Wittal: Profit-taking drags on futures

Oct. 7 — Markets tried to maintain the rally momentum of the previous day but that didn’t last long before profit-taking started to gain momentum and draw markets lower.

Financial markets were mixed as quarterly earnings reports are starting to filter in from the major U.S. companies and banks over the next several days, so it looks like it’s going to be a wait-and-see situation. Crude oil ended lower and this triggered a drop in the Canadian dollar to the tune of a third of a cent today.

Grains started the day mixed to up slightly, but once profit-taking started to take hold, futures pulled back to end with only minor gains or small losses for the day. More speculation as to where production numbers will be pegged in Friday’s U.S. Department of Agriculture report held grains back from making further gains.

The U.S. dollar was up 0.75 cents today; the Canadian dollar dropped 0.33 cents, closing at US94.03 cents.

The Dow Jones December quote closed up at 9,673 today.

Crude oil closed down $1.31 at US$69.57 per barrel.

Corn closed up one to two cents a bushel today; beans closed up two to six cents a bushel today.

Wheat futures closed mixed, down two to up 6.2 cents per bushel today. Minneapolis December wheat closed down one cent a bushel for the day.

Canola closed unchanged to down $1 per tonne today.

October Western barley was down $1 per tonne, closing at $107. November futures closed down $1 per tonne, at $150.

The reality of winter seems to have set upon us, as it is almost a white-out situation as I look out my window while writing this update, not to mention the fact that hockey and curling leagues have begun in some towns already.

As harvest comes to a close, a reminder I have already heard from the industry is to be sure and check your bins for heating as there have been reports of grain being delivered that was taken off in the big heat and is either already heated or starting to spoil.

Losses due to spoiling are controllable and very costly, so don’t assume. Check your bins regularly or put monitors in your bins. One bin gone bad could be your entire year’s profit on a year like this where prices are down, so don’t leave anything to chance — check it out!

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.

Brian 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.

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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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