Wittal: Nice weather pressures barley values

Jan. 22 — The U.S. dollar seems to have powered out as it closed out the day down slightly. The Canadian dollar also ended lower today, as did the Dow Jones and crude oil.

Weekly export sales numbers were above expectations for all three grains, which helped to support grains today and slow down the slide in the futures.

The U.S. dollar index dropped 22-100ths of a cent today, while gold closed down $13.50 at $1,089.20 today, down $41 this week.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.58 cents to close at US94.66 cents today, down 2.62 cents this week.

The Dow Jones March contract closed down 183 points at 10,155 today, down 411 points this past week. In the energy sector, crude oil closed down $1.54 at US$74.54 per barrel, down $3.83 this week.

Corn closed down 6.6-8.2 cents a bushel today, down 6.8 cents for the week.

Beans closed down 0.6-2.4 cents a bushel today, down 23.6 cents this week.

Wheat markets closed unchanged to down 2.2 cents a bushel today; Minneapolis March futures closed unchanged today, down eight cents a bushel for the week.

Canola closed up $1.20-$2.40 per tonne today, up $3.90 per tonne for the week.

Western barley closed down $1.20 at $148.30 per tonne today, down $2.70 per tonne this week.

Canola futures were again supported by a lower Canadian dollar and renewed export buying. Farmers’ reluctance to sell at these low levels has also helped to support futures values.

Check around with the grain companies to see what they are offering for canola basis levels. as some of them have tightened up their basis levels for both old crop and new crop because of the recent drop in futures values.

Barley values have dropped the past week due to the nice weather and reduced consumption. Weather forecasts are predicting a return to more seasonal temperatures over the weekend, so hopefully that will help values firm back up to previous levels. Weak demand and cheap feed supplies out of the U.S. are the main factors for the low values.

Maybe the drop in the Canadian dollar will slow up the movement of DDGs from the U.S. into Canada and help push barley prices higher.

That’s all for this week. — Brian

— Brian Wittal has spent over 27 years in the grain industry, including as an elevator manager and producer services representative for Alberta Wheat Pool, a regional sales manager for AgPro Grain and farm business representative for the Canadian Wheat Board, where he helped design some of the new pricing programs. He also operates his own company providing marketing and risk management advice for Prairie grain producers. Brian’s daily commentaries focus on how domestic and world market conditions affect you directly as grain producers.

Brian welcomes feedback and information on market conditions in your area, such as current offering prices, basis levels, trucking premiums and special crops contracts. Contact Brian today.

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