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Wittal: No news is bad news

Jan. 25 — The U.S. dollar was stable today, falling slightly, which helped markets to relax a little. It was a rather quiet day with little news to spark much trading activity.

Corn ended with small gains, as steady buying helped push futures up. Beans ended lower on continued concerns of large production coming out of South America over the next several months. Wheat ended mixed to lower on the day, as weekly export numbers beat targets for the first time in several weeks, which helped support futures today — but the fact remains that exports year-to-date are 23 per cent behind target, so they have a long way to go to catch up.

Canola followed beans lower and barley responded to the strength shown in corn, along with colder weather hitting the Prairies that’s expected to increase demand in the short term.

The U.S. dollar index fell 13-100ths of a cent today, while gold closed up $6 at $1,095.20. The Canadian dollar fell 0.06 cents to close at US94.6 cents today.

The Dow Jones March contract closed down 11 points at 10,140 today.

In the energy sector, crude oil closed down 72 cents a barrel, at US$75.26.

Corn closed up 2.2-3.2 cents a bushel today; beans closed down 7.6-11 cents a bushel.

Wheat markets closed mixed, down two to up 0.6 cents a bushel today; Minneapolis March futures closed down 0.6 cents a bushel today.

Canola closed down $1.40-$1.80 per tonne today.

Western barley closed up $1.70, at $150 per tonne.

Overall, a very quiet trading day, with little or no enthusiasm in the markets. If this sentiment continues it could turn markets very bearish quickly. We need some positive news soon to help turn grain  markets back around, or we will remain in this down to sideways trend into spring.

That’s all for today. — 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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