Firm feed barley market capped by U.S. corn

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

CNS Canada — Feed barley bids in Alberta have shown some strength post-harvest and look to remain firm heading through the winter. However, the threat of U.S. corn imports will likely cap the upside.

“Barley’s been on the rise here,” said Jared Seitz of Agfinity at Spruce Grove, Alta.

Some U.S. corn was crossing the border, he said, “but it seems like most feeders still have faith in barley and want to buy barley if they can.”

The call to switch to corn could still come. However, he said, feeders would rather stick with barley if they could, given the convenience of multiple sources over the risk of relying on rail deliveries.

Seitz added that the barley market was seeing a “healthy carry” into the spring and summer, which was a positive for farmers seeing a bit more for their storage costs.

The feed wheat market, meanwhile, is looking relatively steady.

While there is less feed-quality wheat around compared to 2016, large protein spreads mean that lower-protein milling wheat is finding its way into feed channels.

A lot of good-quality but low-protein wheat was priced on par with feed, Seitz noted. As a result, in many cases it was easier to sell into the feed market than for export.

Both barley and feed wheat are priced in the $215-$220 per tonne area in Lethbridge, according to provincial data.

Those bids soften moving north, with feed wheat currently trading at a premium to barley in many markets.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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


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