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Wide range of variations seen in Prairie cash wheat prices

MGEX, CBOT and K.C. July wheat futures were all up significantly on the week

Wheat bids in Western Canada were across the board for the week ended May 17. There were losses in Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat, while Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) prices were mixed and durum (CWAD) prices were largely steady.

Firmness in the Canadian dollar and gains in U.S. futures also pushed and pulled on cash wheat values.

Average CWRS (13.5 per cent protein) wheat prices were down $5-$10 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 $212 per tonne in western Manitoba to as high as $235 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location and ranged from $15 to $38 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$157 to US$174 per tonne. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$23-$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 $30 to $53 below the futures.

Bids for CPSR wheat ranged from steady to an increase of $13 per tonne to decreases of $19 per tonne. Prices ranged from $169 per tonne in southwestern Saskatchewan to $217 per tonne in Alberta’s Peace region.

Average durum prices were mostly steady, with bids ranging anywhere from $237 per tonne in western Saskatchewan to $246 per tonne in western Manitoba.

The July spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts Canada are based off of, was quoted at US$5.2775 per bushel on May 17, up by 10.75 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 July K.C. wheat contract was quoted at US$4.3075 per bushel on May 17, up 33.25 U.S. cents compared to the previous week.

The July Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$4.65 per bushel on May 17, up 40.25 U.S. cents on the week.

The Canadian dollar closed at 74.53 U.S. cents on May 17, an increase of 0.06 of a U.S. cent from the previous week.

About the author

Columnist

Glen Hallick writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. He previously reported for Postmedia newspapers in southern Manitoba and the province’s Interlake region.

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