MERCANTILE Blog: MarketInsight Dec. 19, 2016

Marlene BoerschMarket Insight

Major grains & oilseeds markets

Most of the futures markets were a bit firmer during the week, but volume was very light.

Export numbers were quite good – which is to be expected with the holiday season just ahead. Wheat trade to Middle East destinations was good.

There were few adverse weather conditions reported for crops save some dryness in the US. The currency markets continue to move around with the US dollar particularly strong.

Funds reportedly did virtually nothing in futures last week.

We are entering the holiday doldrums with few news to report.



  • We do not see much new in soybeans; South American sellers continue reluctant to make forward sales due the volatility of soy futures, an erratic local currency, and a strong US dollar.
  • We don’t see this changing until further into the New Year.


  • We understand business to China has been very good recently and more exports will show up.
  • European demand looks strong as well.
  • We are going to need a lot more rail cars for movement to Vancouver.
  • Canola continues to be well-priced compared to other oilseeds and we expect there to be sufficient demand.


  • No Canadian wheat seems to have traded on the big 725,000 mt sale of optional origin wheat to Saudi Arabia.
  • There is too much low quality wheat around and a tight situation developing in quality wheat.
  • We will see the premiums for Kansas/Mpls improve over Chicago – but not by too much as prices are encouraging more new crop wheat plantings in FSU.


  • In trade, Tunisia’s state grains agency tendered for 50k mt of optional-origin durum and bought 75k mt at roughly $275.00 per mt C&F; looks quite cheap relative to their purchase 45 days ago at prices that were $65 per mt higher.
  • It’s a low durum price which we can assume is either low quality or Spanish or Mexican durum.
  • Canadian wheat exports continue to lag last year’s and are about 21% behind for wheat and 16% behind for durum

Feed Grains

  • We expect feed grain prices will follow wheat prices for the short-term.


  • The markets are quiet and it seems the Christmas doldrums have started.
  • We have expected the Canadian pea market to remain firm in spite of the big crop.
  • However, if other pulses drop significantly in value, this may affect peas as well.


  • Green lentil markets remain firm, but we anticipate trouble for red lentil markets.
  • The Australian lentil crop looks top be very large; bigger than the ABARE number.
  • We think values in India could come under (potentially serious) pressure as well.


  • Nothing new here.


  • Canadian canaryseed exports into October are close to last year’s; down 3
  • We expect exports this year to stay about the same as last year’s at 145k mt for the year.
  • We should have enough supply to cover that tonnage, leaving a small carryout.

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