Prairie wheat bids firm amid widening basis levels

Average CWRS prices were down $0.50 to up $4.50 per tonne, with bids ranging from $211 in Saskatchewan to $229 in Manitoba

Cash bids for Canadian wheat were mostly firmer during the week ended April 3. Strengthening U.S. futures were supportive, though basis levels widened in many regions. Prices are as of April 2, due to the Good Friday market closures on April 3.

Average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat prices were down $0.50 to up $4.50 per tonne, with bids ranging from $211 per tonne in north-central Saskatchewan to $229 per tonne in Manitoba, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points across Western Canada.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location, but were down slightly if using the grain company methodology of quoting the basis as the difference between the U.S. dollar-denominated futures and the Canadian dollar cash bids. Average basis levels for CWRS declined by about $1 per tonne to just under $2 below the futures.

When accounting for the currency exchange rates by adjusting the Canadian prices to U.S. dollars ($1=US$0.7959 as of April 2), CWRS bids ranged from US$168 to US$182.

Average Canada Prairie Red Spring (CPRS) bids were down about $2 to up $6 per tonne compared to the week prior. CPRS prices came in at about $184 in Manitoba, at about $186 to $187 per tonne in Saskatchewan, and $197 to $204 in Alberta. Average basis levels for CPRS widened out by $2 per tonne to just over $19 below the futures.

Soft white spring wheat prices were up by about $2.50 to $8 per tonne, ranging from $190 to $193 per tonne in Alberta. Winter wheat prices were $0.50 to $5.50 higher, ranging from $169 to $175 per tonne across Western Canada.

Durum prices were mostly lower, though, prices in southern Saskatchewan, where the bulk of the crop is grown, were up $5 to about $324 per tonne. Values in other parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan were down by $9 to $12 a tonne.

The May spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based off of, was quoted at US$5.955 per bushel on April 2, up 20.5 cents from the previous week.

The Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, which are now traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPRS in Canada. The May Kansas City wheat contract was quoted at US$5.8275 per bushel on April 2, up 29.75 cents from last week.

The May Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$5.3625 on April 2, which was 28.5 cents stronger compared to the week prior.

The Canadian dollar finished the week at 79.59 U.S. cents, which was up almost a quarter-cent relative to its U.S. counterpart compared to the previous week.

About the author


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



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