Selling into volatility: a spring grain market update


It’s a weather market this week, according to Wendy White, manager of grain marketing for Viterra’s central region, and there has been a lot of volatility. But, that can be a good thing, if you know how to market your grain.

“You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t heard corn planting (in the U.S.) is significantly behind pace,” she says adding that Monday’s numbers showed only 49 per cent of the corn is in the ground, compared to 78 per cent this time last year. The five year average is 80 per cent complete by this time of the year.

White says all the commodities rallied on Tuesday because of corn scores, however, by the end of the trading session, the rally was gone.

“There’s some significant impact that can happen, should this corn crop not get seeded,” she explains.

On the wheat market, White cautions producers to remember the U.S. is a “high-priced island,” and we are selling into a globally competitive, bearish market in the long term.

This weather event is an opportunity for farmers to be selling, and looking at those deferred bids now for next year.

With reports of growing on-farm stocks of canola, and a massive supply of soybeans, it seems these commodities are in the same long-term boat. White encourages farmers to look at deferred bids into 2020, where $10/bu canola has been available.

With market analysts already crunching numbers as to what will happen if the majority of the corn crop doesn’t get planted, and the volatility in weather and trade agreements, White says farmers should:

  1. Know their cost of production (to help benchmark a good selling price), and
  2. Set up alerts, or have their grain broker keep a keen eye on fluctuations as prices could go up at any moment.

“Whether it’s old crop in the bin, or new crop, this is a selling opportunity for wheat and canola here in Canada,” says White. “We need to execute on these decisions.”

Listen to the full interview between RealAg Radio host, Shaun Haney, and Viterra’s Wendy White below.

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