Feed barley likely topping out for now in Alta.

(Canada Beef Inc. photo)

CNS Canada — Feed barley prices have shown some strength over the past month in Alberta, but are likely topping out for now as attention starts to turn to the new crop.

Feed barley is now trading at about $217 per tonne for April/May delivery in the key Lethbridge, Alta. feeding area, according to feed brokers. That’s up by about $7 to $10 over the past month.

Seasonal trends were said to be behind much of that strength, as feed prices usually find some support at this time of year.

“It seems like we’re getting coverage now at these prices,” said a broker. He estimated values would likely hold steady for the next month, before drifting back lower as more cattle go out to pasture and the industry starts to get a better idea of the upcoming grain crop.

Statistics Canada releases its first acreage estimates of the year on Thursday next week (April 23). Average pre-report trade guesses call for barley seedings of at least a million acres above the 5.9 million planted in 2014.

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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