Wittal: Grains rise on financial, export numbers

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.

March 12 — The financial markets were up solid today, with the Dow Jones up over 250 points.

The U.S. dollar was down almost a third of a cent and the Canadian dollar was up 0.41 cents to close at US78.21 cents.

Crude oil jumped up $4.70 per barrel to close at US$47.03 per barrel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly export numbers were very strong for corn and beans at almost double the weekly average needed to hit year-end targets. Wheat weekly exports were within the average weekly range, so overall these numbers, on top of a strong financial showing today, helped to push all grains up today.

Corn was up 19 to 21 cents per bushel, beans were up 20 to 25 cents per bushel and wheat was up 15 to 17 cents per bushel.

Canola finished up $3 to $5 per tonne and barley finished up from $5 to $6.30 per tonne for the day.

New-crop canola basis levels are starting to see further tightening as companies may be looking to secure some additional tonnes for specific delivery periods.

The best values basis right now is for November delivery, then January delivery.

This will no doubt vary between companies and delivery points, so call to verify basis levels with your local facility.

Reuters news bits:

  • The U.S. government is considering increasing the mandate for blending ethanol into gasoline from 10 per cent up to 12 or 13 per cent in an effort to help provide a much-needed boost to the industry.
  • Viterra has reported a first-quarter loss, due mainly to lower grain margins and a writedown on its fertilizer inventory as farmers delayed applications until this spring. Viterra said it lost $33 million in its first quarter ended Jan. 31 compared with a profit of $41.2 million for the same period last year.

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.

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