Prairie wheat bids strengthen, basis levels widen

Cash bids for spring wheat in Western Canada were stronger following the U.S. futures markets during the week ended Monday (Oct. 7).

Gains, however, were capped by widening basis levels and by Friday’s Statistics Canada report which estimated the 2013-14 Canadian wheat crop will be the largest ever at 33.03 million tonnes.

Average spot bids for Canada Western red spring (CWRS, 13.5 per cent protein) on Monday across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta came in at around C$234 per tonne ($6.37 per bushel) based on pricing available from a cross-section of delivery points, which compares to $229 per tonne, ($6.23/bu.) the week prior.

Basis levels were at an average discount of $41 relative to the futures, from a $39 discount the previous week.

Average Canada Prairie spring red (CPSR) values were at C$214 per tonne ($5.83/bu.), up from $212 per tonne ($5.78/bu.) a week ago. Average basis levels widened to a discount of $64 compared to futures, from $59 the week prior.

U.S. wheat futures were stronger, with continued strong export demand and worries about lower seeded acreage in the Black Sea region supporting values.

The December spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted at US$7.5025/bu. on Monday, up 21.5 cents per bushel from the previous week.

Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, which are now traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPSR in Canada. The December Kansas City wheat contract gained 17 cents over the week to finish at US$7.565/bu. on Monday.

Durum prices continued to move lower, with large Canadian crop prospects and harvest pressure weighing on values. Average spot bids were down by $8 per tonne from the week prior at $204 per tonne, or $5.55 per bushel.

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

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