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Wittal: Wheat, corn futures drop

Nov. 24 — A typical turnaround Tuesday had financial and energy markets falling back slightly from yesterday’s positive close.

U.S. grain markets were mixed, with beans being the only grain to show gains on the day as continued new sales helped support the futures. Corn and wheat took some hard hits today, with wheat seeing double-digit losses across all three exchanges.

Canola followed beans upward in the morning, and the drop in the Canadian dollar helped canola to close the day with small gains.

Gold was up slightly again today, closing at $1,165.80.

The U.S. dollar climbed back up 0.46 cents today; the Canadian dollar closed down 0.2 cents today at US94.55 cents.

The Dow Jones December quote closed down 17 points at 10,405 today.

Crude oil closed down $1.54 a barrel today at US$76.02.

Corn closed down 7.6-11.2 cents a bushel today, while beans closed up four to 10 cents.

Wheat futures were down hard 22-25 cents a bushel today; Minneapolis December wheat closed down 24.2 cents a bushel today.

Canadian canola futures were up $1.30-$2.90 per tonne today.

January Western barley futures were up closing at $161 per tonne today.

With changing weather and harvest progressing steadily, and this being a short trading week in the U.S. with Thanksgiving on Thursday (and no doubt Friday will be a dead day as most will turn it into a long weekend), it looks like the speculative side of the market may have decided it was time to take some profits out of the corn and wheat markets, judging by the way the futures fell today.

The Canadian Wheat Board’s updated pool return outlook (PRO) should be out later this week and it will be interesting to see what if any change it makes to the PROs now that harvest is all but done in Western Canada and getting close to completion in the U.S.

The Canadian dollar remains high and is forecast to go higher, world wheat stocks are plentiful and ocean freight costs are creeping up slowly as crude values slowly climb.

It would be nice to see the PRO hold steady but that may be difficult to do under the current world market situation out there right now.

Reports from a Ukrainian news source reveal Viterra is looking at potential opportunities to expand its presence into that country in the grain handling and processing industries in an effort to build up its profile to becoming a major player in the world grain trading game.

I think I will hang onto my few shares and see what comes of this down the road.

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.

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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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