Supplies tighten increasing demand for feed grains

WINNIPEG(CNS) – As supplies tighten Lethbridge feedlots are looking for the cheapest options when it comes to feed.

“Supply seems to be tight in general. There’s not a lot of offers on either corn or barley at the moment. And demand is higher than expected coming into March,” said Brandon Motz, sales manager at CorNine Commodities in Lacombe, Alta.

Manitoba corn has been making its way onto feedlots lately, but according to Motz logistics are coming into play making corn from south of the border more attractive.

“A large of chunk of (corn) is coming from (the United States) simply because we can move in a hundred cars at a time. It’s just logistically a little easier to manage,” he said.

Supply has been consistent from Manitoba but at smaller volumes than from the U.S. Corn from the U.S. as well is cheaper due to the large U.S. stocks.

However corn prices across the board are on the upswing due to increased demand and tightened supplies. In the last two weeks Manitoba corn has rallied 20 cents, according to Motz. Manitoba corn bids are sitting between C$4.40 to C$4,50 per bushel picked up from the farm as of Feb. 14. U.S. corn as well has seen an increase lately and is sitting at the US$2.32 to US$2.35 per bushel range for delivery to feedlot, according to Motz.

“I would think anybody that’s gotten on the corn program is looking to reload with corn before the April, May, June cycle. If barley became fairly attractive versus corn you could convince them to switch but coming in through March the timeline’s getting fairly tight,” he said.

The Alberta barley market is heating up though, according to Motz. As feed supplies tighten interest is increasing for feed barley. At CornNine feed barley for pickup in central Alberta was sitting at C$4.40 to C$4.60 per bushel on Feb. 14.

While interest is increasing for feed barley, feed oats however aren’t seeing a lot of interest. According to Motz there isn’t a strong supply of feed oats which makes them less attractive to feedlots.

“There’s always interest but once again a strong supply is always a factor…I would say next to corn and barley, wheat is probably the next favourable commodity but once again price point becomes an issue,” Motz said.

Feed oats on Feb. 14 at CorNine were at C$2.80 to C$3.00 for farm pickup, however Motz said that isn’t a firm number, just an indication. Feed wheat was sitting at the C$5.50 to C$5.60 per bushel range for pickup in central Alberta.

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