Continuing worries about Argentina’s soybean crop and new worries about cold weather in China’s rapeseed area lifted canola on Wednesday.
Brisk U.S. soybean exports also supported oilseeds.
Crop futures generally rose despite a sell off in other commodities following rumours about troubles at a large hedge fund.
Canola closed off of the highs of the day. March canola closed at $644.20, up $2.20. November closed at $570.80, up $1.10.
Wheat rose despite snow and rain falling on the hard red winter wheat region, the first significant moisture in months. Support came from strong export demand. China has bought more than a million tonnes of wheat from Canada, the U.S. and Australia in the last couple of days, attracted by low prices.
• Freezing, snowy weather in central China, a key rapeseed growing area, lifted rape meal futures there to a record high on Tuesday.
Traders anticipated damaged crops but others believe the danger is not great.
Reuters reports a strong cold front has hit parts of Hubei, Jiangsu and Anhui, the country’s top three rapeseed regions, with the state weather bureau saying temperatures are likely to drop to around 0 C in some areas in the next three days.
China’s rapeseed harvest is due in May and June.
Lu Yun, an analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. Ltd, told Reuters that although temperatures in affected regions were colder than usual they would not last long enough to cause serious damage.
In the first five months of the crop year to December, China was the leading buyer of Canadian canola, importing 1.289 million tonnes, up from 952,300 tonnes in the same time last year.
• Crop forecaster Lanworth today dropped its outlook for Argentina’s soybean crop to 49.6 million tonnes, down from 51.6 million in its last report. USDA’s forecast is 53 million.
Lanworth raised its forecast for Brazil’s soy crop to 81 million tonnes from 80.3 million in the last report.
It pegged Argentina’s corn crop at 25 million tonnes, down 100,000 tonnes and Brazil’s at 75.8 million up 200,000 tonnes.
• Lanworth forecasts a U.S. soybean harvest next fall of 94.3 million tonnes, up 15 percent from 82.1 million in 2012.
It sees the U.S. corn crop at 348 million tonnes (13.7 billion bushels), up from 273.8 million in 2012
• Brazilian dockworkers plan a six hour strike on Friday to protest threats to job security in the government’s port privatization plans. More strikes are possible as the country’s huge harvest moves to congested ports.
• The hard red winter wheat region is expected to get eight to 18 inches of snow starting today and running through Thursday. The storm will also extend into corn country: Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. Another storm is expected to deliver smaller amounts of snow on Sunday and Monday.
The moisture is welcome, but it must be remember that the moisture content in snow is fairly low. Also, if the snow melts while the ground is frozen most will runoff and be of little use to the crop.
Winnipeg ICE Futures (per tonne)
Canola Mar 13 $644.20, up $2.20 +0.34%
Canola May 13 $632.60, up $1.70 +0.27%
Canola Jul 13 $618.90, up $1.50 +0.24%
Canola Nov 13 $570.80, up $1.10 +0.19%
Milling Wheat Mar 13 $291.00, unchanged
Milling Wheat May 13 $294.00, unchanged
Milling Wheat Jul 13 $296.00, unchanged
Milling Wheat Oct 13 $296.00, unchanged
Durum Wheat Mar 13 $307.00, up $2.80 +0.92%
Durum Wheat May 13 $311.00, up $2.80 +0.91%
Durum Wheat Jul 13 $314.00, up $2.80 +0.90%
Durum Wheat Oct 13 $299.30, up $2.80 +0.94%
Barley Mar 13 $241.50, unchanged
Barley May 13 $242.50, unchanged
Barley Jul 13 $243.00, unchanged
Barley Oct 13 $243.00, unchanged
Chicago (per bushel)
Soybeans (P) Mar 13 $14.8275 up 12.5 cents +0.85%
Soybeans (P) May 13 $14.685, up 11.25 +0.77%
Soybeans (P) Jul 13 $14.5625, up 10.75 +0.74%
Soybeans (P) Aug 13 $14.1775, up 14.0 +1.00%
Soybeans (P) Sep 13 $13.43, up 13.0 +0.98%
Soybeans (P) Nov 13 $12.87, up 12.25 +0.96%
Corn (P) Mar 13 $7.005, up 5.25 +0.76%
Corn (P) May 13 $6.9625, up 4.25 +0.61%
Corn (P) Jul 13 $68275, up 2.5 +0.37%
Corn (P) Sep 13 $58125, up 3.5 +0.61%
Corn (P) Dec 13 $5615, up 3.752 +0.67%
Oats (P) Mar 13 $3.8775, up 10.0 +2.65%
Oats (P) May 13 $3.885, up 5.25 +1.37%
Oats (P) Jul 13 $3.825, up 0.5 +0.13%
Oats (P) Sep 13 $3.775, down 0.25 -0.07%
Oats (P) Dec 13 $3.6975, down 1.25 -0.34%
Minneapolis (per bushel)
Spring Wheat Mar 13 $8.2075, up 5.0 cents +0.61%
Spring Wheat May 13 $8.345, up 3.75 +0.45%
Spring Wheat Jul 13 $8.43, up 2.75 +0.33%
Spring Wheat Sep 13 $8.4575, up 1.75 +0.21%
Spring Wheat Dec 13 $8.525, up 1.5 +0.18%
The loonie fell again with the Bank of Canada noon rate at 98.40 cents US, down from 98.83 the day before.
The greenback was $1.0163 Cdn.
Weakness in most commodities and worries about economic growth had investors seeking safe havens. Also minutes from a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting indicate that the Fed will likely stop its bond buying policy in the next few months. The effect would be similar to an interest rate increase and should push the U.S. dollar higher in the second half of the year.
Crude oil in New York fell $2.20 to $94.46.
In early tallies —
The Toronto Stock Exchange S&P/TSX composite index fell 96.16 points, or 0.75 percent, to close at 12,714.05.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 36.65 points, or 0.26 percent, to 13,999.02.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 9.50 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,521.44.
The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 24.63 points, or 0.77 percent, to 3,188.96.