Good barley bids available, but activity slow

Cash barley bids in the key Lethbridge, Alta. feeding area may have been seeing a little strength over the past month, but wet conditions in the area are limiting both willing buyers and available sellers.

Jim Beusekom of Market Place Commodities said muddy conditions at most feedlots are causing many operations to look at getting their smaller animals out to grass as quickly as possible.

At the same time, feedlots are also not interested in bringing in more replacement cattle given the current conditions, he said.

“Feedlots aren’t interested in buying another muddy bunch of cattle, so they seem to be sticking out at the backgrounder lots a little longer than normal to allow those corral conditions to improve.”

While demand has backed away slightly, feedlots still need to bring in grain and grain farmers should be able to access prices around $205 per tonne, said Beusekom.

However, grain farmers need to be able to ship, and in many cases that’s not possible due to lack of accessibility on yards or roads.

“Those that can are getting $10 to $15 per tonne higher than it was a month ago, and those that can’t will just have to wait until they can get at their grain.”

Looking forward, Beusekom expected barley prices could soften once more grain is available to move — though he added that demand could also pick up in June, offsetting the increased supplies.

About the author

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

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