Wittal: Grains higher on bean sales to China

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.

March 16 — Financial markets started off positive today; the Dow Jones is currently up 125 points. The U.S. dollar is trading down one third of a cent.

The Canadian dollar is up a third of a cent, trading at US78.86 cents.

Crude oil is currently trading unchanged to down slightly. It did start the day down $2 per barrel, which was due primarily to the fact that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had decided not to cut production levels to try to bolster world oil prices.

Corn is up one to five cents per bushel, beans are up 17 to 33 cents per bushel and wheat is up 22 to 29 cents per bushel. Canola is up $5 to $8 per tonne and barley is even to down $1.20 so far today.

Stronger financial markets, along with a lower U.S. dollar, sparked some export bean business with China, which has helped to push grains higher today.

Reports out of the U.S. that the winter wheat crop is starting to come out of dormancy has some concerned that with it being a little early, the crop may be in danger of frost damage, which may put some risk premiums into that market over the next little while.

Snowfall of five to 10 inches this past week in North Dakota has weather forecasters and farmers in the Red River Valley region concerned that they may be heading for floods as bad as they were back in 1997. The Canadian Wheat Board is implementing an early delivery program for over 400 farmers in that area to allow them to deliver their grains now before the thaw and spring flooding occur.

Tyson Foods has concluded the sale of its Lakeside facility at Brooks, Alta. to XL Foods for $105 million, effective Saturday. XL Foods, part of the Nilsson Bros. Group, is the largest Canadian-owned and -operated beef processor in Canada.

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.

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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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