Wittal: Road restrictions a marketing opportunity

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 17 — Financial markets continued to find some support and finish up for the day. The Dow Jones is currently up 70 points. The U.S. dollar is trading down marginally today.

The Canadian dollar is down 0.19 cents, trading at US78.64 cents. Crude oil is currently trading up $1.10 a barrel at US$48.45.

Corn is trading even to down two cents a bushel, beans are up two to 11 cents a bushel and wheat is up five to nine cents a bushel.

Canola is up $3 to $6 per tonne; barley is down $2.30 per tonne to up $7.10 per tonne today.

Traders note recent comments from Chinese officials that they are more interested in purchasing canola oil as opposed to soybeans has added support to the canola markets.

Feed barley markets have shown some strength recently as road bans and seeding approach. A short window of pricing opportunity is here and should be considered sooner than later.

Wheat futures are showing strength again today on growing concerns within the trade that the U.S. winter wheat crop is breaking dormancy early and may be at risk of frost.

A note of interest in regards to the upcoming 2009-10 advance payments program (pre-harvest), which starts April 1. Producers with crop insurance or AgriStability coverage may be eligible to apply for a pre-harvest advance.

You can speed up the application process by having each of your lenders complete a continuing priority agreement. Rates for the pre-harvest program (per tonne) are barley, $60; durum, $120; and wheat, $110. The Canadian Wheat Board administers the program for those crops in Western Canada.

The program maximum is $400,000, with the first $100,000 interest-free. Applications will be available at most grain handling facilities.

The deadline for issuing 2008-09 after-harvest advances will be March 31.

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.

About the author



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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