The canaryseed market continues its lackluster run as of late with bids maintaining the 20-cent range picked up in the yard. The occasional area has worked a bit of a freight advantage and done a bit better at the farmgate, so if you are looking to squeeze out every quarter cent, you can touch base with the office about putting up a firm target. Some buyers are still a little picky on quality as the best priced product is going to the “Mexico” market, which needs to be low dockage and have next to no inseparables. You can send in a sample for testing prior to movement if you have concerns. New crop bids remain quiet in the high teens, but obviously that has not garnered much interest on any side.
There was a little bit of new crop excitement in the pea market at the start of the week. Yellow peas had an opportunity to trade, for those in the South east of Saskatchewan, at $7.50/bu FOB farm. After some currency fluctuation though, we are now seeing a peak of $7.35/bu picked up with an Act of God. Green pea production contracts are still trading at $8.25/bu delivered on larger varieties. There were also quite a few trades on spot green peas over the last week at $8.50/bu picked up. While there are still new rumored trade threats, it may not be directed at the pea market. We are still expecting yellow pea acres to be decreased as some growers will move into greens. However, the Canadian yellow pea acreage isn’t expected to drop as much as the forecasted 20% in the US for the 2018 growing season.
Mustard remains in a tight range this week, as slow export demand continues to be the story. Buyers don’t seem too concerned yet with possible planting delays in the southwest region of Saskatchewan due to cold weather and snow cover, so we will see how this plays out going forward. Spot prices are sitting at 34 to 35 cents FOB for yellow, 40 to 41 cents for brown, and oriental is sitting at around 28 cents all on a per pound basis. Booking of new crop acres continue this week on all types as prices are solid. New crop yellow is still fairly strong at 35 cents, brown mustard is stable at 33 cents and oriental at 29 to 30 cents per pound depending on variety. Seed supplies are still available, but we are getting to crunch time as farm deliveries have already begun. We have numerous options for treatment and will deliver to your yard if still possible. Call your merchant for details.
Canola futures have been depressed the past couple days with a stronger Canadian dollar and an overall weaker oil complex. Despite gains made in soy markets Tuesday, and as we write (Wednesday morning), it seems there is enough downward pressure to keep these markets at bay. Reports suggest canola crush margins are at their lowest in months as well. Although we’ve seen some small losses the past couple days, roughly $2.50/MT, we are still seeing some aggressive basis levels which are working back to some very profitable values for producers. Old crop currently sits at roughly $12.00/bu delivered into plant with new crop trailing only one dollar. These are good levels to get your bins cleared out for the upcoming harvest or to ensure fall cash flow. Please keep in mind buyers are interested in seeing your offers.
Flax buying has been steady over the last couple of weeks with prices in the $12.00-$12.25/bu range picked up in the yard for both #1 and milling quality, depending on movement. New crop brown flax also has some options at $12.00/bu FOB, with an Act of God. The USDA report showed a 26% drop in seeded acres. This would leave North American flax acres flat for three years in a row. StatsCan will release seeding intentions on April 27, but if Canadian flax acreage follows the direction of the US, then supplies for 2018/19 will be tighter. There were low exports in February, but January had higher volumes go out mostly to China, which replenished their inventory. Exports to the US are on track and if the demand increases, it could have other buyers interested. Analysts write that gains will be modest rather than any runaway rallies, however weather can always change that.
Chickpea prices remain sideways for the most part. For those with any left in the bins that are not selling for seed, we can still find a home for them. New crop is flat in the 30-31c/lb range, picked up, with an Act of God. The USDA plantings report show a 7.5% increase in seeded acres. This is less than what was initially suspected, however there is potential for a much larger production, closer to the 5-year average. If this is the case, then Canadian chickpeas would have limited exports to the US, the largest destination for Canadian chickpeas. India is also more self-sufficient in chickpeas versus other pulses, so it could take longer for that market to turn around. Old crop bids will soon match new crop bids. If you are planting chickpeas, considering taking some risk off the table and signing up the first 10 bushels; it is still a good marketing opportunity.
As we approach seeding we are starting to hear more producers thinking of swinging acres from small reds to large green lentils, as large green pricing is more profitable. A few things to remember before switching acres is that allowable contrasting colours is 0.5%, which is not very much. Most buyers would rather buy sound quality lentils than mixed off grade lentils. Reds can be cleaned out of greens, but not very easily and it is costly. Buyers don’t user the colour sorters to upgrade farmer product; they are used to meet the requirements of their buyers who need the lentils cleaned to a specific quality. If a buyer is using their colour sorter to upgrade your product, they will most likely be passing some or all those cost back to the grower in the form of extra clean out charges or taking higher dockage. As you finalize your seeding plans we know margins are tight and you need to take advantage of opportunities to make as much money as possible, but keep in mind rotations and potential headaches down the road.
Soybean market has been volatile as of late due to a combination of South American production estimates, US planting intentions and of course international trade saber-rattling. Tuesday’s USDA WASDE report further trimmed Argentina’s soybean production estimates to 40 MMT and concurrently trimmed the US soybean carryout inventory. We’ve now rallied back to the traded levels prior to last week’s sell off in response to Chinese retaliatory tariffs. Our appreciating domestic currency (CAD) has muted the local price conversion of recent market rallies. However, local bids are still at attractive levels and producers should take advantage of these rallies before the weight of 90 million US acres hits the market. A good marketing strategy given the recent volatility has been to have firm offer targets. Customers with targets have been able to successfully participate in these rallies before the market turned down again. Local soybean bids have recently seen $11.00 FOB farm depending on location. Local faba bean bids are in the $6.25-$6.50/bu FOB farm range for feed quality depending on location.
This week we seen a bit of a rise in feed barley prices. With demand still high for feed barley it is becoming a bit harder to find, due to recent farmer sales and dwindling product. Another issue is road bans. Up to this point some areas have removed road bans due to the cold weather, but the forecast is starting to shape up and road bans will soon be on again. If you are able to haul primary in April/May and are wanting to move some feed barley, prices are as high as $4.60/bu FOB farm. If you are on road bans prices will be around 10-25cents less, roughly $4.35/bu FOB farm. New crop feed barley bids are still out there with certain areas at $4.00/bu FOB farm.
The word wheat carryover estimate came in larger than what the trade expected on the latest USDA report released this week. Wheat stocks globally reach a new record of 271.2 MMT. That being said, the concern of weather in the US, along with cool temps across the Canadian prairies which may result in slow or late spring seeding, seems to be a topic taking more dominance in the market. Hard red spring wheat values are hovering around $6.85-7.00/bu delivered plant for 13.5 protein. Durum values remain unchanged, hovering around $7.50/bu delivered plant for #1 quality. Feed wheat values remain strong trading at $5.50/bu picked up on farm for summer movement. New crop feed wheat can still be traded at $5.00/bu picked up on farm in certain areas. Growers should keep an eye on this market and stay on top of things as the weather unfolds in the next while to capture any opportunities that may come with it.
The oats market has seen some small opportunities popping up on the milling side of things, but more silence when it comes to feed quality. #2 CW oats have traded as high as $2.50/bu picked up in the yard in east central Saskatchewan. While these bids aren’t always available, it shows why keeping in touch with your merchant or trying target offers can result in getting slightly stronger bids. Feed oats haven’t seen much of a jump from the $2.00-$2.15/bu picked up range we have been seeing lately. You will likely see stronger pricing as you get further south east. Give your merchant a call for a fob bid in your area.