Wittal: Traders get in position ahead of USDA report

Jan. 11 –– Outside markets were active today, with gold and financial indicators up while the U.S. dollar and crude oil were down on the day.

Grains were active in advance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s report coming out tomorrow. The USDA report will include the annual crop production report, supply and demand reports and the winter wheat plantings and quarterly stocks report.

With so many numbers coming out tomorrow there is the feeling that a surprise or two may be in store, so some pre-anticipation buying and or position-squaring by traders was taking place today.

The U.S. dollar index fell 0.47 cents today, while gold closed up $12.50 at $1,150.70. The Canadian dollar dropped 0.14 cents to close at US96.8 cents today.

The Dow Jones March contract closed up 33 points at 10,599 today. 

In the energy sector, crude oil closed down 23 cents at US$82.52 per barrel.

Corn closed down 0.2-1.6 cents a bushel today. Beans closed down 8.6-11.4 cents a bushel today.

Wheat markets closed up two to 6.6 cents a bushel today; Minneapolis March futures closed up three cents a bushel today.

Canola closed down $4.20-$6.10 per tonne today. 

Western barley closed down 80 cents a tonne at $155.50.

In general terms, the USDA report tomorrow is being viewed as being bullish for corn and bearish for beans and wheat, but the numbers could change that market sentiment real fast, as we have seen before.

World production and supply/demand estimates are always a big math game where numbers change constantly, more for the sake of confusing and frustrating than trying to portray an accurate (if that’s possible) accounting of world inventories.

Whatever comes out tomorrow will certainly set market direction as we slug through winter and head into the North American spring seeding season. 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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