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Hard red wheat bids drop with U.S. harvest pressure

Lower MGEX wheat futures and a rising loonie also drag on cash prices

Hard red spring wheat bids in Western Canada moved lower for the sixth straight week during the week ended Sept. 1, as an advancing U.S. harvest, declines in Minneapolis futures, and a rising Canadian dollar all weighed on local prices.

Depending on the location, average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat prices were down by $11-$13 per tonne across the Prairie provinces, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points compiled by PDQ (Price and Data Quotes). Average prices ranged from about $234 per tonne in western Manitoba to as high as $250 in eastern Manitoba.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location, but generally softened by about $2, to range from about $7 to $22 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$202 per tonne. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$25-$38 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 $31 to $47 below the futures.

Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat bids posted small gains in most regions, with prices ranging from $153 to $165 per tonne.

Average durum prices were steady to down by as much as $16 per tonne, with bids in Saskatchewan coming in at about $281-$284 per tonne.

The December spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted Aug. 31 at US$6.4025 per bushel, down 29 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$4.3625 per bushel on Aug. 31, up four U.S. cents compared to the previous week.

The September Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$4.345 on Aug. 31, down 0.75 U.S. cents on the week.

The Canadian dollar was trading on Sept. 1 at 80.74 U.S. cents, up roughly three-quarters of a cent 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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