Wittal: Canola, soy give back gains

Farm Business Communications is starting off the new year with a new daily grain marketing commentary for our Alberta Farmer, Grainews, Manitoba Co-operator and Country Guide West websites. It’s prepared by Brian Wittal, who has spent more than 27 years in the grain industry, including as an elevator manager and producer services representative for Alberta Wheat Pool, regional sales manager for AgPro Grain, and farm business representative for the Canadian Wheat Board, where he helped design some of the new pricing programs. He also operates his own company providing marketing and risk management advice for Prairie grain producers. Brian’s daily commentaries focus on how domestic and world market conditions affect you directly as a grain producers. He welcomes feedback and information on market conditions in your area.

January 7 — The markets giveth and the markets taketh away.

Yesterday’s rally triggered some farmer selling and with crude oil futures dropping $6 a barrel today, soya and canola values fell and gave back all of yesterday’s gains.

This tells me canola will have a tough time breaking above yesterday’s levels without some significant weather market manipulation. The markets will remain choppy as long as there is a possibility of a weather concern somewhere in the world, but it will have to build into something significant in order to push canola beyond these current levels when you factor in the large surplus we have in Canada.

March canola futures were down $14 to close at $425.10 per tonne.

November 2009 was down $17 to close at $452.20 per tonne.

Western barley futures were down $3 per tonne in response to U.S. corn futures falling 10 cents per bushel today. Odd price premiums may pop up now and then as users try to buy supplies going forward. Again, it is a waiting game: who can last the longest, the buyer or the seller?

Minneapolis wheat futures were down 20-22 cents per bushel. Wheat also seems to be stuck in a trading range that will be hard to bust out of before spring/summer, because of ample world supplies.

Pea values have remained flat since before the holidays and there is no reason to believe these prices will change as buyers are few, and supplies are more than adequate to get us to new crop. Yellow peas are in the $5 per bushel range and greens are in the $6 per bushel range.

Special crops are much the same as peas, with good supplies and limited buying interest the past couple of months. This will drag out until spring, at which time you may see a bit of a rally if for no other reason than to entice producers to put in more acres for next year.

That’s it for today, we’ll be back with more market intel tomorrow. — Brian

About the author

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Brian Wittal

Brian Wittal has 30 years of grain industry experience and currently offers market planning and marketing advice to farmers through his company Pro Com Marketing Ltd.

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