August 2018 Barley Prices Recap – FarmLead (GrainCents)

Barley prices in August bucked the usual harvest-pressure trends and were able to maintain some decent strength, especially in feed markets.

As we turn the calendar into September, feed barley prices delivered to Saskatchewan were nearly 4% higher than in July, and nearly 39% higher than at this time a year ago.

In comparison to the 5-year average for August, feed barley prices were 44% higher.


Very honestly, we’re seeing some of the best pricing opportunities for feed barley at harvest time than ever before. Conversely, malt barley prices are generally moving sideways, trading between $5 and $5.15 across the province.

Although we know that there’s likely going to be a bit of a shortage of malt barley in Europe, we haven’t yet seen bids start to improve too much.

Comparably, for perspective, feed barley prices in North Dakota are being bid at anywhere from $2.50 to $2.85 USD per bushel (or $3.26 to $3.72 CAD / bushel). There aren’t a lot of bids out there for malt barley in North Dakota right now (well, at least none that are worth mentioning here because they’re basically the same, if not lower, than the feed barley bids.

For our GrainCents readers, we’re watching a variety of factors that might affect barley prices: 3 are bearish, 3 are bullish, and 4 are noise.

(If you’re not familiar with what “noise” is, then we recommend you check out our GrainCents risk management process towards barley prices.)

This month, GrainCents investigated topics such as:

• The August WASDE report showed declining barley production,
• If barley prices have found their peak, and
StatsCan’s predictions for Canadian barley production in 2018/19.

One thing we obviously need to keep in mind though is that this production estimate from StatsCan doesn’t really account for the heat that hit most of the Canadian Prairies. That in mind, from the August production estimate to the final report in December, StatsCan’s number for barley tends to climb by 8%.

To follow along with our monitoring of barley prices (and making more sense of grain markets in general), join us for your free trial at GrainCents.


About the Author
Brennan Turner

Brennan Turner is the CEO of, North America’s Grain Marketplace. He holds a degree in economics from Yale University and spent time on Wall Street in commodity trade and analysis before starting FarmLead. In 2017, Brennan was named to Fast Company’s List of Most Creative People in Business and, in 2018, a Henry Crown Fellow. He is originally from Foam Lake, Saskatchewan where his family started farming the land nearly 100 years ago (and still do to this day!). Brennan's unique grain markets analysis can be found in everything from small-town print newspapers to large media outlets such as Bloomberg and Reuters.

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