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Malting barley unchanged in mid-Sept. PRO

The Canadian Wheat Board’s latest mid-month pool return outlook for 2008-09 malting barley, issued to provide more timely price signals in a volatile market, hasn’t budged from August.

The CWB on Thursday posted a new mid-month PRO of $348 per tonne for Select Canada Western (CW) two-row designated barley, and $328 per tonne for Select CW six-row. That’s unchanged from the board’s Aug. 28 PRO.

International malting barley prices have dropped in line with general pressure on commodity prices during the past two weeks that has weakened the price outlook for malting barley sales, the CWB said.

Offsetting that pressure, however, is the combination of “good value sales already in the pool,” as well as some weakening in the Canadian dollar and decreases in ocean freight rates.

Among other factors, supply concerns continue in Australia as rains continue to miss the country’s main barley-growing areas, the CWB said.

What’s more, the board said in its mid-month PRO, the progress of the Canadian harvest has been slow and there remains “considerable uncertainty” around the quality and selection rates of the crop.

“Weather conditions over the next two weeks will be critical in determining the quality of the malting barley crop in Western Canada,” the CWB wrote.

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