Prairie cash wheat: Choppy U.S. futures lead to mixed bids

MarketsFarm — Spring wheat bids in Western Canada were mixed during the week ended Thursday, as choppy activity in U.S. futures spilled into the cash market.

The futures traded within a wide range during the week, with the Minneapolis March spring wheat contract hitting its highest level in three weeks at one point before falling back to the lower end of its nearby trading range.

Average Canada Western Red Spring (13.5 per cent protein) wheat prices were down 50 cents to up $2 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 $231 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to as high as $250.50 per tonne in northern Alberta.

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Quoted basis levels varied from location to location and ranged from $31 to $51 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 everything into Canadian dollars, CWRS basis levels ranged from $5.50 to $17 below the futures.

Bids for CPSR (Canada Prairie Spring Red) wheat were steady to lower on the week, losing as much as $2 per tonne in some areas. Prices ranged from $214 to $232.50 per tonne.

Average durum prices were up by $4.50-$8.50 per tonne, with bids ranging anywhere from $296 to $305 per tonne.

The March spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted Wednesday at US$5.615 per bushel, down 6.5 U.S. cents from the previous week. U.S. futures markets were closed Thursday for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPSR in Canada. The March K.C. wheat contract was quoted Wednesday at US$5.505 per bushel, down 6.5 U.S. cents compared to the previous week.

The March Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$5.965 per bushel on Wednesday, down 2.25 U.S. cents on the week.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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