North American Grain and Oilseed Review: Canola prices drop near end of session

$2 trillion aid package for U.S.

By Glen Hallick, MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, March 25 (MarketsFarm) – Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Futures canola contracts were lower on Wednesday, after trading most of the session on either side of steady.

While Chicago soyoil managed to finish a little higher today, soymeal was down sharply and weighed on values.
Gains in European rapeseed and Malaysian palm oil tempered further losses for canola.

The Canadian dollar was on the rise mid-afternoon Wednesday, gaining about a cent and a half. The loonie was at 70.49 U.S. cents, compared to Tuesday’s close of 69.01.

There were 22,699 contracts traded on Wednesday, which compares with Tuesday when 16,216 contracts changed hands. Spreading accounted for 13,614 contracts traded.

Settlement prices are in Canadian dollars per metric tonne.

Price Change
Canola May 466.50 dn 1.90
Jul 474.60 dn 1.40
Nov 482.80 dn 0.60
Jan 489.40 dn 0.50

SOYBEAN futures at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) were lower on Wednesday, despite the forthcoming aid package to combat the economic ill-effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The White House and leaders from the United States Senate reached an agreement to pass the US$2 trillion aid package. Along with direct payments to Americans, the package includes US$500 billion for loans to large industries, US$375 billion for small business, and an increase to unemployment benefits.

There is continued optimism in the markets that China will soon proceed with its US$40 billion purchase of U.S. agricultural goods, as outlined in the Phase One trade agreement.

Reports state the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains scheduled to release two key reports on March 31. There had been speculation in the markets that the grains stocks as of March 1 and the planting intentions reports would be delayed due to the number of USDA employees working remotely.

Farm Futures issued the results of its survey of planting intentions on March 25. The survey puts soybean acres for 2020 at 82.7 million, up from the estimated 76.1 million acres planted in 2019.

The USDA announced a private sale of 20,000 tonnes of soyoil to South Korea with delivery during the current marketing year.

CORN futures were slightly higher on Wednesday.

Estimates for U.S. corn acres to be planted this spring range from 92 million to 95 million. A struggling ethanol industry and the fertilizer supply will influence farmer decisions, according to a report. The Farm Futures survey pegged the corn acres at 96.4 million. In 2019, U.S. farmers planted approximately 89.7 million acres.

Ethanol stocks dropped by 458,000 barrels for the week ended March 20, according to the Energy Information Administration. Total U.S. ethanol stocks are at 24.14 million barrels. Weekly production hit a little over 7.0 million barrels, which was down 210,000 from the previous week.

The USDA announced a private sale of 138,000 of corn to unknown destinations, with delivery during the 2019/20 marketing year.

WHEAT futures were stronger on Wednesday, with double-digit gains for Chicago and Kansas City, but a small increase for Minneapolis.

Demand for wheat has risen due to global shortages of flour in stores as consumers around the world have increased their purchases.

The Farm Futures survey put total wheat acres to be planted in 2020 at 45.8 million. Of that, about 31.7 million acres would be winter wheat and roughly 14.2 million would be spring wheat. In 2019, U.S. farmers are thought to have planted 31.2 million acres of winter wheat and 14.0 million of spring wheat.

Futures Prices as of March 25, 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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