Feed barley bids firming up in Western Canada

(Commodity News Service Canada) — Barley bids in Western Canada have strengthened recently and should continue to see some more upside between now and Christmas, as the selling pressure backs away but the seasonal demand picks up.

Jim Beusekom of Market Place Commodities at Lethbridge, Alta. said bids were starting to move higher, with prices in the key Lethbridge feeding area now in the $180 per tonne area.

“We’re finally into winter,” he said, noting that the cold, snowy conditions were causing sellers to back away. At the same time, cattle on feed increase at this time of year, and are also using more feed on a daily basis as they grow.

Corn DDGS (dried distillers grains with solubles) from the U.S. are currently trading into Lethbridge at around $215 a tonne, said Beusekom. The higher price is causing feedlots to back off their usage to some extent, which is helping bid up barley and feed wheat.

Beusekom said barley bids could increase to $190 per tonne in Lethbridge over the next month, before stabilizing. “Once you get into the New Year, the selling picks up on the farmer side,” he said, noting that seasonal issues would see values start to decline in late January/early February.

If the Canadian Wheat Board does come out with an export program, it could take Lethbridge prices even higher, said Beuskeom.

However, in the meantime, ample supplies of feed wheat looking for a home will also temper the upside in barley.

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Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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