Western Canadian wheat bids rise with U.S. futures

Average CWRS prices were steady to up by as much as $8 per tonne

Wheat cash bids across Western Canada moved higher in most classes during the week ended March 20, with gains in the U.S. futures behind much of the strength.

Average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat prices were steady to up by as much as $8 per tonne during the week, with bids ranging from $208 per tonne in north-central Saskatchewan to $228 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 generally softer 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.

When accounting for the currency exchange rates by adjusting the Canadian prices to U.S. dollars ($1=US$0.7950 as of March 20), CWRS bids ranged from US$165 to US$181, which would put the currency adjusted basis levels at about US$37 to US$53 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 $46 to $66 below the futures.

Average Canada Prairie Red Spring (CPRS) bids were up by $5 to $10 per tonne during the week. CPRS prices came in at about $185 in Manitoba, at about $186 to $187 per tonne in Saskatchewan, and $197 to $203 in Alberta.

Soft white spring wheat prices were up by about $4 to $7 per tonne, ranging from $190 to $193 per tonne in Alberta. Winter wheat prices were up by $7 to $10, ranging from $165 to $172 per tonne across Western Canada.

Durum prices, meanwhile, were steady on the week, with prices in southern Saskatchewan, where the bulk of the crop is grown, unchanged at $318 per tonne.

The May spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based off of, was quoted at US$5.8950 per bushel on March 20, up 22 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$5.6950 per bushel on March 20, up 30.25 cents from last week.

The May Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$5.3000 on March 20, which was 28 cents higher compared to the week prior.

The Canadian dollar finished the week at 79.50 U.S. cents, which was up by over a cent relative to its U.S. counterpart compared to the previous week.

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Phil Franz-Warkentin - MarketsFarm

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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