Prairie cash wheat: Bids soar after weather events

U.S. May wheat futures up on week

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MarketsFarm — Cash bids for Prairie wheat jumped as wintry weather made its way across the Prairies and U.S. northern Plains during the week ending Thursday.

Wheat futures in the U.S. rose due to spillover from soybeans. However, a stronger Canadian dollar tempered Prairie wheat prices.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as well as Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota, all received varying amounts of snow during the week, but not enough to fully alleviate dry conditions across the region. The southern Plains also encountered colder-than-normal temperatures, which threatened frost damage to the winter wheat crop.

CWRS (Canada Western Red Spring, 13.5 per cent protein) wheat prices increased by $4.60-$9.60 per tonne, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points compiled by PDQ (Price and Data Quotes). Average prices were between $283.50 in southeastern Saskatchewan and $304.30 in northern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels ranged between $39.80 and $60.60 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.

Accounting for exchange rates and adjusting Canadian prices to U.S. dollars, CWRS bids ranged from US$226.30 to US$242.90 per tonne. Currency-adjusted basis levels ranged from 80 U.S. cents to US$17.40 below the futures. If the futures were converted to Canadian dollars, basis levels would be 70 cents to $13.90 below the futures.

Average CPSR (Canada Prairie Spring Red, 11.5 per cent protein) wheat prices followed CWRS’s lead, moving up $12.20-$14.40 per tonne. The lowest average bid was $268.40 in southeastern Saskatchewan, while the highest average bid was $287.90 in northern Alberta.

Average CWAD (Canada Western Amber Durum) prices gained $1-$3.25 per tonne with bids ranging from $309.40 in northeastern Saskatchewan to $316.25 in southern Alberta.

The May spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted Thursday at US$6.6325 per bushel, 23 U.S. cents higher than 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 at US6.0775, up 31.25 U.S. cents.

The May Chicago Board of Trade wheat contract was up 25 U.S. cents from the previous week at US$6.5375.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.31 U.S. cent on the week, to close Thursday at 79.81 U.S. cents.

— Adam Peleshaty reports for MarketsFarm from Stonewall, Man.



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