I have some good news and some bad news. First the good. You only have to read one more of my newsletters this year. Now the bad. We still can’t figure this market out. I have heard various people use different terms to describe it. Whipsaw, yoyo, crazy, unpredictable etc... These terms all fit. It has been the most volatile market I have ever seen over the last 18 months. Some of the volatility make sense with weather and war having big impacts. But can someone tell me why canola went down $40 one day and then back up $20 as I write this. If our politicians wanted to do something meaningful, they could hold an inquiry into the speculators who are screwing with your livelihood. But no sexy photo ops on that topic. Eh Justin?
Last week I was going to mention the possible impact that the impending rail strike in the US could have on our prices here. Turns out that will not be a factor as both the House and the Senate have approved legislation that forces the unions to accept the deal that was negotiated. This is likely a double-edged sword for us here in western Canada. It would impact north-south movement as well as east-west in the US of many commodities with grain being the one that is on our minds the most. I was wondering what it would do to the crazy high truck rates we have now. It would have reduced competition for prairie grain into feedlot alley and the hog industry if the unit trains of US corn couldn’t come into Canada for a few weeks/months. I was thinking this would help feed barley and MB corn prices but not to be, I guess.
We have seen a noticeable pulling back by buyers in all commodities. Prices have been hurt but quick movement is just about off the table. Buyers are telling us they are covered out to mid winter. If you need movement, for cash flow reasons, get on it sooner than later. Some crops have fared not too bad compared to last year. Flax is one that seems to be moving the wrong way. Buyers are covered until March and are bidding under $18 for that timeframe. Green peas have finally beat yellows after 2 years of waiting. $14 delivered in AB and up to $15 delivered in SK. Not sure if this is short term or not.
There seems to be some interest in new crop contracting already. We priced some yellow mustard at over $0.90/lb this week with AoG, but have seen it pull back to the mid 80s. Have priced feed barley in eastern SK for $6.00 picked up off combine. These prices are not as good as last year's new crop opportunities, but we also are not going to be sold out of most crops like last year. Might be something to think about. Get some prices locked in and play with the balance. $6.00 off combine barley doesn’t look like much but historically it is a good number.
One of the big advantages of growing our team is we see different possibilities of how we can help the producer be more profitable. Any one on our email list has seen our fertilizer pricing over the last 2 weeks. We are going to continue doing tire-kicking for urea and phosphate. An example is $965 picked up central MB for urea in December. Give us a call and we will help with your shopping.
We are getting calls most days about heated grain. This is just a reminder to check your bins. We can maximize the returns if you have the misfortune to have some heat but don’t wait for the snow to melt off the roof. We have good interest in any heated canola you do have. We have started doing weekly reports on the prices we are finding for grain in each province. We hope these are helpful to our producers. Here is the Alberta price list from this week:
We are doing a producer meeting in conjunction with Western Ag Labs and ADM in Virden in the afternoon of Dec 12 th. If it is well received we will likely be having meetings in other locations. I feel it is a great way to build the relationships we have with our customers. Faces on voices etc.
That is about it for this newsletter. Don’t forget to check with us before you sell as we have a good idea of current values in most areas. And the call is free.
Till next month.
Marketer - Brandon, MB
204-729-1354 - Office
204-761-8320 - Cell