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Strong demand keeps Prairie feed barley well supported

CNS Canada — Feed barley bids remain well supported in Western Canada, as solid demand and reluctant farmer selling keep the market underpinned heading into the summer months.

“There is pretty decent demand. I’d say higher than average for this time of year,” said Brandon Motz, sales manager with CorNine Commodities in Lacombe, Alta.

Strong cattle prices and the fact that there are more cattle on feed this summer than normal, after placement was delayed in the fall, accounted for increased buying interest, he said.

After rallying earlier in the spring, Motz said the feed market was trying to soften, but farmers are currently unwilling to make sales at any lower levels.

“The farmer is not a real seller right now after getting a taste of higher prices off of the basement lows we were at,” said Motz, adding that producers are now waiting to see what the new crop looks like before selling.

With dryness raising concerns in some areas of the Prairies and excessive moisture still an issue in others, Motz said the uncertainty of weather conditions over the summer has the potential to sway new-crop bids.

Many acres were left to overwinter in Western Canada this year, and feed grain traders had expected large supplies of poor quality spring thrashed crops would weigh on prices.

Motz said it was hard to quantify the spring-thrashed grain, but with some being written off and some never harvested, the spring harvest didn’t live up to expectations and was not as bearish as feared.

“It was more of a non-event than the industry had suggested earlier on.”

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

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