Prairie spring wheat bids dip as loonie rises

CNS Canada — Cash spring wheat bids across Western Canada moved lower during the week ended Friday, as volatile activity in the Canadian dollar caused basis levels to soften.

Average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat prices were down by $3-$6 per tonne over the week, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points across the Prairie provinces compiled by PDQ (Price and Data Quotes).

Average CWRS prices ranged from about $227 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba, to as high as $243 in southern Alberta.

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Quoted basis levels varied from location to location, but were generally sitting at $46-$62 per tonne above the futures when using the grain company methodology of quoting the basis as the difference between U.S. dollar-denominated futures and Canadian dollar cash bids.

When accounting for the currency exchange rates by adjusting the Canadian prices to U.S. dollars, CWRS bids ranged from US$160 to $172 per tonne. That would put the currency adjusted basis levels at about US$9-$21 below the futures.

Looking at it the other way around, if the Minneapolis futures are converted to Canadian dollars, CWRS basis levels across Western Canada range from $12 to $29 below the futures.

Average Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) bids were down by $2-$6 per tonne. Average CPSR prices came in at about $188 per tonne in Manitoba, $188-$202 per tonne in Saskatchewan, and $205-$208 per tonne in Alberta.

Average durum prices were narrowly mixed during the week, holding relatively steady overall. Bids in southern Saskatchewan, where the bulk of the crop is grown, were up a dollar to down a dollar, to sit in the $316-$318 per tonne area.

The March spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted at US$4.97 per bushel on Friday, down US0.25 cents from the previous week.

Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPSR in Canada. The March K.C. wheat contract was quoted at US$4.7075 per bushel on Friday, down US3.25 cents compared to the previous week.

The March CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) soft wheat contract settled at US$4.755 on Friday, US1.75 cents higher compared to one week earlier.

The Canadian dollar closed Friday at US70.67 cents, up nearly two cents relative to its U.S. counterpart compared to January 15.

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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