Prairie wheat bids edge down as basis widens

Cash bids for spring wheat in Western Canada were weaker during the week ended Tuesday as U.S. markets held relatively steady but basis levels in the Prairies widened.

Average spot bids for Canada Western red spring (CWRS, 13.5 per cent protein) across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta came in at around C$230 per tonne ($6.28 per bushel) based on pricing available from a cross-section of delivery points, which compares to $234 per tonne ($6.37/bu.) the week prior.

Basis levels were at an average discount of $45 relative to the futures, from a $41 discount the previous week.

Average Canada Prairie spring red (CPSR) values were at C$211 per tonne ($5.75/bu.), down from $214 per tonne ($5.83/bu.) a week ago. Average basis levels widened to a discount of $66 compared to futures, from $64 the week prior.

U.S. wheat futures held steady during the week, consolidating within narrow ranges.

The December spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted on Tuesday at US$7.5025 per bushel, which was unchanged from the previous week.

Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, now traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPSR in Canada. December Kansas City wheat was also relatively unchanged, losing only a quarter cent over the week to finish Tuesday at US$7.5625 per bushel.

Durum prices were unchanged during the week, with average spot bids holding steady at $204 per tonne ($5.55/bu.).

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

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