On Oct. 9, the price differential between West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Western Canadian Select (WCS) hit US$45.50 per barrel, according to the Daily Oil Bulletin.
One barrel of WTI was trading for US$74.34 per barrel while a barrel of WCS traded for an implied value of US$28.84 for the November 2018 price.
That means that WCS was selling for just 38.9 per cent of WTI, or a 61.2 per cent discount.
The differential is even more stark when Western Canadian Select is compared to Brent, the global benchmark for oil. With Brent coming in at US$84.16, WCS was trading at a US$55.32 differential per barrel, or a 65.7 per cent discount to the world price.
Source: Brian Zinchuk/Pipeline News
If those same discounts were applied to various agricultural commodities at Cargill, North Battleford, which is adjacent to Saskatchewan’s heavy oil country, red spring wheat would fetch $96.11 per tonne instead of $247.75, when compared to the WTI discount. The Brent discount, applied to the same wheat, would result in a price of $84.90 per tonne.
Instead of getting $471.13 per tonne for canola, the discount, akin to WTI/WCS, would see a price of $182.77 per tonne. The Brent discount would see only $161.45 per tonne of canola.
When it comes to soybeans, a WTI-level of discount would see a price of $146.54 per tonne, instead of the going rate of $427.62 per tonne. A soybean price compared to the Brent discount would see a price of just $146.54 per tonne.