Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Wittal: Lentils may have peaked

Jan. 28 — The U.S. dollar pushed a little higher again today, and outside markets were neutral to down slightly.

Export sales and shipment numbers were above the weekly targets for all three grains, which helped to support grain futures today. 

Short-covering was the main reason for the positive support in the grains, and it’s expected to continue tomorrow as speculators roll out of January positions before the end of the month.

Canola was under pressure early as the Canadian dollar was higher right off the bat, but it fell back to even on the day, which helped canola remain neutral. 

The U.S. dollar index climbed another two-10ths of a cent today. Gold closed down 90 cents at $1,083.60. The Canadian dollar rose 0.08 cents to close at US93.9 cents today.

The Dow Jones March contract closed down 83 points at 10,112 today.

In the energy sector, crude oil closed down three cents at US$73.64 per barrel.

Corn closed up 2.6-3.6 cents a bushel today, while beans closed up 2.6 to seven cents a bushel.

Wheat markets closed unchanged to up 4.4 cents a bushel today; Minneapolis March futures closed up 3.6 cents a bushel.

Canola closed mixed, down 20 cents to up 20 cents per tonne today.

Western barley closed unchanged at $148 per tonne.

Lentil values

Comments from buyers in the lentil industry would lead one to believe lentil values have hit the top and new-crop values will definitely be lower than current values, due to the slackening in price and demand in India, and the fact that Turkey’s lentil crop is in good shape and predicted to be above average yield.

Buyers who are offering bids for new crop are most likely doing so on speculation right now, so it may be something to consider, as they will probably not buy much at those values before they drop the prices. 

Do some penciling and see if it is profitable at those levels; if it is, then you need to think seriously about pricing some, as break-even values may be hard to come by next year if demand doesn’t pick up or if Turkey’s crop comes off with high yields.

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, Pro Com Marketing, providing marketing and risk management advice for Prairie 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.

COPA Medallion COPA finalist in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
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