Wittal: Weather uncertainty limits market movement

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.

April 3 — A strong week for the financial markets helped keep a positive tone today, which allowed the financial sector to maintain small gains going into the weekend. The Dow Jones closed up 39 points today.

The U.S. dollar finished down one-10th of a cent; the Canadian dollar is up 0.49 cents to close at US81.30 cents. Crude oil finished unchanged today, closing at US$52.51 per barrel.

Corn finished up one to two cents a bushel, beans are up seven to 19 cents a bushel and wheat is up 12-17 cents a bushel. Canola is unchanged to down $1 per tonne and barley finished down $2-$5.20 per tonne, closing at $143.50.

Not surprising to see limited activity or movement on the markets today, heading into a weekend. There is a lot of weather uncertainty out there that could change quickly over the weekend — and traders don’t like to be caught with their positions hanging out where they could get frostbitten.

There was talk of some canola sales being made to Mexico and possibly Pakistan that helped to keep canola values steady today.

The rising Canadian dollar doesn’t seem to be a big concern for buyers right now but if it were to continue its climb, it will no doubt start to impact futures sales opportunities if canola becomes overpriced compared to beans or other oil products.

Wheat markets rallied nicely today on continued concerns of cold weather and possible frost in the southern regions and seeding concerns in the northern Plains regions due to excess moisture.

With this recent jump in the wheat futures, the Canadian Wheat Board’s Fixed Price Contract (FPC) values for new-crop wheat are within $10-$15 per tonne of the pool return outlook (PRO), depending on the class. Something to watch closely as this weather market progresses.

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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