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Prairie wheat bids mixed with choppy loonie

The Canadian dollar bounced back Friday from a week on the downslope

Hard red spring wheat bids in Western Canada were mixed for the week ended Dec. 1, as the Canadian dollar saw wide price swings during the course of the week.

Depending on the location, average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS, 13.5 per cent protein) wheat prices were down by $1 per tonne in some areas of Western Canada but increased in others by $3 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 $235 per tonne in western Manitoba to as high as $260 in southern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location, but fell slightly to range from about $4 to $29 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$185 to US$204 per tonne, down slightly on a U.S. dollar basis on the week. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$37-$46 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 $34 to $59 below the futures.

Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat bids were anywhere from $5 to $7 higher. Prices across the Prairies ranged from $174 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to $194 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Average durum prices held steady generally, with bids in Saskatchewan and Manitoba ranging from about $269 to $281 per tonne.

The December spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts Canada are based, was quoted Dec. 1 at US$6.105 per bushel, down 13 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$4.2025 per bushel on Dec. 1, up 5.75 U.S. cents compared to the previous week.

The December Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$4.1425 on Dec. 1, down 1.5 U.S. cents on the week.

The Canadian dollar settled Dec. 1 at 78.56 U.S. cents, down about a 10th of a cent compared to the previous week. Overall the dollar was down during the week, but shot up Dec. 1 as Statistics Canada released its November job numbers, which showed Canada had its lowest rate of unemployment since 2008.

About the author

CNSC

Ashley Robinson writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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