The outlook for barley prices was bullish in April, at least when it comes to feed barley prices. It is one of the few crops in Western Canada that did extremely well!
Early in April, we reported that feed barley prices were rallying. On the exports front, China has been a big buyer of Canadian malt barley, with exports this year to top 1 million tonnes! This would be a new record! That being said, cumulative Canadian barley exports continue to track well ahead of last year’s pace.
That being said, malt barley prices have remained relatively subdued. Comparably, feed barley prices have continued to inch higher through the end of April. A later winter and a larger cattle herd continue to support the move.
However, we need to point out a few bearish factors. First, barley commercial stocks and second, the domestic disappearance is starting to lose steam. That being said, cumulative farmer deliveries though continue to track ahead of last year’s pace.
Another bearish factor for barley prices is how many barley acres will get seeded in Canada in 2018/19. StatsCan said that Canadian farmers will plant 6.06 million acres of barley, this is up 5% year-over-year.
Here are a few other factors that we looked at this month that impacted barley prices.
- Not malt but feed barley prices pushing up barley acres;
- The changing of China’s barley demand, especially its craft beer market;
- The superb quality of the 2017 Canadian malt barley crop;
- Less malt barley demand in North Dakota;
- Impact of NAFTA re-negotiations on barley prices
- The weight of spring barley in Europe in 2018/19
- And what in the world is going on with the US trade policy?
Be sure to sign up for your free 3-week trial at GrainCents as this month could be the most impactful for how and when you price your barley for the rest of 2017/18 old crop, as well as a significant portion of your 2018/19 new crop production.