Wittal: Crop futures follow financial markets down

Our online grain markets columnist Brian Wittal 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.

A lack of any new good news on the financial front convinced traders it was time to take profits after last week’s steady gains and pulled markets down hard today.

The Dow Jones closed down 290 points. The U.S .dollar finished up 3/4 of a cent. The Canadian dollar was down 1.5c today to close at US80.83. Crude oil finished down US$4.45, closing at US$45.88.

Corn finished down six to nine cents a bushel, beans were down 30 to 35 cents, and wheat closed down nine to 19 cents. Canola was down $3.90 to $4.40/t, and barley finished down $3.80/t closing at $129.10/t.

U.S. weather forecasts changed slightly over the weekend with calls for rain in some southern regions that may cause seeding delays for corn that could force acres into beans.

Weekly export numbers were in the lower end of the expected range so this did not tend to lend any support to the grain futures today.

Canola is still seen as being undervalued against other oil products and with the hard drop in the dollar, hopefully canola futures can hold these levels, but if crude oil continues to take such hard hits as today, expect oilseed values to drop along with crude.

Stats Canada is coming out with its planting intentions forecast on Friday. The trade is anticipating a reduction in canola acres over last year, but as has happened before surprises often seem to be a part of these forecasts so everyone is in a wait and see mood right now.

Seeding is looking like it will be about two weeks behind average across most of the Prairies and it may be delayed further in some areas in Alberta if weather forecasts calling for snow later this week are accurate.

These weather delays are going to mean long hours in the tractor seat to try to get the seed in the ground as quickly as possible. Please make sure you don’t cut safety corners to try to save some time in the field. Your health and safety are worth more than a couple of saved minutes.

That’s all for today.
Brian

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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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