Wittal: Colder weather may boost feed demand

Dec. 4 — Gold dropped hard and the U.S. dollar jumped up over 1.175 cents today. Financial markets were mixed while energy markets were down today.

Grains came under pressure from the rising U.S. dollar and ended with losses across the board both for the day and for the week.

Canola followed beans lower to start the day but ended with small gains from support of the dropping Canadian dollar and some new reported export business.

Gold closed down $48.80, at $1,169.

The Canadian dollar closed down 0.5 cents today at US94.41 cents, up 1/4 of a cent for the week.

The Dow Jones December quote closed up 48 points at 10,400 today.

January crude oil closed down 99 cents a barrel today at US$75.47, down 58 cents a barrel this week.

Corn was down 9.2-12.2 cents a bushel today, down 24 cents a bushel for the week. Beans were down two to eight cents a bushel today, down 10 cents a bushel for the week.

Wheat markets were down 10.4-14.2 cents a bushel today. Minneapolis December wheat futures were down 13 cents a bushel today, down 31 cents a bushel this week.

Canadian canola futures were up 30 cents to $2.90 per tonne today, and up $4.80 per tonne this week.

January Western barley futures were up 20 cents per tonne, closing at $162 per tonne today, up $4 per tonne this week.

Nasty winter weather could spark some interest in feed grains as we near the holiday season. Feeders have had a pretty easy winter until now, and if some of them don’t have a lot of grain on hand, they may be forced to stock up now, quickly, in the next two weeks before holidays start. But this weather will make it hard to source grain, which could jump prices temporarily as they try to secure supplies to get them into the new year.

If you can (or are willing to) haul grain the next two weeks, make some calls to local mills and feeders and see what they are offering. It never hurts to ask or negotiate price with them.

Checking canola basis, it looks like they have widened out a little more this week, which I would suggest is due to the increase in futures we have seen this week more than anything else, as companies are in no real need of supplies at this time.

That’s all for this week. — Brian

— Brian Wittal has spent over 27 years in the grain industry, including as an elevator manager and producer services representative for Alberta Wheat Pool, a 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 grain producers.

Brian welcomes feedback and information on market conditions in your area, such as current offering prices, basis levels, trucking premiums and special crops contracts. Contact Brian today.

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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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