According to European Union data sourced from the International Grains Council, the asking price for Canadian durum FOB the St. Lawrence is reported at $328/metric ton USD as of May 26, down from the $338/mt high that was reported from mid-March through mid-May.
At the same time, bids on the Prairies are pushing higher in both old-crop and new-crop positions, as seen in pdqinfo.ca data, while some producers are reporting even higher prices paid.
Spot bids on June 1 were reported to rise by $1.51/mt in western Manitoba to $7.05/mt in southwest Saskatchewan, with the range of bids reported for the six regions reported from $303.76/mt to $316/mt.
Looking at the price trends shown for the four regions shown on the attached chart, the southern Alberta bid has increased $2.77/mt since its recent low, while western Manitoba has seen a $7.49/mt increase, southwest Saskatchewan a $10.07/mt increase and southeast Saskatchewan a $11.78/mt increase. The move seen in southeast Saskatchewan has taken this price to a fresh high for the crop year of $314.76/mt.
At the same time, posted bids and what is being paid can vary greatly, with one online communication pointing to a bid for No. 1 CWAD at $9.20/bushel (bu) or $338/mt. The bottom line is that stocks are tight, and supplies are in demand.
Neither North Dakota nor Montana released crop condition ratings for durum the past week. At the same time, the U.S. spring wheat condition should be carefully considered. Analysis from DTN Contributing Analyst Joel Karlin states that initial crop ratings for U.S. spring wheat are the second lowest of all time and close to the level reported in 1988. As of May 30, the USDA estimated the North Dakota crop condition at 31% good to excellent, a state that produces roughly 50% of U.S. spring wheat.
It should also be noted that Pdq's new-crop bids are also seen moving higher. Across the four southern regions shown on the chart, the new-crop October bid rose from $0.99/mt to $3.72/mt on June 1, with new-crop bids reaching fresh highs in all four regions. These bids range from $294.36/mt to $301.78/mt, while Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's latest May supply and demand tables show an average price forecast of $270/mt in 2021-22, down $20/mt from the $290/mt average forecast for 2020-21.
A slow start to the Prairies crop due to cool and dry conditions, the recent frost event hitting many areas and this week's high temperatures may have buyers on edge. Spillover trade as spring wheat futures near a test of contract highs is also a contributing factor.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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