Prairie wheat bids fall with sharply weaker U.S. futures

Cash bids for western Canadian spring wheat moved lower for the third straight week during the period ending Tuesday, following sharp losses seen in the U.S. futures markets.

Average spot bids on Tuesday for Canada Western red spring wheat (CWRS, 13.5 per cent protein) across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta came in at around C$214 per tonne ($5.81 per bushel), based on pricing available from a cross-section of delivery points, which compares to $219 ($5.95/bu.) the week prior.

Basis levels improved slightly at an average discount of $44 relative to the futures, from $45 last week.

Average Canada Prairie spring red (CPSR) values were at C$186 per tonne ($5.05/bu.), down from $195 ($5.32/bu.) a week ago. Average basis levels widened were unchanged at a discount of $73 compared to futures.

U.S. wheat futures continued to move sharply lower during the week, undermined by good conditions for the development of the U.S. winter wheat crop. A bearish U.S. Department of Agriculture report last Friday (Nov. 8) was also responsible for the weakness.

USDA pegged U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2013-14 at 565 million bushels, which came in above expectations of around 527 million bushels. The government agency also increased its global ending stocks figure to 178.5 million tonnes.

The December spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted Tuesday at US$7.0125/bu., down 18 cents from the previous week.

Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, which are now traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPSR in Canada. The December Kansas City wheat lost 25 cents over the week, settling Tuesday at US$7.0325/bu.

Durum prices were up slightly, as the market continued to recover from recent sharp declines. Average spot bids increased by $1, to $202 per tonne ($5.49/bu.).

— Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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