Saskatchewan ranging from roughly $275 to $277 per tonne.

The May spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted at US$5.14 per bushel on Thursday, up five 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 Thursday at US$4.7175 per bushel, up US2.25 cents compared to the previous week.

The May Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$4.63 on Thursday, unchanged compared with one week earlier.

The Canadian dollar closed Monday at US75.53 cents, down 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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