Feed weekly outlook: Canadian markets firm, waiting on U.S. corn

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MarketsFarm — Canadian feed grain bids remain strong, although end-users are only buying on a hand-to-mouth basis as they await an influx of cheaper corn imports from the U.S.

“Everybody is waiting on the corn situation to figure out where we’ll go,” said Suzanne Leclerc, owner of Market Master Ltd. in Edmonton. “Buyers are buying as short as possible, waiting for the corn trains to come.”

The U.S. corn harvest was 18 per cent complete as of Sept. 18, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some of that corn has already been purchased by Canadian feeders to help supplement tight domestic supplies, but large shipments have yet to make their way north.

Leclerc said any logistical issues or delays bringing up corn could lead to some swings in domestic grain prices, depending on how large a shortfall needs to be covered.

Distillers dried grains (DDGS), the byproduct of producing ethanol, are another cheaper feed option likely to find their way into more Canadian rations this winter.

However, Leclerc noted, adjusting rations takes time and not every livestock feeder may want to use as much corn or DDGS as others.

“Everything is pure volatility,” Leclerc said of the general sense of uncertainty in the markets — although she added the feed market has never been as strong off the combine as it is this year.

“There’s a lot of opportunity right now and a lot of unknowns farther out.”

— Phil Franz-Warkentin reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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