Prairie cash wheat: Durum springs forward, red spring falls back

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MarketsFarm — Bids in Western Canada were weaker for Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheats for the week ended Thursday, while there were increases for Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD).

Double-digit losses in U.S. wheat markets weighed on values and a drop in the Canadian dollar provided support.

Average CWRS (13.5 per cent protein) wheat prices were down $6.50-$10 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 $230 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to as high as $249 per tonne in northern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location and ranged from $27 to $46 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 Canadian prices to U.S. dollars, CWRS bids ranged from US$172.50 to US$186 per tonne. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$17-$28 below the futures.

Looking at it the other way around, if the Minneapolis futures are converted to Canadian dollars, CWRS basis levels across Western Canada range from $12 to $23 below the futures.

Average CPSR (11.5 per cent) wheat prices were down $5-$7 per tonne. Bids ranged from $213 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to $231 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Average durum prices were up $5-$7, with bids ranging from $286 per tonne in northwestern Saskatchewan to $295 per tonne in western Manitoba.

The December spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted Thursday at US$5.5225 per bushel, falling 22.25 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 December K.C. wheat contract was quoted Thursday at US$5.42 per bushel, down 18.25 U.S. cents on the week.

The December Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$6.0375 per bushel on Thursday, dropping 19 U.S. cents from the previous week.

After inching up to over 76 U.S. cents, the Canadian dollar worked its way lower during the week as crude oil prices fell back. The loonie closed at 74.91 U.S. cents on Thursday, losing 1.18 cents on the week.

— Glen Hallick reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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