Prairie wheat bids climb alongside U.S. futures

CNS Canada –– Western Canadian cash bids for Canada Prairie spring red (CPSR) and Canada Western red spring (CWRS) wheat moved higher, following the sharply stronger U.S. wheat futures markets during the week ending Monday.

Average spot bids for CWRS (13.5 per cent protein) across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta came in at around $168 per tonne ($4.58 per bushel) based on pricing available from a cross-section of delivery points, up from $158 per tonne ($4.31/bu.) last week. Basis levels widened to an average discount of $70 relative to the futures, compared to $66 last week.

Average CPSR values were at $147 per tonne ($4/bu.), up from $138 per tonne ($3.75/bu.) a week ago. Average basis levels widened to a discount of $96 compared to futures, from $92 last week. But there were only a handful of locations offering spot bids. Some elevators were reporting no bids at all for CPSR, while others showed prices for later this spring.

U.S. wheat futures were up sharply amid a short covering rally after a recent drop to fresh contract lows. Strong export demand and a bullish U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Monday were also responsible for the upward price movement.

The March spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted at US$6.515 per bushel on Monday, up 40.75 cents from the week prior.

Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, which are now traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPSR in Canada. The March Kansas City wheat contract gained 37.5 cents over the week, settling Monday at US$6.6275/bu.

Durum prices were weaker, as slow movement of the large crop out of Western Canada continued to overhang the market. The average price lost $4 during the week, falling to $181 per tonne ($4.92/bu.).

— Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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