North American Grain and Oilseed Review: Canola finishes week on steady note

Positioning ahead of USDA reports

By Glen Hallick, MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, March 27 (MarketsFarm) – Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Futures canola contracts were steady to higher on Friday, due to gains in Chicago soyoil and European rapeseed. Malaysian palm oil remained lower.

Although farmer deliveries of canola were down for the week ended March 22, they remained strong. The Canadian Grain Commission reported deliveries were 406,800 tonnes compared to 415,700 tonnes the previous week. Also, the CGC said exports were up by more than 109,000 tonnes week-to-week at 335,400 tonnes.

The Canadian dollar was stronger mid-afternoon Friday at 71.60 U.S. cents, compared to Thursday’s close of 71.04.

There were 14,769 contracts traded on Friday, which compares with Thursday when 14,733 contracts changed hands. Spreading accounted for 10,744 contracts traded.

Settlement prices are in Canadian dollars per metric tonne.

Price Change
Canola May 462.90 up 0.10
Jul 471.80 up 0.20
Nov 481.60 up 1.40
Jan 487.90 up 1.60

SOYBEAN futures at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) were steady to higher on Friday, as the markets positioned themselves for two major reports on March 31.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release the planting intentions estimates and its grain stocks as of March 1 on time on March 31 (11 am CDT). There was market speculation the reports could be delayed because of the amount of USDA employees working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The USDA reported a private sale today of 163,300 tonnes of soybeans to Mexico. Delivery was scheduled for the 2019/20 marketing year.

The International Grains Council (IGC) forecast global soybean production to reach 366.0 million tonnes this year, compared to the 341.0 million tonnes last year.

Despite reports of Brazil’s soybean exports slowing due to the pandemic, the country’s exports are at 7.2 million tonnes so far this month. The Foreign Trade Department projected exports to hit 9.5 million tonnes, which would be a 12.0 per cent increase over those in March 2019.

However in Argentina, exports were slowing because of the pandemic. A report said there are now quarantine protocols and slow vessel transits, as well slower truck traffic to and from the ports.

CORN futures were lower on Friday, largely due to the turmoil in the U.S. ethanol industry.

The pandemic and the Saudi Arabia/Russia crude oil price war have continued to devastate U.S. ethanol production. Plant workers are required to stay home in several states and consumers are buying less fuel because of social distancing measures. Also, drastically lower crude prices have made ethanol production unprofitable. Ethanol stocks are now expected to increase because of the low demand.

The USDA reported a private sale today of about 114,000 tonnes of corn to unknown destinations. Delivery was scheduled during the 2019/20 marketing year.

The IGC forecast global corn production to be 1.16 billion tonnes this year, for a slight increase from the 1.11 billion tonnes last year.

WHEAT futures were mixed on Friday, with gains for Chicago and Minneapolis, while Kansas City incurred a small loss.

Consumer demand for flour and the U.S. government’s US$2 trillion economic aid package has helped increases in wheat prices.

In France, the spring wheat crop was reported to be 72 per cent planted this week. That’s up from 40 per cent last week because of dry conditions. The crop’s condition rated as 63 per cent good to excellent.

The Russian government announced on Friday export restrictions on the country’s grains, especially wheat, to 7 million tonnes beginning in April to the end of June. Russia’s traditional customers will get priority for exports.

In international purchases, Taiwan bought 3.7 million bushels of U.S. wheat, and Turkey issued a tender for 6.4 million bushels, most likely to be purchased from the Black Sea region.

Futures Prices as of March 27, 2020

Price Change
Milling Wheat
1970-01-01 00:00
Price Change
1970-01-01 00:00
Price Change
New Barley
1970-01-01 00:00
Price Change

Prices are in Canadian dollars per metric ton

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