Crop marketers may consider seasonal price patterns as a factor when making their pricing decisions.
‘Feed barley prices in Alberta are typically lowest during the harvest period and increase to steady, sometimes rising, prices during the winter and spring,’ says Neil Blue, provincial crop analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
He adds that during a typical growing season, barley prices usually decline into August as producers begin to empty their bins before harvest.
‘Late in the crop year, some disappointed malt barley producers move barley supplies not accepted as malt grade into the feed market. Particularly in years of tight supply, feed barley prices remain strong in the summer until new crop barley becomes available.’
Seasonal prices are calculated by taking the average price for a certain period, such as a week or month, and comparing it to the average price over the year. Seasonal prices are often plotted on a bar graph, with the annual price average as Index 100. Usually, such a calculation uses data from several years, which reduces the influence of contra-seasonal price moves that happen in some years, usually from a supply reduction.
Table 1. 10-year feed barley price seasonality chart
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