By Phil Franz-Warkentin, Commodity News Service Canada
Winnipeg, Dec. 14 (CNS Canada) – ICE Futures Canada canola contracts were weaker on Thursday, dropping to their lowest levels in three months as declines in the Chicago soy complex, bearish technical signals, and the strengthening Canadian dollar all weighed on values.
Speculative selling was a feature, according to participants. Deteriorating basis levels across the Prairies, despite the continued downward slide in canola, were also seen as a sign that commercial demand was slowing down, according to a trader.
However, oversold price sentiment helped temper the declines.
About 36,915 canola contracts traded on Thursday, which compares with Wednesday when 28,662 contracts changed hands. Spreading accounted for 21,974 of the contracts traded.
Soybean futures at the Chicago Board of Trade dropped sharply on Thursday, as forecasts calling for some much needed rain across dry areas of Argentina over the next week weighed on prices. Chart-based selling added to the declines as the futures tested major support.
Weekly soybean export sales reported by the USDA, of 1.4 million tonnes, came in at the low end of trade guesses and added to the selling pressure in the market.
However, oversold price sentiment provided some support.
Corn futures held near unchanged, as spillover from the losses in soybeans was countered by gains in wheat.
Weekly U.S. corn export sales of 867,000 tonnes were in line with trade expectations, providing little direction.
U.S. wheat futures were higher on the day, as weekly U.S. export sales of about 600,000 tonnes came in well above pre-report guesses. That gave the market a bit of a boost as U.S. wheat is starting to look more competitive on the global market.
Speculative short-covering contributed to the gains. Concerns over dry and cool conditions damaging winter wheat in the southern U.S. Plains were also supportive.
However, ample world wheat supplies overall remained a bearish influence.