Wittal: USDA report expected bearish for corn

Feb. 9 — Grain futures started off with a strong upward push this morning, then fell off the highs again, but did finish up overall for the day.

Corn was up two to six cents a bushel, beans were up one to three cents a bushel, wheat was up eight to 10 cents a bushel, canola was up $4 to $6 per tonne and barley finished up $2 per tonne for the day.

Crude oil futures are down 61 cents to close at US$39.56 per barrel.

The Canadian dollar is up 0.32 cents, closing at US82.01 cents.

Strength in the oilseeds came primarily from continued weather concerns in Argentina and rumours that South American farmers may go on strike again, refusing to deliver grains to the terminals.

New export sales of beans to the Chinese were reported today and solid U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) weekly export numbers all helped to push beans higher, which pulled canola along with it. There was continued talk of more canola sales being made, but no facts to prove it out, so as the Canadian dollar pushed higher, it pulled canola down off the daily highs as trading came to a close.

USDA’s corn export numbers were disappointing and that kept the upside potential for corn very limited today. To date corn exports are 40 per cent behind a year ago, which will not help relieve the oversupply concerns that are building in the U.S.

The USDA supply demand report comes out tomorrow morning and traders are expecting a rather bearish report for corn as feed and ethanol uses are down, which will no doubt be reflected with larger carryout stocks in this report.

USDA’s wheat export numbers were very positive and helped push wheat up solidly to start the day but then the trade started to unwind some of their positions ahead of the inventory reports tomorrow, in case there are any surprises that pop up in the report.

Tomorrow’s numbers are going to be watched very closely by the trade and no doubt there will be one or two surprises that will make markets jump.

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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