Following favorable predictions from Stat Can, results from this year's Canadian pulse harvest has confirmed expectations.

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Western Canada has just finished harvesting a record-large crop. The latest official estimate from Statistics Canada in early October was already pointing in this direction, and the majority of traders are using even bigger numbers in their own analysis.

Reports from the country consistently indicate outstanding yields in nearly every region. The Prairie region is vast, and it’s common for at least some areas to run into problems that hurt production. However, this year those issues were few and far between, and primarily confined to relatively small local pockets. In the meantime, individual reports of the biggest yields in history are widespread.

Peas

Peas are the largest pulse crop grown, with Statistics Canada reporting a total harvest of 3.78 million tonnes, but this is currently on the low end of trade estimates and likely to see an upward revision in future reports. In addition, quality for both yellow and green peas has been good as well.

After dipping in the midst of harvest, prices paid to farmers had started to move moderately higher at the time of writing. Whether this trend continues will be a function of export demand, particularly from Asia, as well as the logistical capacity to move such a large harvest in an efficient manner, something that has already seen challenges in the early part of the season.

Lentils

The lentil harvest has also been very good. Statistics Canada reported a total crop of 1.7 million tonnes, which would be the second largest in history. However, there is debate in the trade as to whether this crop could see upward revisions in future reports as well, as yields in red lentils, in particular, were very strong. Some are speculating a final tally of as much as 2 million tonnes, which would challenge the record set in 2010, although that is likely too aggressive.

Quality for red, large green and small green lentils has been quite good which should help facilitate trade and movement during the coming year. Values to the farmer have been holding relatively steady, although buyer activity has been fairly quiet, something that is normal for this time of year as they work through supplies that had been committed prior to harvest.

With harvest completed and the supply side of the Supply / Demand balance set, the market will be closely watching end user interest and overall demand to get sense of the general price direction through the remainder of the year.

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