Durum prices relatively steady

Commodity News Service Canada — The volatility in the global wheat markets in recent weeks has largely bypassed durum, which has seen its premiums over hard red spring wheat erode slightly in Western Canada.

“Durum does what it wants, when it wants,” said a Saskatchewan-based durum broker, noting that the recent strength in Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat was largely due to movements in the U.S. futures and the uncertainty over Russian exports.

The broker said durum was largely separate from that activity and noted that world customers are still interested in buying durum, although domestic elevators are largely covered for the near-term.

Durum prices are currently topping out at just under $10 per bushel in Saskatchewan, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data, which is down by about 50 cents over the past month. Top-end CWRS bids, meanwhile, can be found above $6.60 per bushel, up 35 cents on the month. Canada Prairie Red Spring (CPRS) wheat has shown even more improvement, rising by over a dollar in Saskatchewan during the month.

For durum, much of the strength is stemming from the smaller, lower quality crops in both Canada and the U.S. The broker said elevators were doing a lot of blending, but could only do so much given the lack of higher quality supplies.

Some customers will only buy No. 1 durum, but the broker noted that there are many others who have now found that they can make their products with lower grades of durum than they ever have before.

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