North American Grain/Oilseed Review: Canola steady to higher ahead of long weekend

By Phil Franz-Warkentin, MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, April 9 (MarketsFarm) – The ICE Futures canola market settled steady to higher on Thursday, with speculative positioning ahead of the long weekend a feature. Grain markets will be closed on April 10 for Good Friday.

A firmer tone in Chicago Board of Trade soyoil and the outside energy markets provided some spillover support for canola throughout the session.

Lingering winter weather across much of Western Canada was also supportive, given the possibility of a late start to spring seeding.

However, ongoing uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic kept some caution in all markets, including canola.

About 17,965 canola contracts traded on Thursday, which compares with Wednesday when 30,409 contracts changed hands. Spreading accounted for 12,418 of the contracts traded.

SOYBEAN futures at the Chicago Board of Trade were stronger on Thursday, as the market reacted to the latest supply/demand report from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The USDA cut its world soybean ending stocks forecast by nearly two million tonnes, pegging the global carryout for 2019/20 at about 100.5 million tonnes. Larger-than-expected reductions to Brazilian and Argentine production accounted for the revision.

Meanwhile, U.S. soybean ending stocks for the year were raised to 480 million bushels, topping average trade estimates that had called for only a slight increase from the 425 million bushels forecast in March.

Weekly U.S. soybean export sales of just over half a million tonnes were down on the week, but an increase in sales to China was seen as supportive for prices.

CORN futures held onto small gains, as solid weekly export demand countered the relatively bearish USDA supply/demand numbers.

Weekly U.S. corn export sales at about 2.5 million tonnes of old and new crop business combined marked the largest weekly total since December 2018.

U.S. corn ending stocks were raised by 200 million bushels by the USDA, to 2.1 billion bushels. The world corn carryout was forecast at 303.2 million tonnes, which was up by about six million tonnes from an earlier estimate, but still below last year’s 321 million tonne corn carryout.

WHEAT futures were stronger, with forecasts calling for possible frost damage in some U.S. winter wheat growing regions over the next week behind much of the buying interest.

U.S. wheat ending stocks for the year were raised to 970 million bushels. Projected world wheat carryout stocks, at 292.9 million tonnes, were up by about 5.5 million from the March forecast.

Futures Prices as of April 9, 2020

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Milling Wheat
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New Barley
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Prices are in Canadian dollars per metric ton


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