Prairie cash wheat: Durum holds steady, other spring wheats down

MarketsFarm — Wheat bids in Western Canada were mostly lower for the week ended Thursday, due to declines in U.S. markets. Support came from a weaker Canadian dollar.

Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheats were lower, while Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD) was steady to higher.

Average CWRS (13.5 per cent protein) wheat prices were down $3-$9 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 $219 per tonne in northeastern Saskatchewan to as high as $237 per tonne in southern Alberta.

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Quoted basis levels varied from location to location and ranged from $28 to $46 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$155 to US$168 per tonne. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$23-$36 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 $16 to $25 below the futures.

Bids for CPSR ranged from $195 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to $215 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Average durum prices were higher, with bids ranging from $287 per tonne in western Saskatchewan to $300 per tonne in western Manitoba.

The May spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted Thursday at US$5.0625 per bushel, sliding 23.75 cents from the previous week.

Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPSR in Canada. The May K.C. wheat contract was quoted Thursday at US$4.70 per bushel, dropping eight cents compared to the previous week.

The May Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$5.2975 per bushel on Thursday, falling 18.5 cents on the week.

The Canadian dollar closed Thursday at 70.81 U.S. cents, losing 0.45 of a cent on the week. The decline in the loonie was due to volatility in the futures market, continuing weakness in crude oil prices, and the growing strength in the U.S. greenback.

— Glen Hallick reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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