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Weaker loonie drives up Prairie wheat bids

MGEX, CBOT and K.C. July wheat contracts all rose in value on the week

A weaker Canadian dollar combined with rising U.S. futures drove wheat bids in Western Canada higher for the week ended May 18.

Depending on the location, average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS, 13.5 per cent) wheat prices were up by $10-$11 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 $240 per tonne in northwestern Saskatchewan to as high as $268 in northern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location and ranged from $9 to $37 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$186 to US$208 per tonne. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$23-$45 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 $30 to $58 below the futures.

Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat bids rose, gaining anywhere from $15 to $19 per tonne depending on the location. Prices ranged from $215 to $232 per tonne.

Average durum prices were higher, with bids in Western Canada coming in at about $237-$265 per tonne.

The Minneapolis July spring wheat contract, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted May 18 at US$6.29 per bushel, up 24 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 July K.C. wheat contract was quoted at US$5.3875 per bushel on May 18, up 20.75 U.S. cents compared to the previous week.

The July Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$5.1825 on May 18, up by 19.5 U.S. cents on the week.

The Canadian dollar settled May 18 at 77.64 U.S cents, down 0.61 cents on the week.

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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