Seasonals lift Prairie barley bids

(Resource News International) — Barley bids in Western Canada have begun to improve and there are ideas that values should
be able to hold these levels at least for the time being.

“Essentially cash values for barley have begun to move up in view of seasonal factors,” said Gord Mitchell of Mitchell Grain Inc. at Spruce Grove, Alta.

Producers at this time of year begin to
concentrate on spring field work as well as seeding
operations. Marketings of grain in turn are pushed to the

sidelines for the time being.

“There would have to a real jump in the cash bid to take
the producer out of the fields at this time of year,” Mitchell
said.

Cash bids for western barley were said to have increased
roughly $5 per tonne over the past week.

End-users of western barley are believed to have slowly
covered their commitments over the past couple of weeks, with
coverage now believed to be to the middle of June.

“The old-crop barley fundamentals appear to be adequate
but as for new-crop, there are concerns that feed barley
supplies are going to be tight,” said one cash dealer who did not
want his name used.

Statistics Canada, in its seedings survey released April 24, revealed that producers in Canada were planning on seeding 9.476 million acres to barley in the spring of 2009.
That’s up from the 9.357 million acres seeded in the spring
of 2008 and was at the high end of pre-report estimates that
ranged from as low as 8.2 million acres to as high as 10 million.

“There is a belief that actual seeded area will be lower
than what the survey showed as values for the commodity have
not been high enough to encourage producers to seed the crop,”
said Keith Ferley, a broker with Union Securities Ltd.

Updated surveys by a variety of elevator companies were
also indicating farmers were planning on seeding less
barley than what the government report suggested, the cash
dealer said.

Cash bids for feed barley delivered to the elevator in
Saskatchewan, based on Prairie Ag Hotwire data, currently
range from $2.50 to $2.77 a bushel, in Manitoba from $2.52 to
$2.83 and in Alberta from $2.36 to $3.59.

On April 24, feed barley bids delivered to the elevator in
Saskatchewan had ranged from $2.44 to $2.66 a bushel, in
Manitoba from $2.52 to $2.94 and in Alberta from $2.48 to
$3.59.

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