CNS Canada — Prices are rising for feed grains in Lethbridge, with buyers starting to consider their options.
“Seems every day this last week we’re surprised at higher offers being triggered than the day before,” said Jared Seitz, trade manager with Agfinity Inc.
In Lethbridge, feed barley bids last week were at $5 per bushel for delivery. On Thursday, Seitz said, they were buying feed barley for delivery in the spring at $5.15-$5.20.
Feed wheat saw a 20 cent jump over the week, to $6.40-$6.50 per bushel for delivery to Lethbridge. Further north around Edmonton, Seitz said feed wheat bids were lower, at $6.
“I think there’s room for the market to go up in different parts of the Prairies still… just because there’s pockets of demand that still need coverage and then places like Lethbridge seem to be getting enough coverage with either barley or some corn coming in,” Seitz said.
Corn from Manitoba and the U.S. is making its way into Alberta feedlots at $6.40 per bushel. Buyers who are choosing to stick with barley over corn will only be willing to pay a little bit more before they start considering other options, Seitz said.
“Barley’s holding its own right now but it definitely has a ceiling before buyers are going to look at their other options.”
The higher feed grain prices are due to numerous factors. Last summer’s drought caused poor harvests in the Lethbridge area, leading to a decreased supply. Demand has also increased from the Red Deer, Edmonton and B.C. areas.
Barley exports are up as well. According to Canadian Grain Commission data, Canada has exported 1,015,100 tonnes of barley as of Feb. 18, compared to 522,200 tonnes a year ago.
“All it takes is a few buyers to push the panic button and then everyone has to pay up for it. That seems to be what’s happening right now,” Seitz said.
— Ashley Robinson writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Glacier FarmMedia company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.