Canada: Lethbridge Feed Barley Price Is Forecast to Drop
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Canadian Barley supplies are projected at 10.6 million tons (Mt) in 2022-23, up sharply from last year’s record low of 7.92 Mt. Total domestic use is forecast at 6.11 Mt, up 30% from last year on higher feed use. Total exports are projected at 3.72 Mt, up 39% from last year. The major international destinations for Canadian Barley and products include China, the US, Japan, and Mexico. Carry-out stocks are projected at 730 thousand tons (Kt), rising sharply from last year’s record low but remaining tight.
Barley stocks on March 31, 2023, were tight, despite a rise from a year ago, according to Statistics Canada’s (STC) stocks report released on May 9. The volume was pegged at 2.67 Mt, up by 44% from a year ago but nearly the lowest level ever on March 31. This primarily reflected the on-farm stocks, which account for about 80% of total reserves. Commercial stocks increased sharply from a year ago and the average.
The stocks report also indicated that total disappearance in the first eight months of the current crop year (August 2022-March 2023) was pegged at 7.88 Mt, up 32% and 9%, respectively, from a year ago and the average, due to domestic solid feed use and exports. Over the past month, the Lethbridge feed Barley price ranged from $400/ton (t) to $425/t. For the crop year, the Lethbridge feed Barley price averaged around $418/t versus $432/t for the same period a year ago. For the entire crop year, the Lethbridge feed Barley average price is forecast at $410/t, down nearly $20/t from last year’s record high.
According to STC’s first acreage report for 2023 growing season, Canadian producers intend to plant 2.87 million hectares (Mha) of Barley for the 2023 season. This is only slightly above the acreage of 2.85 Mha in 2022-23, as the expected significant expansion in Alberta, the largest Barley-growing province, is mostly offset by declines elsewhere; the most significant drop is anticipated in Saskatchewan, the second largest Barley-producing province, followed by Manitoba. Producers from Ontario also decided to reduce Barley acres notably.
If realized, Canadian Barley acreage in 2023-24 will be 4% below the previous five-year average. Assuming an average abandonment rate and yield, Canadian Barley production for 2023-24 is projected at 9.54 Mt, down 4% from last year. Supported by an expected increase in carry-in stocks, total supply in 2023-24 is projected at 10.3 Mt, slightly below 2022-23 and the previous five-year average.
The 2023-24 Lethbridge average price is projected at $350/t, lower than the $410/t predicted for 2022-23, partly reflecting an anticipated good domestic supply and lower US corn prices in 2023-24.
Worldwide, global Barley production for 2023-24 is expected to decline by 3% (4.62 Mt) from 2022-23 to 147.4 Mt, the lowest in the recent five years, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This is because Barley production in the world’s major Barley exporting countries is expected to decline, led by Australia posting a 29% (4.1 Mt) decline, followed by Russia to reduce by 9% (2.0 Mt). Global ending stocks for the crop year are projected by the USDA to decline by 5% (1.02 Mt) y/y to 18.1 Mt, the lowest on record.
Barley Export and Consumption in Canada
According to AgFlow data, Canada exported 0.9 million tons of Barley in Jan-May 2023. In May, key markets were China (0.24 million tons), South Korea (38,000 tons), and Japan (9,700 tons). Exports are projected to decline at 3,330 thousand tons in 2023-2024, but still above average.
Total domestic use is predicted to increase slightly year-over-year (y/y) on more extensive industrial use, while feed use is projected to be relatively stable. Carry-out stocks are projected at 0.8 Mt, up 10% but down 5%, respectively, from 2022-23 and the average.
Other sources: AGRICULTURE CANADA
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