Short-term barley prices seen likely to downtrend

CNS Canada — Feed barley prices are moving slowly with hand-to-mouth buying as the crop moves into harvest, when already low prices will likely hit a downtrend.

However, prices will likely recover into autumn, depending on how farmers choose to act, from where one market analyst sits.

“If the farmers aren’t willing to sell at these off-combine values we’re going to see numbers recover sooner rather than later,” said Jared Seitz, trade manager at Agfinity in Stony Plain, Alta.

According to the latest prices on Agfinity’s website, Alberta feed barley prices range from $185.72 and $204.09 per tonne for August.

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Prices should stay flat throughout September, he saiud, but once off-combine sellers are out of the market, prices will climb in October and November.

For now, however, prices are low and stagnant.

“We’re pretty well seeing lower prices every day now, and then there’s also not a lot of demand for off-combine barley,” he says.

Nationally, the overall area seeded to barley rose 10.7 per cent from 2014 to 6.5 million acres in 2015, a June 2015 government principal field crop report said.

Anticipation within the market is that barley production numbers are lower, Seitz said, but noted it was one of the crops that recovered well from late-July rains.

Statistics Canada releases its first production estimates of the year on Friday.

In Alberta some farmers are already starting to harvest, with more to come in the next couple of weeks.

Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow CNS Canada at @CNSCanada on Twitter.

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