Prairie cash wheat: Bids fall with U.S. futures

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MarketsFarm — Hard red spring wheat bids in Western Canada moved lower during the week ended Thursday, as a sell-off in U.S. futures weighed on prices.

Concerns that the Wuhan coronavirus would lead to a slowdown in the global economy accounted for some of the broad speculative selling that weighed on most grain markets during the week.

Average Canada Western Red Spring (13.5 per cent protein) wheat prices were down $9-$11 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 $222.50 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to as high as $239.50 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location and ranged from $25.50 to $42.50 per tonne above the futures when using the grain company methodology of quoting the basis as the difference between U.S. dollar-denominated futures and Canadian dollar cash bids.

When accounting for currency exchange rates by adjusting everything into Canadian dollars, CWRS basis levels ranged from $12 to $22 below the futures.

Bids for CPSR wheat were down $10-$13 per tonne. Prices ranged from $193 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to $212.50 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Average durum prices were mixed, posting small gains in some areas and losses of up to $10 per tonne in others, with bids ranging anywhere from $264 to $282 per tonne.

The March spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted Thursday at US$5.365 per bushel, down 19.25 U.S. cents from the previous week.

Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPSR in Canada. The March K.C. wheat contract was quoted Thursday at US$4.71 per bushel, down 21.25 U.S. cents compared to the previous week.

The March Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled Thursday at US$5.605 per bushel, down 20 U.S. cents on the week.

The Canadian dollar closed Thursday at 75.66 U.S. cents, down roughly four-10ths of a cent compared to the previous week.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin reports for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

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