Western Canadian feed market stabilizing

Winnipeg – Western Canadian feed grain prices have come under pressure over the last month, but appear to be stabilizing as attention turns to spring seeding across the Prairies.

“We’ve been steadily dropping for the past few weeks, and it’s leveled out now,” said Tracey Green, grain broker with Market Master Ltd. in Edmonton, Alta.

She said buyers were only in the market on a hand-to-mouth basis, while expectations for a large crop in 2019 also weighed on values.

Statistics Canada pegged intended barley plantings in 2019 at 7.155 million acres, which would be up from the 6.493 million seeded the previous year and the largest barley area since 2013.

Barley was priced at around C$250 to C$252 per tonne delivered into Lethbridge, Alta.

Snow is in the forecast for the key livestock feeding areas of southern Alberta, which could lead to some nearby price volatility if there are any problems with loading, said Green. However, any moisture would be beneficial for the crops in the long run, as conditions going into the spring are dry.

Feed wheat prices have also softened, but remain better than lower protein milling wheat in many cases, said Green.

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