CNS Canada — Prices for feed barley remain solid in Western Canada but demand could be lessening somewhat as the summer unfolds.
“Buyers seem to have decent coverage going into later summer,” said Jared Seitz of Agfinity at Stony Plain, Alta. “So their pricing is starting to pull back.”
Prices for feed wheat and barley are hanging above the $6 per bushel mark.
“Farmers don’t really want to forward-price as much,” he added. “They are motivated to sell what they do have now for bin space.”
Transportation issues are also a problem for some producers in northern Alberta.
“If you’re pulling barley out of the Peace River country, there’s a problem as far as getting trucks,” he said.
As for corn, bids are well below feed wheat and barley at $4 a bushel. According to Seitz, the recent Canadian Pacific Railway strike may have convinced a lot of buyers to buy up feed wheat and barley in case they had late deliveries of corn.
About 3,000 CP conductors and engineers walked off the job May 29 in a strike that was settled in less than a day, but the labour dispute roiled markets and created uncertainty throughout the agricultural sector.
“Once that was settled, it kind of created a market where a lot of buyers had immediate grain coming in, so demand was killed a little bit,” he said.
The market saw some of its highest prices during the strike, so some producers may be disappointed if they’re hanging onto large quantities of barley in hopes of a July rally.
“I think that’s even more dangerous if you have feed wheat,” said Seitz. “Just cause we start getting into a chance of having earlier wheat coming off.”
Short-covering could also be a factor affecting prices as the summer rolls along.
“I just think there’s more reason for the market to start heading down,” he said.
— Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Glacier FarmMedia company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.