Western Canadian wheat: Battle between weaker loonie, lower U.S. prices

WINNIPEG, (MarketsFarm) – Wheat bids in Western Canada for the week ended March 12 saw prices Canadian Western Red Spring Wheat (CWRS) on either side of steady. Prices for Canada Prairie Red Spring (CPRS) saw a greater range of losses and gains, while prices for Canadian Western Amber Durum (CWAD) were steady to higher.

There was support from a weaker Canadian dollar to help with gains, but losses came from lower prices in the United States markets.

Average CWRS (13.5%) wheat prices were down C$1 to up C$1 per tonne, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points compiled by PDQ (Price and Data Quotes). Average prices ranged from about C$221 per tonne in northeastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba, to as high as C$239 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location and ranged from $34 to $52 per tonne above the futures when using the grain company methodology of quoting the basis as the difference between the U.S. dollar denominated futures and the Canadian dollar cash bids.

When accounting for currency exchange rates by adjusting Canadian prices to U.S. dollars (C$1=US$0.7236) CWRS bids ranged from US$160 to US$173 per tonne. That would put the currency adjusted basis levels at about US$14 to US$27 below the futures.

Looking at it the other way around, if the Minneapolis futures are converted to Canadian dollars, CWRS basis levels across Western Canada range from C$10 to C$20 below the futures.

Bids for CPSR wheat witnessed losses and gains, depending on location. Prices ranged from C$186 per tonne in northeastern Saskatchewan to C$202 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Average durum prices were steady slightly higher, with bids ranging from C$272 per tonne in northwestern Saskatchewan to C$289 per tonne in western Manitoba.

The May spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, which most CWRS contracts Canada are based off of, was quoted at US$5.09 per bushel on March 12, down 13.0 cents from the previous week.

The Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, which are now traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPRS in Canada. The May Kansas City wheat contract was quoted at US$4.3275 per bushel on March 12, down 13.50 cents compared to the previous week.

The May Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$5.0550 per bushel on March 12, down 13.25 cents on the week.

The Canadian dollar closed at 72.36 U.S. cents on March 12, after losing 2.18 cents on the week.

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