Solid demand, logistics underpin durum bids

MarketsFarm — Durum bids in Western Canada have found some support from solid demand and logistical issues elsewhere in the world.

Anecdotal reports of pasta hoarding, due to COVID-19 coronavirus concerns, were also somewhat supportive.

Cash durum bids in Saskatchewan are currently in the $7.50-$8 per bushel range, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data. That compares with bids at the beginning of the month that topped out at $7.65 per bushel.

“We’re seeing some better values in Western Canada, because of the stronger demand,” said a durum trader who wished to remain anonymous.

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There was a very active export program out of Thunder Bay for April/May/June already on the books, he added.

However, there is uncertainty over European demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The trader said “logistics have come to a halt in Europe” which has led to temporary strength in global durum prices. However, longer-term implications remain to be seen.

The durum market is also following dryness in North Africa and the possibility of reduced production there.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is now forecasting durum seedings in the country this year at 5.6 million acres, which would be up by 14 per cent on the year. Statistics Canada releases its first survey-based acreage estimates on April 24.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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