Wittal: Lack of weather events weighs on prices

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.

April 6 — A mixed start to the week for financial futures, as it seems the markets are taking a bit of a breather after last week’s fairly aggressive moves. The Dow Jones was trading down 150 points at one time, but closed down only 77 points for the day.

The U.S. dollar finished up half a cent today; the Canadian dollar is down 0.66 cents to close at US80.64 cents.

Crude oil finished down $1.46, closing at US$51.05 per barrel.

Corn finished up one to two cents a bushel, beans are down one to 12 cents a bushel and wheat is down two to seven cents a bushel.

Canola is up $1-$2 per tonne and barley finished down $3.50 per tonne, closing at $140 per tonne.

Beans ended up with small losses but the drop in the Canadian dollar helped to keep canola on the plus side today.

Wheat markets fell back a bit as no real weather concerns transpired over the weekend that could have damaged the crops. Temperatures were low but no frost was evident in the winter wheat regions to cause further rallies in the markets at this time.

Barley markets are down primarily due to the good weather that is forecast to stick around for the week ahead.

Market trends are shifting slowly away from the negative downtrend into a neutral to positive trend as the world economic outlook is starting to look a bit brighter, with predictions that we have hit the bottom becoming a more common theme from the world’s governments and financial people alike.

If this theme can be maintained so that we can at least see a sideways market prevail for the short term, that should help to improve the investment mood and hopefully get money flowing back into the markets.

As financial worries subside, grain markets will return back to the more traditional focus of supply and demand for price discovery, which won’t work in the favour of many of the grains going forward unless there are some spring/summer growing season disasters somewhere in the world to tighten world inventories.

Profitable pricing opportunities are available. Think and act accordingly!

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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