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Canadian spring wheat prices up with U.S. futures

Wheat traders are also keeping an eye on Australia and Russia

Hard red spring wheat bids in Western Canada posted solid gains during the week ended Oct. 5, as gains in U.S. futures and concerns over harvest delays in parts of the Prairies provided support.

Production issues in Australia and reports that Russia may be curtailing wheat exports were also supportive for North American wheat prices during the week.

Average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS, 13.5 per cent protein) wheat prices were up by $7-$10 per tonne over the course of the week, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points compiled by PDQ (Price and Data Quotes). Average prices ranged from about $245 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to as high as $268 in southern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location and ranged from $16 to $39 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$189 to US$207 per tonne. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$22-$40 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 $28 to $52 below the futures.

Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat bids were stronger, gaining anywhere from $3 to $5 per tonne depending on the location. Prices ranged from $214 to $231 per tonne.

Average durum prices held near unchanged, with small gains in some locations and small losses in others. Prices in southern Saskatchewan, where the bulk of the crop is grown, came in at about $212-$214 per tonne.

The December spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts Canada are based, was quoted Oct. 5 at US$5.9125 per bushel, up 18.75 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 at US$5.2425 per bushel on Oct. 5, up 13 U.S. cents compared to the previous week.

The December Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$5.21 on Oct. 5, up 12 U.S. cents on the week.

The Canadian dollar settled Oct. 5 at 77.3 U.S. cents, unchanged on the week.

About the author

Columnist

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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