Wittal: Events worldwide pressure markets

Jan. 22 — The markets are acting like a yo-yo: down, up, down and so on.

Corn is down one to three cents a bushel, beans are down eight to 17 cents a bushel, wheat is down three to six cents a bushel, canola is down $8 to $10 per tonne and barley is unchanged to up $1.50 per tonne.

Crude oil was unchanged to up 25 cents a bushel today and the Canadian dollar finished up at US79.50 cents.

Any little bit of news is enough to move the markets and if you get two or three things happening, either good or bad, it is enough to move the markets a fair amount, as we have seen the past few days.

Changes again in weather forecasts for Argentina now call for possible showers for the coming weekend. Add to that a weaker energy market, a higher dollar and the possibility of reduced buying by the Chinese over the next week as they enter into their Lunar New Year celebrations, and those are more than enough reasons for the markets to fall back yet again.

I have had responses from readers in various areas in Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan confirming that grain companies are offering some attractive basis levels to encourage deliveries.

The offerings are very sporadic and can vary greatly between companies and even between delivery points within the same company, so do some calling around to various elevators and find out what is happening in your area before committing to anyone. These offers are usually short-lived as they only need limited tonnes to fill a sale, so it is first come first serve.

Don’t wait for them to call you or you might be left out altogether.

Your farm, your grain, your bottom line — your decision.

That’s all for today. — 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 a grain producers. He welcomes feedback and information on market conditions in your area, such as current offering prices, basis levels, trucking premiums and special crops contracts.

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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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