Wittal: South America’s weather unsettling for trade

Jan. 28 — It was a rather choppy trading day as all grains started with a rather negative tone, but then turned positive as the day went on and most grains ended up with gains.

Corn is up seven cents a bushel, beans are up two to seven cents a bushel, wheat is up 10 to 12 cents a bushel, canola is down $2 to $3 per tonne and barley is down $3 to $4 per tonne.

Conflicting weather reports for South America for the coming weekend have the markets unsettled right now, as some reports call for rains and others predict continued hot and dry for the weekend.

Crude oil continues to show strength, which supported the oilseed futures for the most part.

Canadian grain futures finished in the negative today, mainly due to the fact that the dollar traded up another 0.76 cents, to close at US82.28 cents.

Crude oil was up 58 cents a barrel, to close at US$42.16 per barrel.

Recent winter storms, and continued forecasts for more of the same, throughout much of the U.S. central and midwestern regions have forecasters predicting a late start to spring seeding this year due to excess moisture and expected cooler temperatures.

U.S. farmers are being offered cash deals to buy off-road diesel for the coming spring, as there is a surplus building up at retailers’ facilities. They can buy it for US$2.02 a gallon for spring and $2.22 for fall, which is $1 per gallon less than a year ago and $2 less than what they paid for it in May 2008.

Overall demands for fuel in the U.S. have fallen the past few months, so inventories are building up and this is seen as a temporary pricing opportunity, as refineries are scaling back production accordingly and will no doubt continue to do so until prices start to rebound back to more profitable levels.

That’s all for this 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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