Wittal: Watch for loonie’s reaction to budget

Jan. 26 — It was another mixed day on the markets. Corn is up two to four cents a bushel, beans are even to up three cents a bushel, wheat is up nine to 13 cents a bushel, canola is even to down $1 per tonne and barley is down $1 to $3 per tonne.

Crude oil was down 75 cents a barrel today and the Canadian dollar finished up 0.58 cents at US81.63 cents.

Limited farmer selling due to colder weather, slow export sales due to the Chinese holiday and the stronger dollar have kept canola from making any real gains today.

Speculation on what will be in the federal budget tomorrow for tax cuts and economic stimulus will be key to how the dollar will react. If the budget is seen as having what it will take to help stimulate the economy, the dollar should go up in support and if that happens, it will certainly have a negative impact on canola futures values.

There are reports that there will be $1.55 billion for agriculture programs in this budget.

There were scattered rains in Argentina over the weekend, but not enough to make a difference, so dryness concerns will continue to play a part in the markets.

However, there are calls for rain throughout Argentina this next week so this will be an interesting few days ahead to see what happens.

Talks of a La Nina weather system moving up the U.S. Pacific coast have prognosticators predicting a late start to seeding due to a wetter spring for the Midwest and central U.S. regions.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day.

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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