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Rising loonie cuts into western Canadian wheat bids

Seasonal harvest pressure also drags on cash wheat values

Hard red spring wheat bids in Western Canada continued to trend lower during the week ended Sept. 8, as seasonal harvest pressure and a soaring loonie weighed on values despite gains in the Minneapolis futures.

Depending on the location, average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat prices were down by $2-$6 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 $228 per tonne in western Manitoba to as high as $245 in Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location, but generally softened by about $14, to range from about $9 below the futures to $8 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$188 to US$202 per tonne, which was unchanged on a U.S. dollar basis on the week. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$35-$49 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 $42 to $59 below the futures.

Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat bids posted small gains in most regions, with prices ranging from $155 to $170 per tonne.

Average durum prices were steady to down by as much as $19 per tonne, with bids in Saskatchewan coming in at about $265-$269 per tonne.

The December spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts Canada are based, was quoted at US$6.4675 per bushel on Sept. 8, up 15 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 Sept. 8 at US$4.415 per bushel, up 2.75 U.S. cents compared to the previous week.

The December Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled Sept. 8 at US$4.3775, down one U.S. cent on the week.

The Canadian dollar settled Sept. 8 at 82.43 U.S. cents, up roughly two cents 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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