Feed grain in Western Canada is apparently becoming harder to track down. That or farmers are becoming less willing to sell.
The market is at a point though where buyers are fairly covered through to the 2018/19 crop year starts. But between now and then, those looking for higher prices for their feed barley might have to wait a few months.
Last week feed barley prices fell about $6 CAD per metric tonne for delivery into Lethbridge. Values for April/May movement are now sitting around that $243 CAD / metric tonne level (or $4.11 USD and $5.35 CAD per bushel).
Conversely, prices have gone up about $10 CAD / metric tonne for feed wheat delivered into Lethbridge. And it looks like farmers are selling into this strength, especially as we see the opposite happening on the winter wheat markets (which feed wheat is usually hedged against).
Specifically, feed wheat prices are sitting around $245 CAD / metric tonne (or $5.18 USD and $6.74 CAD per bushel).
For corn, prices are still being traded at close to $250 CAD / metric tonne (or $4.94 USD and $6.43 CAD per bushel). However, supply is slowing down as 100-car trains are no longer arriving from the U.S. and Manitoba.
Buyers are also not as aggressive on their new crop purchasing as better snowfall means the potential for better soil moisture, meaning decent supply going into the 2018/19 crop year.
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CNS Canada –– As the winter ends, supply is getting tight for feed grains in Lethbridge’s feedlot alley.
“We’re seeing a little bit of a pullback on prices on most commodities in anticipation for making sure everything gets out before road bans,” said Brandon Motz, sales manager at CorNine Commodities at Lacombe, Alta.
The feed barley market has begun to soften. Over the last week prices have dropped from $248 per tonne to $243 per tonne for March/April delivery. Farmer selling has tapered off, according to Motz.
“The rally in the market has got guys curious,” he said. “They want to know the price and after last year’s low price in barley they’re not locking the bin doors but they’re certainly not letting it go easy.”
Feed wheat has rallied over the last few weeks from $235 per tonne to $245. Weak U.S. wheat futures have helped prop up prices.
Feed wheat prices have cooled off, Motz said, “but that’s kind of helped the farmer, convince them it’s maybe time to let a little bit more go. So that has been trading a little more steadily.”
Corn prices are steady at the $250 per tonne mark, but supply has slowed. According to Motz, the high-volume 100-car trains from the U.S. have stopped arriving and it has become harder to find corn to ship in from Manitoba.
The ground is still covered in snow in southern Alberta, which could lead to more feed grains being planted. While producers are optimistic about seeding intentions, Motz said if the snow sticks around it could lead to less longer season growing crops planted and more feed wheat and barley acres planted.
“I guess in the end it is good for the feedlot industry. But we’re a long ways away to really be worrying about that right now,” he said.