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Wittal: Grains end week mixed

This was a very mixed and choppy trading day for all grains. They started down in the morning, tried to rebound, then faded away into the close. Some ended up for the day and others were down.

Corn is up two to three cents a bushel, beans are down three to 14 cents a bushel, wheat is up 10 to 16 cents per bushel, canola is down $5 to $10 per tonne and barley is unchanged to up $ 1 per tonne.

Crude oil was up $2.80 a barrel today and the Canadian dollar finished up US1.55 cents at US81.05 cents.

U.S. weekly export numbers for corn and wheat were better than expected, so that helped them to post gains for the day.

Beans and canola came under pressure as crude values jumped strongly, and calls for rain in Argentina over the weekend no doubt made traders nervous. The Canadian dollar jumped up strong today and this also put pressure on canola values.

Further talk of slower sales of oilseeds to China next week as they celebrate the Lunar New Year also helped to push values lower going into the weekend.

The Canadian Wheat Board came out with a pool return outlook (PRO) update and wheat values were basically unchanged.

Large current world supplies and aggressive competition from grain coming out of the European and Black Sea regions has kept world values under pressure and will continue to do so. The only real advantage for us has been our lower Canadian dollar of late and cheap ocean freight rates that have allowed us to stay competitive.

If any of these factors should change you can expect to see the PRO come under pressure in future updates.

The durum PRO was up $5 per tonne because, due to the lower dollar and cheap freight allowing for some new sales to be made, but again, this can change quickly, as was evident today in the surge in the dollar.

Malt barley values were unchanged as the majority of the tonnes in the pool are sold, so that value should be fairly static going forward.

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 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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