Wittal: Barley traders await new ICE contract

June 17 — Financial markets were mixed, starting the day off in a positive mood and then losing ground as the day went on to close with small losses. The U.S. dollar fell back another four-tenths of a cent and the Canadian dollar gained slightly.

The Dow Jones June quote closed down 27 points at 8,493, while the Canadian dollar closed up 0.33 cents at US88.47 cents

Crude oil finished up 56 cents, closing at US$71.03 per barrel.

Corn finished up one to four cents per bushel today, while beans finished up five to 24 cents per bushel.

Wheat finished mixed, down two to up two cents per bushel on the various U.S. exchanges today. Minneapolis July wheat futures ended down four-tenths of a cent per bushel today.

Canola finished mixed, down $3.30 per tonne to up $2.10 per tonne for the day. Barley finished up $11.50 per tonne, to close at $175.50.

U.S. grains tried to re-establish themselves today and put a halt to the recent slide in the futures, and they were able to do that for the most part. Hopefully tomorrow’s export sales report numbers will be favourable and help grains regain some of the past week’s losses.

Wheat futures struggled but in the end were able to hold ground with small gains or losses. The market focus remains on the large world inventories that still exist out there.

Canola tried to follow beans higher but was unable as the dollar crept up and rain in the forecast kept traders in a negative mood. Reports that China has cancelled or postponed some canola cargos also put pressure on the futures today.

Barley futures jumped on very limited trading as most traders await the proposed changes to ICE Futures Canada’s western barley contract due out next week on Monday (June 22). Dropping barley production numbers, along with poor pasture and hay crop conditions, will keep barley prices elevated until enough rain falls to alleviate the dryness concerns.

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.