Wittal: Grains stuck in downward trading range

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 11 — The financial markets held steady to up slightly today, which was a positive sign.

The U.S. dollar was down almost one cent and the Canadian dollar was up 0.15 cents to close at US77.80 cents.

Crude oil fell down $3.38 per barrel to close at US$42.33.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly supply/demand report came out and it was positive for beans, neutral for corn and negative for wheat. Grain markets started off positive but soon hit resistance levels that took the steam out of the rally, which led to a selloff by traders to grab what profits they could, and the markets all ended up with double-digit losses for the day.

Corn was down 10 cents a bushel, beans were down 14 to 18 cents a bushel and wheat was down 20 to 24 cents a bushel.

Canola was down $5 to $10 per tonne and barley finished up $1.50 per tonne for the day.

This is further proof that the grains are caught in a tight downward trading range that they just can’t seem to break out of.

I would expect we will continue this trend until seeding time, at which time we may see some market momentum as grains jockey for acres for this spring.

Canola basis levels are starting to change in the country in some parts of Western Canada, which may be the first sign that they will be heading back to negative levels sooner than later.

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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