Nov. 25 – Durum Prices Languish; What Are We Waiting For?

Durum prices ticked a bit lower this past week as the market tries to determine just how much is going abroad versus into the feed market.

Current Sales Position:

We are 0% sold for 2018/19 old crop durum wheat.

We are 0% sold for 2019/20 new crop durum wheat.

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Last week we discussed how the slow pace of Canadian durum exports has negatively added o ending stocks and it certainly has had an impact on durum prices

North American Durum Wheat Prices - Nov 2018

However, this certainly has ramifications for 2019/20 opportunities.It’s widely expected that there will not only be les durum planed in Canada next spring, but also the U.S. Instead, it’s expected that more spring wheat, barley, oats, and canola will find a big role in the rotation in 2019.

We might see other major players like France and Italy even pull back their production numbers. Globally, we know that Algeria, Canada, and the U.S. produced more durum in 2018/19, while smaller crops were seen in the EU, Mexico, and Syria. Total worldwide supply for the 2018/19 crop year has been revised by the International Grains Commission to 47 MMT, whereas demand is up 600,000 MT year-over-year to 37.8 MMT.

This puts global durum carryout at 9.8 MMT, a multi-year high.

Where Does This Leave Durum Prices?

Spot durum prices across the Canadian Prairies dipped a bit this past week, but are still sitting higher than where they were a month ago.

Western Canada Regional Average Spot Durum Prices

Western Canada Average Spot Durum Prices

If we start looking at deferred pricing opportunities, we really need to go out all the way to June before we start seeing some premiums appear.

Western Canada Deferred Durum Prices

Is this our only legitimate pricing option? Unfortunately, it appears to be true. If I am not tight on cashflow, and I have some high quality durum, the play that I’m looking to do is lock in some delivery for this early summer timeframe. Maybe 25% of 2018/19 production is all.

However, if I am tight on cashflow, I’m looking to move some product sooner than later. This means that I need to aggressively shop this product between the feed market and the milling market. We have over 150 credit-verified buyers on FarmLead looking for either of the two qualities so I would strongly suggest posting it on the Marketplace. Any of these buyers will be looking for specs/quality so make sure to be transparent with the quality your moving and even if it is decent quality, we need to use logic and cashflow needs as our compass, not emotion (as hard as this might be).

Durum Exports This Week

Through Week 16 of the 2018/19 crop year (ending November 18), Canadian durum exports are sitting at a total of 996,500 MT, down nearly 16% year-over-year.

2018/19 Week 16 Total Canadian Durum Exports

For Week 16 specifically, durum exports totalled 80,300 MT.

2018/19 Week 16 Weekly Canadian Durum Exports

This is a decent trend, but given durum prices and where they’re at, this uptick in durum exports doesn’t seem to be moving the needle on the price compass too much. That being said, this week or next week, I’ll be looking to contract that first 25% of 2018/19 sales.

To growth,

Brennan Turner

306-715-4540 (cell)

FarmLead – North America’s Grain Marketplace



Nov. 18 – Slow Durum Exports Adding to Carryout

Nov. 13 – Quiet Durum Wheat Week But Prices Inch Higher

Nov. 4 – Durum Exports Still a Mythical Question
Oct. 28 – What Will it Take For Durum Prices to Improve?

Oct. 21 – Durum Exports to Blame for Poor Prices?

About the Author
Brennan Turner

Brennan Turner is the CEO of, North America’s Grain Marketplace. He holds a degree in economics from Yale University and spent time on Wall Street in commodity trade and analysis before starting FarmLead. In 2017, Brennan was named to Fast Company’s List of Most Creative People in Business and, in 2018, a Henry Crown Fellow. He is originally from Foam Lake, Saskatchewan where his family started farming the land nearly 100 years ago (and still do to this day!). Brennan's unique grain markets analysis can be found in everything from small-town print newspapers to large media outlets such as Bloomberg and Reuters.