Feed barley feeling ‘downward sag,’ trader says

(Canada Beef Inc. photo)

CNS Canada — Feedlot demand for cash barley is weakening slightly as cattle producers prepare to turn animals loose on pastures, but prices are still hanging in there, according to one participant.

“Farmers aren’t really selling a whole lot at these levels,” said Allen Pirness of Market Place Commodities in the feedlot alley near Lethbridge, Alta.

Barley bids right now are at the $210 per tonne mark, down roughly $5 to $10 from recent weeks, he said. “We’re starting to see a bit of a downward sag.”

The region had seen some moisture in recent weeks but was still too dry, he noted. “People with water are irrigating already.”

Feed wheat, on the other hand, was fielding lower offers at the $205 per tonne mark, which was starting to create downward pressure on barley.

“If we see any new direction for barley, I think it’s going to come from feed wheat; I don’t see how barley can hold up,” he said.

There seems to be a lot of strength in Canada’s elevator system right now, Pirness added.

“They’re paying $4 (per bushel)-plus for barley delivered in central Alberta and west-central Saskatchewan. That’s supportive, I guess,” he said.

According to Prairie Ag Hotwire, average spot bids for feed barley as of Monday were $3.20 to $3.75 per bushel.

One of the reasons for this situation, Pirness said, might be due to a series of export sales that were planned for ports on the West Coast.

“I don’t know if they’ve assembled all the grain for that.”

Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

 

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