Prairie cash wheat: Prices a mixed bag

U.S. futures, loonie down on week

MarketsFarm — Wheat bids in Western Canada saw gains and losses for the week ended Thursday, due to declines in U.S. markets and a lower Canadian dollar.

Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat was mixed with some losses, but prices steady to higher in six of the Prairie regions. Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) was lower and Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD) saw increases.

Average CWRS (13.5 per cent protein) prices were down $1 to up $1 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 $225 per tonne in northeastern Saskatchewan, to as high as $242 per tonne in southern Alberta.

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Quoted basis levels varied from location to location and ranged from $35 to $52 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$159 to US$171 per tonne. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$20-$32 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 $14 to $22 below the futures.

Bids for CPSR wheat ranged from $195 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to $214 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Average durum prices were higher, with bids ranging from $286 per tonne in western Saskatchewan to $301 per tonne in western Manitoba.

The May spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts Canada are based, was quoted Thursday at US$5.19 per bushel, sliding 12.25 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$4.64 per bushel, dropping 23.25 cents compared to the previous week.

The May Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled Thursday at US$5.4175 per bushel, falling 27.25 cents on the week.

The Canadian dollar closed Thursday at 70.53 U.S. cents, after losing slightly more than a half cent on the week.

The loonie lost ground due to the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on global markets, as well as the Saudi Arabia/Russia crude oil price war forcing down Canadian crude prices.

— Glen Hallick reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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