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Feed weekly outlook: New-crop expectations weigh on bids

saskatchewan barley
A barley crop south of Ethelton, Sask. on July 30, 2019. (Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm — Feed grain bids in Western Canada have trended lower over the past month amid expectations for large barley production and concerns over possible downgrades to wheat quality.

“We’ve definitely seen (barley prices) soften up quite a bit,” said grain broker Nelson Neumann of Agfinity at Stony Plain, Alta.

New-crop feed barley is trading at around $210 per tonne delivered into Feedlot Alley in southern Alberta, which compares with pricing near $230 at the end of July. Any old-crop barley left to move is trading at the same levels as the new crop.

Statistics Canada estimated the 2019-20 Canadian barley crop at 9.6 million tonnes in its first survey of the crop year, released Wednesday. That would be up by 15 per cent from the previous year and the largest barley crop since 2013.

After a year of tight supplies and higher prices, Neumann said growers were still selling at the lower price levels. People are realizing that this is the “reality we’re living in for this year,” he added.

Frost damage is also a serious threat to wheat crops this harvest season, especially in northern growing regions where wetness continues to delay development.

As a result, ideas that more wheat will be downgraded this year are pressuring the feed wheat market, said Neumann.

“(The harvest) is still a couple of weeks away, and it’s getting colder every morning.”

With expectations for abundant domestic barley and feed wheat supplies, Neumann expected corn imports from the U.S. would be lower this year.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

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