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Wittal: Markets wander, trading choppy

Jan. 13 — Most grains rebounded nicely after the hard losses of yesterday following the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports.

The markets are very jittery as wheat, beans and canola all started down in the morning and then turned to the upside aggressively, only to fall back before the close to finish in a positive position for the day. Corn was on the defensive all day and finished down 18 cents per bushel.

Beans finished up two to 15 cents a bushel, canola finished up $8-plus per tonne and wheat finished up two to three cents a bushel.

There is no real direction in the markets right now and buyers and speculators will react to anything so we can expect to see very choppy back-and-forth trading until something substantial happens to set a positive or negative tone into the markets.

The U.S. and Canadian dollars, crude oil and world economic policies will all be factors that will keep these markets choppy as we head into spring.

If you are looking to sell canola soon, check out current basis levels being offered at your elevator or crusher, as I just confirmed a +0.24-per-tonne basis for immediate delivery off of the March futures to Viterra Crossfield. There are deals out there right now as companies look for supplies to fill cars. Make some calls and check it out.

For those who may have feed wheat you are looking to market, there is a Guaranteed Delivery Contract (GDC) being offered by the Canadian Wheat Board, but you need to sign up your tonnes by Jan. 16 to get on the program. The current PRO is $196 per tonne ($5.33 per bushel) in Vancouver for feed wheat.

If you happen to have priced some wheat on a Fixed Price Contract and now only have feed wheat to deliver you can deliver the feed wheat against the FPC.

All you need to do to figure out your net return is calculate the difference between the intial price for the grade you are delivering and apply the feed grade discount value.

For example, with CWRS, the difference between the No. 1 CWRS 13.5 per cent initial price of $219.20 and feed wheat at $152.00 per tonne is $67.20 per tonne.

Now you must also deduct the feed discount for CWRS, which is posted daily on the CWB website under Producer Payment Options. Today’s posted discount is $43.95 per tonne.

So you deduct ($67.20 + $43.95 =) $111.15 per tonne from your FPC value to arrive at the in-store Vancouver price you will receive for your feed wheat. Now, deduct your elevator’s freight and handling charges from that value to give you your net in-pocket value.

If you have questions please send me an e-mail and I will try to answer them for you. 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 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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