Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Wittal: Pre-report speculation drags grains down

Sept. 10 — It is pretty much a repeat from yesterday as financial and energy markets showed small gains today. Grains were mixed as reports of new sales of wheat and oilseeds helped to boost futures.

No one was real excited to do much trading the day before the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s report is due out — then pre-USDA-report speculation started circulating that production and carryout numbers are going to be larger for all grains, which then pulled the grains off of their highs for the day.

The U.S. dollar fell almost another full three-10ths of a cent today; the Canadian dollar closed up at US92.76 cents.

The Dow Jones September quote is up 67 points at 9,605.

Crude oil is up 63 cents a barrel at US$71.94.

Corn closed up four to five cents a bushel today.

Beans closed mixed with the September futures up 12 cents a bushel and the forward months down two to five cents a bushel on the day.

Wheat futures closed mixed, up 3.4 to down 2.6 cents a bushel on the various U.S. exchanges. Minneapolis September wheat closed down 2.6 cents a bushel.

Canola closed up $2.50-$7.60 per tonne today.

October Western barley fell $1 per tonne, closing at $112. November futures are up $1.10 at $141.10 per tonne.

Between the Statistics Canada report Wednesday and the USDA report due out tomorrow (Friday), we are going to be faced with the reality that there are going to be ample stocks of all grains for the coming year worldwide.

The question, then, becomes this: Do you sell or sit on the grain for a year in the hopes that supplies tighten and prices will rise? Storage is always a big risk due to possible spoilage and quality loss.

Domestic demand is down and not expected to improve much over the next year as we see the repercussions from the struggling pork and beef industries in North America.

World demand will likely remain steady year-over-year, which leads to the concern I have for Canadian grains: the talk of inflation in the U.S. and the eventuality that our dollar will be back at par with the U.S. dollar (by year’s end, some predict) making our grains less attractive on the export markets we so dearly rely on.

Quality will be the key to being able to maximize value this year in the markets, so let’s hope Mother Nature co-operates during harvest to allow us that opportunity.

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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