Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Feed weekly outlook: High demand keeps bids strong

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MarketsFarm — Feed grain prices in Western Canada have come off of recent highs but remain “higher than what feeders like to see.”

That’s according to Brandon Motz of CorNine Commodities ar Lacombe, Alta., who said feed grains are still in a “high-demand market,” with spot prices for feed barley and wheat around $260-$265 per tonne, delivered Lethbridge. Prices for delivery between January and March are $270-$275 per tonne for barley.

Prices have come down slightly over the past few weeks due to sufficient coverage in feedlots, but market participants aren’t sure how long that will last.

“Feeders seem to be fairly covered in the short term,” Motz said. “We’re not sure of coverage into the New Year.”

Feed wheat prices remain strong as “decent-quality” wheat across the Prairies means there’s less feed-quality wheat in the market.

“Feed wheat has to compete more with export pricing, compared to a year where we have an early frost and it produces a lot of feed wheat,” Motz said.

Export demand has been higher than usual over the past five months, which has kept domestic prices competitive.

“That’s drawn down stocks at a higher rate than normal.”

Motz said the demand-driven feed market will be waiting for Dec. 3, when Statistics Canada releases its Production of Principal Field Crops report.

“We’ll see where yields come in, and overall tonnage in terms of production,” said Motz.

Motz expected prices to stay strong into the winter, as the market remains demand-driven.

“But we can’t take high prices for granted,” he said, remarking “the best cure for high prices is high prices.”

— Marlo Glass reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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