CWRS, CWAD, and barley feed markets hold, while CPSR markets slide
USDA crop progress reports have continued to show spring wheat seeding progress lagging behind the average. In the report for the week ending May 10, 2020, average seeding progress is reported at 42% in comparison to the 5-year average of 63% at this time. For the same period, the percent of the winter wheat crop rated good to excellent was 53%, a 2% decrease from the previous week and lower than the 64% reported at this time last year.
The North American wheat futures markets were mixed this week, with Minneapolis wheat markets continuing to hold near recent lows, with buyers likely waiting for indications as to the quality of the new spring wheat crops. The Kansas wheat markets, used to price hard winter and CPSR wheats, fell this week, but prices still remain above recent lows. The Chicago wheat markets, which are used to price soft wheats, have fallen back to recent lows and appear to be trying to break lower. Durum markets continue to be showing strong pricing as both new and old crop prices remain a bright spot across the southern prairies.
With the province, as well as other global markets, starting a staggered reopening of businesses, restaurants opening offers potential hope to the malt barley sector. As has been previously reported, restaurant closures have devastated demand for draft beer which has resulted in a slowdown of production by maltsters and decreased demand for malt barley. With a reopening on the horizon, there is hope of demand increasing if patrons will feel comfortable again going out for a drink.
Feed prices in Alberta continue to remain mostly unchanged, despite the reopening of the Cargill meat processing plant reopening last week. Early reports indicate that the facility will not be able to operate at full capacity, which may extend the time until the backlog of cows can be processed. As these cows are now on a “maintenance feed” to maintain their finished weight, they continue to provide some support for feed grain prices.