Prairie spring wheat bids rise with dry weather

CNS Canada — Cash spring wheat bids across Western Canada improved during the week ended Friday, with prices receiving support from dry weather conditions in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Weakness in the Canadian dollar, which fell from the US80-cent mark to the mid-77-cent range between April 29 and Friday, added to the upside.

Depending on the location, average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat prices were up by roughly $5 per tonne over the course of the week, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points across the Prairie Provinces compiled by PDQ (Price and Data Quotes). Average prices ranged from about $229 per tonne in southeastern Saskatchewan to as high as $243 in northern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location, ranging from $33 to $47 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$177 to $188 per tonne, down by roughly US$1.50 compared to the previous week. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$8-$19 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 C$10 to $24 below the futures.

Average Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) bids were also narrowly mixed on the week. Average CPSR prices came in at about $197 to $205 per tonne in Saskatchewan and roughly $213 per tonne in Alberta.

Average durum prices were up by $1-$2 per tonne during the week, with bids in Saskatchewan ranging from roughly $286 to $295 per tonne.

The July spring wheat contract in Minneapolis, off of which most CWRS contracts in Canada are based, was quoted at US$5.35 per bushel on Friday, down US12 cents from the previous week.

Kansas City hard red winter wheat futures, traded in Chicago, are more closely linked to CPSR in Canada. The July K.C. wheat contract was quoted at US$4.535 per bushel on Friday, down US25 cents compared to the previous week.

The July Chicago Board of Trade soft wheat contract settled at US$4.6375 on Friday, down by US24.75 cents on the week.

The Canadian dollar closed at US77.41 cents on Friday, down by roughly 2.25 cents relative to its U.S. counterpart compared to the previous week.

Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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