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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with Korean
10 February, 2023

Barley news Canada: StatCan’s latest grain stock report largely meets trade expectations

Statistics Canada’s (StatCan) grain stocks report issued earlier this week largely met trade expectations, according to Winnipeg-based independent trader Jerry Klassen.

The survey-based report, which estimated the country’s grain stocks as of Dec. 31, was neutral for spring wheat, supportive of durum, and pointed toward barley being somewhat bullish come spring, he said.

While StatCan placed barley stocks at 5.072 million tonnes, trade guesses were from 4.2 million to 5.2 million. To Klassen, that meant traders weren’t particularly sure as to how much barley went for feed. The federal agency pegged feed usage at 3.5 million tonnes.

“This report shows that feedlots in Alberta were still using United States corn for basically their August and their September needs. They only switched over to barley, on a large scale, in October,” he said, noting those feedlots reverted to corn in January and February.

That latter switch was indicative of tight barley stocks, according to Klassen. He said barley is set to become bullish in April and May.

With wheat stocks excluding durum reported at 18.6 million tonnes, Klassen suggested that was slightly more than the average trade guess.

“The feed usage for the first five months of the crop year was 2.946 million tonnes. That’s kind of a normal usage when Canada has a big crop,” he said.

A good amount of milling wheat was diverted to feed during November and December, given the good prices, he added.

That also applied to durum, with stocks at 3.695 million tonnes rather than the 3.9 million the markets anticipated. Klassen calculated that 248,000 tonnes of durum went for feed from August to December.

Weekly feed barley prices were pushing lower, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire. As of Wednesday, barley was down 11-12 cents per bushel in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Prices in Alberta were C$7.75-C$9.47/bu. delivered and C$7.75-C$7.88/bu. in Saskatchewan. In Manitoba, barley had a sharper loss of 54 cents at C$7.29/bu.

Feed wheat prices were steady lower, seeing a five-cent decline in Alberta at C$9.52-C$12.06/bu. delivered. In Saskatchewan, prices held at C$8.50-C$11/bu. and remained at C$10.77-C$11/bu. in Manitoba.

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