Time to sell feed barley, analyst suggests

The price of feed barley has been trending higher throughout the spring and into seeding time, but one industry analyst said the market may soon start to back off.

Gerald Snip of Marketplace Commodities at Lethbridge, Alta., said a lack of deliveries from producers has been behind the increase in price, but that could change as farmers conclude their seeding operations.

“We have seen a bit of a spike because producers have not finished seeding, but once seeding operations are complete, farmers are going to be checking their bins and we could see a softening of the price,” Snip said.

Snip estimated it wouldn’t take very long for seeding operations to be complete, at least in the western part of the Prairies.

“Out here in southern Alberta, we’ve been having great seeding weather, so I’d say in about a week we’ll be at about 98 per cent done seeding the crop, and then we could see some selling,” he said.

“Once the seeding is done they kind of check the bins, and see the crop is coming up nice, so they will need room for this year’s crop. And of course it gives them more time for marketing.”

Demand for feed barley has been holding steady right across the Prairie, Snip said, adding it wasn’t likely demand would decline all that much once the price goes down.

When asked how much values could decline, Snip said “It’s hard to say, but I wouldn’t be surprised if by the time August rolls around we could see a softening of the price by maybe $10-15 per ton.”

According to Prairie Ag Hotwire, feed barley prices were bringing anywhere from $4.35 to $4.62 per bushel across Western Canada.

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