Feed weekly outlook: Export demand supports prices

MarketsFarm — Feed grain prices remain strong into the winter, due to steady feedlot demand and solid export activity.

Brandon Motz of CorNine Commodities at Lacombe, Alta. said feedlots have freed up some pen space after COVID-19 shutdowns created backlogs, but demand remained steady.

“There’s more pen space in southern Alberta, compared to other years,” he said.

“So demand on the feedlot side is lower than in other years, but export demand continues to set records.”

In particular, for barley, year-to-date exports total almost 1.2 million tonnes, about twice as much compared to the same time last year, tightening domestic barley stocks.

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“The bullish run we’ve had on barley and other feed grains has caused them to meter out at a different pace than previous years,” Motz said.

Feed barley for delivery between January and March is currently between $270 and $280 per tonne, and feed wheat is around $275.

“We’re just in wait-and-see mode,” Motz said, noting new-crop feed grain prices are high enough to encourage more barley acres next year.

During the 2020-21 growing year, Canadian producers seeded 7.56 million acres of barley. The most recent principal field crop production report from Statistics Canada puts expected barley production at 10.74 million tonnes.

— Marlo Glass reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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