Prairie cash wheat: Bids mixed with falling futures, weaker loonie

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MarketsFarm — Bids in Western Canada were mixed this week for Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat and steady to lower for Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) and durum (CWAD).

Lower prices in U.S. wheat markets weighed on values, while a weaker Canadian dollar provided support.

Average CWRS (13.5 per cent protein) wheat prices were down $1 to up $3 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 $261 per tonne in western Manitoba to as high as $291 per tonne in northern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location and ranged from $32 to $58 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$211.50 to US$232 per tonne. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$1-$17 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 $1 to $16 below the futures.

Average CPSR (11.5 per cent protein) wheat prices were steady to down $5.50 per tonne. Bids ranged from $245 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to $261.50 per tonne in northern and southern Alberta.

Average durum prices were steady to down $3, with bids ranging from $304 per tonne in northeastern Saskatchewan to $314 per tonne in southern Alberta.

The May spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted at US$6.175 per bushel on Thursday, down eight 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 May K.C. wheat contract was quoted Thursday at US$5.6675 per bushel, dropping 20.25 U.S. cents compared to the previous week.

The May Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$6.125 per bushel on Thursday, dropping 18 U.S. cents from the previous week.

The Canadian dollar was weaker, losing more than nine-10ths of a U.S. cent on the week at 79.33 U.S. cents.

— Glen Hallick reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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