Wittal: Canola holds even on weather worries

Our online grain markets columnist Brian Wittal 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.

May 15 — Financial markets were mixed today, which didn’t help to give grains any support.

With a weather market weekend ahead, some traders felt it was prudent to take profits and not gamble on the weather.

As midday weather reports came in, they were forecasting improved weather conditions in the U.S. corn belt and Northern Plans regions for the weekend, which should mean a resumption in seeding, so profit-taking continued to build into the close.

Add to that the fact that crude fell off over $2 per barrel and you have beans under a fair bit of pressure, which then took corn and wheat down with it as well.

The Dow Jones July quote closed down 20 points today at 8,267, while the Canadian dollar was down 0.69 cents today to close at US84.8 cents.

Crude oil finished down $2.28, closing at US$56.34 per barrel for the day.

Corn finished down 10-12 cents per bushel today, and down four cents per bushel for the week. Beans finished down 13-17 cents per bushel today, and up 19 cents for the week. Wheat finished down 11-21 cents per bushel on the various U.S. exchanges today; Minneapolis wheat finished up five cents per bushel overall for the week.

Canola finished even to up $1.40 per tonne for the day and up $10.60 per tonne for the week. Barley is up $1.90 per tonne, closing at $152.80 today and down $1.20 per tonne for the week.

Canola was able to hold even for the day due to the fact that the Canadian dollar fell almost seven-tenths of a cent and the fact that the long-weekend weather for Western Canada still calls for rain and possibly snow in some regions, so further seeding delays are expected.

Reports out of Argentina that its wheat crop is also suffering from drought and that production estimates are dropping should help to add support to U.S. markets in the short term, if seeding struggles continue to persist as they have the past month.

All kinds of weather fun happening right now around the world that will no doubt continue to play on the markets throughout the growing season. Getting the seed in the ground is the first big hurdle to overcome.

Good luck with the weather this weekend and stay safe in the fields.

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.


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