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Wittal: Wheat markets lose momentum

Dec. 29 –– All markets were open today, but trading activity was rather thin again as this will be a short trading week with markets closing early Thursday and on Friday for New Year’s Day.

Gold closed down $10.20 at $1,197 today.

The U.S. dollar index closed up a quarter of a cent today; the Canadian dollar closed down 0.03 cents at US95.86 cents.

The Dow Jones closed up 27 points at 10,487 today.

In the energy sector crude oil closed up 10 cents at US$78.87 a barrel.

Corn closed mixed, down one to up one cent a bushel today. Beans closed up seven to nine cents a bushel today.

Wheat markets closed down 6.2-9.6 cents a bushel today. Minneapolis March futures closed down 7.6 cents a bushel today.

Beans futures continued to rise from buying interest in the market and this helped to pull canola higher as well.

Corn tried to hold onto gains and ended mixed at the close.

Wheat was unable to follow the upward momentum of yesterday and fell down as continued bearish world supplies weighed on the markets from a technical perspective.

Year-end account balancing will probably be the focus of traders the next two days, so there may be activity in some markets, but overall it’s expected that the trade will remain rather quiet the next two days as we wind down 2009.

Notes from Dec. 28 — U.S. grains showed strong upward movement on limited buying Monday as few traders were active, so the few who were active felt like buying, which drove values up quickly.

U.S. corn continues to have the greatest underlying support right now due to the unfinished harvest, which is also helping to support beans and wheat markets as well. 

Current estimates are that five per cent of the crop is still in the fields and after the most recent snowstorms this past week, it’s believed as much as 100 million bushels of corn could be lost or at least left in the fields until spring.

It will be interesting to see world crop condition and weather reports from around the world early in the new year. These will certainly set the tone for the markets going into spring in North America.

Currently conditions abroad sound favourable but there are always regions where there are issues or problems that can spread quickly and change world price forecasts real fast.

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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