Seeded acres have been reported and StatsCan has field peas down more than originally expected, dropping to 3.8M from 4.2M. It is expected that this drop will encompass more green peas, however yellows and specialty peas will be down too. Therefore, supplies may be tight for this next marketing year, unless the weather smartens up and yields are exceptional. Having a positive price reaction looks favorable but this may not come into play until later in the year once China’s demand is known. Hopefully, we can see green peas move back into a premium, with acres being decreased. Current pricing has not seen any change from last week. Yellow peas are at $10.00/bu delivered (9.50/bu FOB), with new crop values at $8.50/bu FOB; $9.00 may be available in limited areas. Old crop green peas are priced at $9.50/bu FOB and new crop is at $9.00/bu FOB. Maple peas have yet to see much change with old crop at $9.50 – 10.00/bu and new crop at $9.50/bu FOB.
Canaryseed is starting the week off strong. We have buyers that have purchased old crop product at $0.35/lb FOB farm for Summertime movement on firm offer. New crop is also strong with prices moving to $0.33/lb delivered plant at the end of last week and still sticking around. Even with some areas looking for moisture at this point in time, getting 10bu/acre on the books doesn’t seem like a terrible play given the historically high value and contracts including an Act of God. We have booked quite a few acres so far so talk with your merchant if you are interested in getting some acres locked up. Seed sales are very close to coming to an end, but if you need some last-minute supply, give us a call and we can help you out.
Barley markets remain steady without much new and exciting to talk about. The price for old and new crop has come up slightly this week with spot bids reaching $6.50/bu FOB farm in Central SK and production hitting $5.75/bu in Eastern AB. The story remains the same, a “hot” feed market and a lackluster malt market. Covid has had a big impact on malt barley and with sports venues, concerts, fairs etc. being shut down, demand for malt just isn’t what we normally see. Luckily, record high feed markets are there to alleviate the lack of a malt market. As is with anything, this feed market could very well drop off overnight and with current demand driven by China, it’s highly suggested that you don’t miss the “boat” on this one. Our general suggestion: sell what’s in the bin and make room for new crop. At the end of the day, production is not too far away and at a $1/bu discount, we’d hate to see those bids converge while there’s still product in the bin. Hedging the downside on old crop is likely a good play. As for new crop, locking in 25% of your expected bushels at a higher-than-average bid is a great starting point. This puts some relief on your shoulders knowing you you’ve secured movement, bin space and cashflow, leaving you with another 75% to play the open market with when the time comes.
Flax prices remain sideways for another week on old and new crop. While there are still opportunities for old crop flax, it seems the market has topped off and the pool of buyers willing to hit the highs of the year is dwindling. New crop prices remain strong with bids ranging from $16-$16.75/bu FOB with an act of God, depending on movement timeframe. According to customs data from China, there was 34,000 tonnes of flax imported in March. Twenty thousand tonnes originated from Canada, while the remainder was split between Kazakhstan and Russia. Exports from the Black Sea region were lower in the earlier months of 2021, likely caused by some hurdles at the Chinese border. With seeding starting up in a few areas of the province, make sure you get our alerts for any changes in the market.
Despite being mostly in the red the last two days, canola futures are still advancing, reaching new highs again this week. At time of writing, May futures are sitting right on $900/MT which is up substantially from $871/MT last week. Physical buyers have not been trading off May futures for quite some time now as speculators drive the price up. July is the only old crop futures worth looking at if you are still holding some canola in the bins. Currently sitting at $834/MT, July futures have risen from $814/MT last week. November futures have also seen an increase to $689/MT from last week at $680/MT. Wild volatility this week has some people on edge, but stocks on farm are still very tight and conditions are dry across much of the Prairies as we get into seeding. If demand stays this strong into the next crop year, we will need to see some strong yields this year to keep up.
The milling wheat market has seen some strength this week in Central Saskatchewan. Bids, basis #1 quality with 13.5% protein, have been coming in around $9.00/bu delivered plant for May movement. For #1 product with 12.5 % protein a slight discount of 20 cents is seen, putting bids at $8.80/bu delivered for the same time frame. There are some opportunities to lock in new crop milling wheat around $8.50/bu delivered on 13.5% protein product for Nov./Dec. shipment. Durum bids are holding strong with $8.50 to $9.00/bu FOB trading for Summer movement down in the Southeast part of the Sask. The feed wheat market remains attractive, actively trading between $7.50 to $8.00/bu FOB farm depending on location. Growers in Alberta and Western Saskatchewan are seeing the highest values, but all areas are receiving attractive values.
Confusion is a good way to describe chickpea markets today. StatsCan is showing some very defining numbers on expected acres down 28% from last year (298k acres vs. 212k acres). The confusion comes from outlying opinions that express the opposite and go as far as predicting a slight increase in chickpea acres from last year. There is no commentary to support that opinion, but it is a bold statement worth noting. A typo perhaps? Seeding is just starting to roll and so far, the moisture reports are not all bad. Conditions may be acceptable for germination, but a spring rain will be necessary to keep progress on track. Old crop values for #2 Kabuli’s are $0.33/lb FOB farm for June/July movement and new crop bids are the same at $0.33/lb Sept.-Dec. with an AOG. Sample chickpeas valued anywhere from $0.18-0.23/lb FOB farm depending on downgrading factor. On a side note, marketing discussions often end with a chickpea value that a producer would be happy to sell at, but the intention is to wait until the market gets there. Our recommendation is to set that target. Tell the market what you want and go after it. Roughly 8/10 times we have had success in this style of transaction, and it has become common place in today’s agricultural environment.
The mustard market remains linear this week as prices remain strong. StatsCan numbers indicate that the mustard acres will see a pretty significant increase and that tamped things down a little. StatsCan is suggesting acres will increase to 358k from 257k last year but many in the trade feel that number seems too high based on reports from growers, so there may be a revision in subsequent updates. Current bids still show $0.40/lb for old and new crop on brown mustard, $0.45/lb on yellow for old and new crop, whilst $0.35/lb is attainable on specific varieties of oriental mustard. There is still lots of talk of dry conditions which is dominating farmers plans on making too many sales on old or new crop. If a good heavy rain does come in the near future, does that open the proverbial floodgates on sales? Time will tell, but it’s a problem we would all like to see, we think.
Old crop milling oats continue to trade soft as the majority of buyers report having coverage with product on hand at this time. With bids few and far between, pricing remains elusive as well on feed, but look for around $3/bu picked up on the farm for dry, heavy product. Just the other day, the StatsCan seeded acreage report came out indicating a decrease in seeded acres which was expected. We haven’t seen any correlation with new crop pricing as it’s not expected to be a big factor. As many have said, “we haven’t lost a crop in April yet.”
Lentils continue to gain strength as we head into seeding. This uptick in the markets could be the start of another wild ride for lentils. There has been lots of talk about India reducing tariffs so they can cover a shortfall in lentil supplies, although this is yet to be seen. Moisture concerns in Canada and the US is also helping push lentil prices up. StatsCan released their latest seeded acreage report suggesting that we will see 4,218,000 this year, which is relatively similar to last year’s acreage, meaning we will likely not see an increase in ending stocks. At current price levels everything points to profitability on the farm, yet farmers are resistant to lock in new or old crop due to the fact prices keep climbing upwards. So, to recap what is driving these markets? First and foremost are moisture concerns, second is buyers trying to secure acres, and third is the effects Covid-19 is having on the world food supply. The first two factors are having the greatest effect on pricing. If we see rain in the next couple weeks, prices will likely fall back, and we will see acres start to book and fill buyer’s needs. If this is the case, expect buyers to walk away until Fall. These markets seem very fragile right now making marketing extremely tough on everyone. Remember high prices cure high prices.
It is expected that U.S. planting pace will increase next week. This prompted some technical selling and thus a drop in soybean futures. Old crop supplies remain snug with rumors of minor U.S. imports. Buying appetite has waned a bit based on what is perceived to be high prices. Local soybean bids are reflecting buyer coverage and have slid to now hover around $15.50/bu picked up depending on location. Buyers are encouraging any reasonable offer to be brought forward rather than posting a standing bid. Buyer’s inquiries for higher quality fabas have slowed. That said, $9.00/bu FOB farm is a reasonable target for #2 quality. Dry bean acres are forecast to decrease for 2021. This isn’t new news, but it was once again further reinforced in the recent StatsCan report. Shrinking new crop acres has prompted a bit of an uptick on old crop values with some buyers.
Rayglen Market Comments are for informational purposes only. Rayglen Commodities and its agents or employees shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of reliance on any of the contents contained within these products, whether such loss or damage arises from negligence or misrepresentation or any act or omission of its agents or employees.