Wittal: Good weekend weather pressures grains

Aug. 31 –– Global equity markets started the day off with losses and continued the trend to the close of trade, and that seemed to filter over into the financial and grain markets. 

Financial markets ended down minimally on the day with the U.S. dollar down two-10ths of a cent today. The Canadian dollar closed down 0.16 cents at US91.47 cents.

The Dow Jones September quote is down 33 points at 9,486.

Crude oil is down $2.78 per barrel at US$69.96.

Near-perfect weekend weather helped crops and harvest progress across North America, so grains were under pressure from the start and traded in negative territory for most of the day. Wheat was trading in double-digit losses but then seemed to find some support and was able to finish mixed on the various exchanges, with some minor gains on the Chicago and Kansas futures keeping the close above winter lows, which is a critical support level at this time.

Corn ended mixed on the day but this is also a good sign that it seems to be able to hold current support levels.

Beans fell hard at the start with the drop in crude oil and, with no real rebound, closed with double-digit losses on the day. Canola followed the same pattern as frost concerns seemed to disappear for the time being.

Corn closed mixed, up 5.2 to down two cents per bushel today; beans closed down 25-36 cents a bushel today.

Wheat futures closed mixed, up five to down two cents a bushel on the various U.S. exchanges. Minneapolis September wheat closed down 0.02 cents a bushel today.

Canola closed down $5-$7 per tonne today. October Western Barley dropped $6, closing at $103.40 per tonne.

November futures are down $3 at $142.60 per tonne.

More good weather and time are what’s needed to get the crop in safely.

The U.S. corn crop is said to be at a 75 per cent dough stage, which is six per cent behind last year and 13 per cent behind the five-year average.

The bean crop is said to be at a 93 per cent pod setting stage which is on track with last year and three per cent behind the five-year average.

The wheat harvest in the U.S. is well under way but behind average.

Wheat is currently rated as 38 per cent of the harvest being complete compared to a five-year average of 79 per cent.

So, good weather and a little bit of time, and crops can and will catch up quickly. Currently we have the weather, so now it’s a matter of how much time we get before the weather changes; that will continue to keep these markets uncertain until harvest is done.

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 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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