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New-Crop Prices To Weaken

The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) expects wheat and barley prices to be considerably lower in 2009-10 compared to where they thought 2008-09 prices would be a year ago, according to the grain marketer’s first new-crop Pool Return Outlooks (PROs), released February 23 during the annual GrainWorld conference in Winnipeg.

However, the CWB pointed out that prices are still relatively strong from a historical perspective.

The PROs for wheat were well below the year-ago levels, despite expectations for a reduction in global wheat production. The CWB expected world wheat production to be at least 30 million tonnes lower than the 2008-09 record 683-million-tonne crop. However, the decline in wheat production should be accompanied by a drop in consumption, resulting in an increase in global wheat stocks, said the CWB.

Projected durum prices were also considerably lower on the year, due in part to increased carry-out stocks, said the CWB. The CWB expects to see a reduction in global durum production overall, although favourable growing conditions in North Africa could offset any reductions in North America and Europe.

Feed barley prices are also expected to be weaker in 2009-10, as the global economic downturn should cut into feed demand, said the CWB.

Increased global malt barley supplies should also weigh on malt barley values in 2009-10, according to the CWB. However, Canadian supplies are expected to be down on the year.

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