More upside unlikely for Prairie barley

(Resource News International) — Feed barley bids in Western Canada have moved higher over the past few weeks, as dry weather in Alberta has led to some concern about yields, while also increasing demand due to tight forage supplies.

However, prices may be nearing their upper limit and could start to soften, according to a feed grains broker.

Cash bids in the key Lethbridge, Alta. market are currently sitting at $195 per tonne, up about $20 on the month, according to the Alberta Grain Commission.

Dave Guichon, with the feedlot strategies division of Lethbridge’s Ag-Value Group, agreed that the dry weather conditions were behind the strength in barley.

However, he added, the dry regions were starting to see some moisture, which may ease some of the weather-related concerns.

Guichon thought barley would be hard pressed to move much above current levels if the commodity wants to stay competitive with other feed options, especially given the fact that US corn prices have dropped sharply over the past week.

He thought the cheaper corn prices were nearing the tipping point where it will be easier to bring U.S. corn into Alberta.

Guichon added that DDGS (distillers dried grains with solubles) were already finding their way into cattle rations as a cheaper alternative to barley.

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