Canada Stocks Fall To A Three-week Low Amid U.s. Budget Impasse

Statistics Canada said it interviewed about 10,500 farmers from Sept. 3 to Sept. 10. The estimate excludes production in British Columbia and Canadas Atlantic provinces, which account for 2 to 4 percent of the national total, the agency said. There are record yields being reported for crops in many areas and the market will not be surprised if canola production exceeds 16 million tons, Chuck Penner, the owner of LeftField Commodity Research, said in a telephone interview from Winnipeg before the report. Its safe to say 2013 is going to be one to remember, he said. Higher Yields The average wheat yield is forecast to be a record 48.0 bushels per acre, Statistics Canada said today, up from 42.6 bushels per acre in 2012. While planting in many parts of Western Canada was delayed this spring by excess moisture and below-normal temperatures, farmers managed to sow most of their crop by mid-June, according to reports from Alberta , Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the largest grower of spring wheat. Crops progressed from good growing conditions and output is expected to be significantly higher than last year due to higher yields, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said in a Sept. 18 report . Spring-wheat yields in parts of the Prairies are as high as 80 bushels per acre, FarmLink Marketing Solutions said in a Sept. 27 report .

Canada crude -Heavy and synthetic grades weaken further

Western Canada Select heavy blend for November delivery last sold for $33.50 per barrel below the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers. That compares with a settlement price of $32.85 per barrel below the benchmark on Wednesday. Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for November delivery last traded at $12.50 per barrel below WTI, compared with a settlement price on Wednesday of $11.75 below the benchmark. A ramping up of production at Imperial Oil’s Kearl project and strong output from Syncrude’s northern Alberta oil sands project have pushed differentials wider in recent weeks. Production from Canada’s largest energy company Suncor Energy Inc dipped in September however, falling 16 percent month-on-month to 365,000 barrels per day as a result of maintenance at its U2 upgrader. Market players said weaker refining margins meant there was less demand from refineries, while Shell Canada’s 100,000 bpd Scotford, Alberta, refinery, is also undergoing a full turnaround. “Margins are diminishing so refineries have lower utilization than in the last two or three months, which is putting pressure on pricing,” one Calgary crude trader said. “As we get more and more production coming out there are also logistical issues.” Pipeline company Enbridge Inc increased apportionment on its export network in October, and some market sources said there were concerns there could be more rationing ahead. Higher apportionment can push differentials wider on concerns that crude will get bottle-necked in Canada. Last winter congested export pipeline capacity and growing production meant WCS at times traded more than $40 per barrel below WTI, in what the Alberta government termed the “bitumen bubble”.

BlackBerry, the smartphone maker looking to sell itself, lost 3.6 percent to pace declines among technology stocks. WestJet (WJA) Airlines Ltd. dropped 2.5 percent as load factor slipped in September. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. rose 1.4 percent after receiving approvals for products in the U.S. and Canada. Agrium Inc. added 0.7 percent after naming a successor for its retiring chief executive officer. The Standard & Poors/TSX Composite Index (SPTSX) fell 103.88 points, or 0.8 percent, to 12,735.12 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, the lowest close since Sept. 13. The index has gained 2.4 percent this year for the second-worst performance among developed markets, ahead of only Singapore . Markets are in a wait-and-see approach to see whats happening in the U.S. and that really determines what happens in Canada, said Anish Chopra, fund manager with TD Asset Management Inc. in Toronto.

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