Wittal: Slow day, rising loonie pressure canola

Dec. 22 — Outside markets were a little more positive today, but with limited trading activity it’s hard to get a clear picture of what’s really happening.

Gold was lower while energies and financial indicators were up slightly, and grains were mixed.

Gold closed down $9.40 at $1,086 today.

The U.S. dollar index ended up another quarter of a cent today. The Canadian dollar closed up 0.52 cents at US94.74 cents.

The Dow Jones closed up 68 points at 10,410 today.

In the energy sector crude oil closed up 68 cents a barrel at US$74.40.

Grains ended mixed, with corn and beans ending lower while wheat held onto small gains for the day due to inter-market spread unwinding by the trade.

Weekly export inspection numbers were released and beans were the only grain to hit or exceed weekly targets, while corn and wheat fell well short of targets once again.

Limited buying activity and a higher Canadian dollar have pressured canola values lower, breaking below recent support levels, which means futures may continue to drift lower over the holidays.

Corn closed down 0.4-1.4 cents a bushel today while beans closed down 7.4-10.4 cents a bushel.

Wheat markets closed up one to 5.2 cents a bushel today; Minneapolis March futures closed down 4.6 cents a bushel.

Canola closed down $3-$4.50 per tonne today.

Western barley is down $4 today, closing at $157 per tonne.

Markets will close early Thursday and remain closed Friday and Monday.

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.

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