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Wittal: The weekend might start now

Feb. 12 — Another nondescript trading day, with no real news to push markets either way. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly export numbers were favourable, which helped to support grains at these current levels, but not enough to push markets upward.

Crude was off hard again and that pushed oilseeds lower.

Traders are looking to back away from the markets going into the long weekend, so that will keep markets very quiet until next week. Many traders may take an extended weekend and not show up Friday so don’t be surprised to see markets flat tomorrow with little or no trading activity taking place.

Canola deliveries are starting to pick up in the country due to the nice weather and the fact that companies are offering narrow basis to get producers to commit product.

This is telling the market that prices are high enough now to encourage sales, so why would they go much higher, considering the large inventory we are sitting on in Western Canada?

Export sales are being made but will need to continue at a steady pace for the balance of the crop year to reduce inventory in the country before prices will rebound much, if at all.

Crude oil continues to fall hard, down $1.96 per barrel to close at US$33.98.

Corn was down two to three cents a bushel, beans were down nine to 18 cents a bushel and wheat was down three to five cents a bushel.

Canola was down $3 to $5 per tonne and barley finished down $1 to $2 per tonne for the day.

The Canadian dollar is down US0.77 cents, closing at US79.78 cents.

I am hearing stories of grain heating and spoiling in the bins due to this warm weather. Take the time and check closely as there is a lot of money at risk in your bins.

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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