Feed barley bids in Western Canada have continued to slowly erode over the past few weeks given the dwindling livestock herds, the increased likelihood of a large feed grain harvest and as alternative feed supplies are found.
“The absence of demand for feed barley from the large feedlot operators in western Canada has resulted in values declining,” Gerry Klassen, a grain market analyst and commodity trader said Aug. 7.
“Those feedlots took on some large coverage in the spring and have supplies on hand to meet their needs right through to the end of September.” The reduced demand for barley as a feed also comes in view of the steady liquidation of cattle and hog herds in western Canada given the poor profitability of the industry.
Cheap Black Sea barley supplies have also helped to depress barley values in general, Klassen said. Values have also been weakening in view of the large amount of dried distillers grain that is being brought over from the U.S., he said.
The potential for an early frost in Western Canada which would result in a lot more grain grading as feed, also has kept end-users from being aggressive buyers at this time, Klassen said.
As of Aug. 7, cash bids for feed barley delivered to the elevator in Saskatchewan, based on Prairie Ag Hotwire data, ranged from $2.19 to $2.81 a bushel, in Manitoba from $3.14 to $3.16 and in Alberta from $2.44 to $3.70.