August 2018 Durum Prices Recap – FarmLead (GrainCents)

Durum prices in August 2018 were impacted by contrasting harvest prospects in Canada and the US, while international trade remains contentious.

2018-08-29-SK-Durum-Prices

in the month of August delivered to Saskatchewan elevators were sitting at $6.76 CAD per bushel. This is slightly lower than where July’s durum prices were and 13% lower than at this time a year ago.

Late last week, Saskatchewan Agriculture provided their first estimate of the province’s yield, calling for 29 bushels per acre of durum. This is 17% below last year’s Saskatchewan yield for durum of 35 bushels per acre. The 5-year average yield for durum in Saskatchewan is 41 bushels per acre, meaning this year’s crop is well below the average.

Although this may seem like a significant year-over-year decline, it is important to note that Saskatchewan Agriculture’s first estimate of the 2017/18 durum crop was 30 bushels per acre, which means that the crop got bigger as the harvest went on.

For further perspective, in last week’s digest, we reminded you that Alberta Agriculture says that their provincial durum yield was looking like 33.5 bushels per acre. That is 23% below the 5-year average of 43.3 bushels per acre and 9% below last year’s average haul of 36.7 bushels per acre.

Nationally, Statistics Canada said on Friday that durum yields would come in at 30.5 bushels per acre this year. That’s down 13% year-over-year and 23% below the five-year average!

For our GrainCents readers, we’re watching a variety of factors that might affect durum prices: 2 are bearish, 3 are bullish, and 2 are noise.

(If you’re not familiar with what “noise” is, then we recommend you check out our GrainCents risk management process towards durum wheat prices.)

This month, GrainCents investigated topics such as:

Italy remains out of the market for Canadian durum, and as such, exports are 41% year-over-year through Week 4 of the 2018/19 crop year. However, this is 13% better than the 3-year average.

2018-08-26-Canadian-Durum-Weekly-Exports

Right now, let’s focus on getting the Canadian durum crop off, and double-checking your quality so that as opportunities become available, you have all your specs ready to share, namely protein, moisture, HVK, falling numbers, and any disease factors like vomitoxin. We’ve built GrainTests.com to help you simply order your durum quality tests from any of the independent grain testing labs across North America.

Further, if you want to be more on top of what’s happening in durum prices (and making more sense of grain markets), join us for your free trial at GrainCents.

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About the Author
Brennan Turner

Brennan Turner is the CEO of FarmLead.com, 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.

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