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Wittal: Wheat supplies not quite so overbearing

Oct. 23 — Financial markets ended the week on a negative note, as did the energy sector, which prompted the U.S. dollar to rise and the Canadian dollar to fall.

The U.S. dollar was up three-10ths of a cent today, down two-10ths for the week. The Canadian dollar closed down 0.39 cents today at US95 cents, down 1.35 cents this week. 

The Dow Jones December quote closed down 107 points to close at 9,931 today, up only seven points for the week.

Crude oil closed down 69 cents a barrel today at US$80.50, up 54 cents a barrel for the week.

Corn closed down five to six cents a bushel today, up 25 cents a bushel for the week, while beans closed mixed, down 3.4 to up 0.4 cents a bushel, up 29 cents a bushel for the week.

Wheat futures closed mixed, up 3.6 cents to down four cents a bushel today. Minneapolis December wheat closed up 0.04 cents a bushel for the day.

Canola dropped $3.20-$8.10 per tonne today, down $7 for the week.

November Western barley futures closed down $4.10 at $161.90 per tonne, up $9.90 this week.

Wheat markets continue to slowly creep higher as poor harvest weather in the U.S. delays harvesting of the spring wheat crops as well as the seeding of winter wheat, so it’s starting to have a double-whammy effect.

Reports out of Ukraine say its wheat crop will be 35 per cent smaller, and in Spain they estimate a 38 per cent loss in production due to drought. So now all of a sudden, the crop that looked like it was going to have overbearing world supplies is starting to look like it will have a lot less available going into next year than was expected a month ago.

Canola is going to struggle for a while until this blackleg issue with China is resolved somehow. The key now is that China has stated it will not accept cargos of Canadian canola after Nov. 15 unless they have a certificate declaring the cargo blackleg-free.

Reports today are that this has prompted some Chinese buyers to cancel a couple of Canadian canola cargos for November/December delivery in fear that the shipments would be held up upon arrival. Concerns are that more shipments will be cancelled in the near future if the Canadian Food Inspection Agency cannot get China to soften its stance or delay the Nov. 15 deadline.

Hopefully U.S. bean harvest delays can help to support canola futures in the short term, to help keep them from dropping too low.

Here’s hoping the weather co-operates and allows some harvesting this weekend.

That’s all for this week. — 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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