Feed barley bids slowly trending up

Cash bids for feed barley in Western Canada have been holding fairly steady but also have slowly been trending to stronger territory as feedlots look to cover needs.

“Bids for barley have slowly been moving up, especially after stocks of the commodity were shown to be at a tighter-than-anticipated level in the StatsCan stocks report for the period ending March 31,” said market analyst Jerry Klassen, manager of GAP SA Grains and Products Canada in Winnipeg.

Some of the major feedlots in Western Canada have coverage through to the end of June and partly into July, he noted. Some of the other major feedlots, however, were said to only have about two to three weeks’ worth of their needs covered and have been slowly trying to extend that.

“This in turn has helped to slowly strengthen bids,” he said.

Further underpinning the cash barley price outlook has been the significant price improvement for U.S. corn values.

“It’s also important to remember the late start to seeding in a lot of the regions of western Canada and the less-than-perfect conditions for crop development,” Klassen said.

The absence of significant farmer deliveries of feed barley into the cash pipeline has also encouraged some of the strength in the market.

The lack of farmer deliveries was tied to the fact that most were concentrating on seeding operations as well as having to deal with flooding issues, depending on the area of the Prairies.

Cash bids for feed barley, delivered to the elevator in Saskatchewan based on Prairie Ag Hotwire data, currently range from $3.48 to $3.71 a bushel, in Manitoba from $3.18 to $4.30 and in Alberta from $3.50 to $4.57.

At the end of March, cash bids for feed barley, delivered to the elevator, in Saskatchewan, ranged from $3.22 to $3.55, in Manitoba $3.18 to $4.28 and in Alberta from $3.30 to $4.38.

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