Market activity in Canada is slow but steady as producers await factors such as winter rabi crop results and potential price divergence in lentil types.

By wpengine

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Prices for most pulse crops in Canada have held relatively steady at the farm gate level in western Canada over the past month. Demand has been quite firm, although large yields and logistical constraints have prevented values from moving higher.

Yellow pea prices have stayed mostly flat in recent weeks. Farmers have slowed their deliveries into the system as they await higher prices, although it’s uncertain whether that is something that will be realized in the months ahead. Movement out of the Prairies and to the export terminals is behind schedule, something that will continue to be a challenge all year for most crops.

Export demand for yellow peas will also be important. India is typically the largest importer of Canadian peas. The level of their purchases will be influenced by the size of their winter rabi crop, the results of which won’t be known until March.

Green pea values are at their highest values since the new crop harvest began. Prices are well below the record highs seen last year, when Canadian production was reduced and global supplies were depleted. But the market has been firm even after the Prairies produced a larger crop, helped by pent up demand. This market could be susceptible if pipeline stocks get replenished.

Lentil prices have been mostly flat in Western Canada over the past couple of months. The market has been fairly quiet, and any premiums shown by buyers are typically not very deep and get quickly filled by growers.

Although prices across all types of lentils have tracked each other fairly closely recently, one of the factors to watch in the coming months is if we see some divergence in prices between red and large green lentils. Red lentil production in Canada nearly doubled in 2013, while the large green lentil crop saw a notable reduction. In addition, more of the red lentil crop moves via bulk transportation, an area that is expected to be challenged through much of the year. This may further result in the prices of these respective markets seeing a greater divergence in the coming months.

Statistics Canada will release updated Canadian production estimates on December 4th. Expectations are that production figures will be increased for all crops from their previous release.

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