Wittal: Trade braces for return to harvest mode

Oct. 26 — Financial and energy markets came out slow and ended lower on the day, which also forced grains to drift lower with double-digit losses mainly on technical selling and profit-taking.

The poor harvest weather is still prevalent and should be supporting the grains right now — and could hopefully mean a rebound back from these losses today. But forecasts are calling for warmer weather ahead, so the trade may be preparing for a shift back into harvest, as was evident by today’s drop due mainly to profit-taking.

The U.S. dollar was up just over half a cent today, while the Canadian dollar closed down 1.33 cents today at US93.67 cents.

The Dow Jones December quote closed down 90 points at 9,841 today. 

Crude oil closed down $1.82 a barrel today at US$78.68.

Corn closed down 14-19.6 cents a bushel today, while beans closed down 15-19.4 cents.

Wheat futures closed down 15-23 cents a bushel today. Minneapolis December wheat closed down 15 cents a bushel for the day.

Canola closed up 70 cents to $5.20 per tonne today, supported by a falling Canadian dollar.

November Western barley futures closed up $1.10, at $162 per tonne.

Weekly export inspection numbers for Kansas and Chicago wheat were below expectations, which didn’t help futures, as some harvesting progress was made over the weekend in some regions. Winter wheat seeding progressed, as well, in many areas. Minneapolis spring wheat exports were on track to meet projections.

Corn export inspections were just under 24 million bushels, which is well below the weekly projections of 42.5 million bushels needed to meet targets.

Weekly export inspection numbers for beans were almost double weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projections, which should have been supportive today. The call for drier weather and an expectation of harvest progressing toward completion, along with the negative tone in outside markets and the pressure from wheat and corn, was enough to trigger profit-taking in the beans today.

Grain company canola basis levels seem to be holding steady after last week’s general widening that came on the heels of the Chinese blackleg announcement. Hopefully basis levels will hold where they are for now, but that can change real quick if the blackleg certification issue isn’t resolved between the Canadian government and the Chinese soon.

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.

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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