Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Wittal: Trade’s eyes on Argentina’s skies

Feb. 6 — Grain futures have finished out the week mostly on a positive note, which is always a good sign.

All grains were up strong to start the day, but then fell off the highs once again, but most grains did close with gains, which is a good sign of optimism going into next week.

Corn was up five to eight cents a bushel, beans were up 13 to 32 cents a bushel, wheat was down two to 17 cents a bushel, canola was up $1 to $4 a tonne and barley finished unchanged to up 60 cents per tonne for the day.

Crude oil futures are down $1.17 to close at US$40 a barrel.

The Canadian dollar is up 0.25 cents, closing at US81.69 cents.

Strength in the oilseeds came primarily from continued weather concerns in Argentina.

The Canadian dollar finished up today, which pulled canola down from its daily highs. Weaker crude values helped to stall out the oilseed markets as well.

Reports from Argentina that corn acres dropped 25 per cent this year due to high fertilizer costs, forcing producers to shift over to beans, and now concerns of poorer yields on top of that could certainly work to benefit U.S. corn prices into new crop. Estimates are for total corn production to be in the 15 million-tonne range, compared to last year’s 21.5 million tonnes.

The main factor that will keep this rally alive is the weather in Argentina, so for the next week, according to forecasts, we could continue to see some momentum build in the markets if it stays hot and dry. When that changes, so will the direction of the markets.

Start thinking about your sweetheart! Valentine’s Day is coming.

Have a great weekend. — 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 a grain producers. He 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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