Last week green pea markets saw a positive change in pricing. Buyers are now bidding and buying product at $8.25-8.50/bu picked up; an additional 25-50 cents/bus compared to the week before. Yellow peas are still trading at $6.50/bu picked up for spring-summer time movement, with the opportunity for $7.50/bu, subject to a protein test still available. Considering new crop values, we have an option for yellow peas in the Southeast part of Saskatchewan at $7.00/bu FOB with an Act of God. This time of the year seems to be bringing in quite a few targets from sellers. Trying a target on green peas is a good idea if pricing isn’t quite where you need it to be. We are expecting some yellow pea acres to be moved into green peas for the 2018/2019 marketing year. That being said, we have a supply of green pea seed for those who are looking to make the switch.
The canaryseed market is mostly unchanged from last week, with prices remaining flat on old and new crop. Bids are sitting around 20c/lb FOB farm coming from the majority of buyers on old crop and roughly a penny less on new crop. Producers sales have been slow and mainly a consequence of needing bin space or cash flow to keep the farm operational. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like pricing is going to get much better anytime soon, so making some incremental sales now may not be a bad play. If prices remain at these levels, we may see more producers shifting from canaryseed into something else, but that is to be determined. One bright spot in this market is the news of canary being approved in Canada and the United States for human consumption. Our guess is this approval will have positive impacts on the market, but will also take some time to be developed and become accepted throughout the food industry. Keep in mind, these things require recipe tweaking, changes and customer acceptance, so there are still hills to climb!
Flax prices this week remain sideways for the most part. Milling quality flax has some movement for May / June at $12.25/bu picked up in the yard, while #1 quality remains in the $11.75-12.15/bu FOB range. Some analysts are estimating a 6% increase in flax acreage compared to last year. If the yields are similar to the 5-year average then we would see 20% increase in tonnes from 2017. However, the smaller carryover should leave supplies much the same in 2018/19. Analysts are predicting flat prices into the new crop year as there will be continued competition among other flax growing regions. New crop bids are few and far between, but let your merchant know if you are interested. We also have markets for any off-grade flax if you are needing to clean a bin out.
Not much new or shiny information to add to the chickpea market this week. Old crop prices remain stagnant, but some opportunities to sell into the US market remain at solid values. If you are still holding unsold tonnage, call the office and take advantage of these sales before this market slips down to converge with new crop values. The new crop prices for chickpeas have seen better days, as values are down to around 33 cents per pound when locking in for the fall with an Act of God. Historically this is a decent number, but in more recent history it’s not great. This market is seeing increased acres in many areas of the world, but will be subject to weather issues throughout the growing season, which could have some big effects depending how the chips fall.
Canola markets have seen some choppy trade over the last week. Driven by soy markets, canola futures have peaked and valleyed almost $10/MT in less than a week, making this market hard to peg. Buyers have now moved to buying based on the May futures for nearby delivery. As we write, May values are just under $520/MT after a $2.40/MT dip. July futures are about $525/MT after similar losses. Basis levels remain strong for the most part with some companies quoting $0/MT delivered in. This puts prompt delivery canola at $11.75/bu and July delivery canola close to $12.00/bu. Tight supplies at the end of this marketing year could prompt an uptick in canola, so keep that in mind when throwing your targets out.
Soybean futures have retraced about 40 cents/bu USD from the 12-month highs at the beginning of the month. Last Thursdays USDA WASDE report put pressure on futures when they increased the US soybean carryout. The Brazil production number wasn’t as big as expected and the Argentinian production number was less than expected, so in general a bullish South American production outlook. Who would have thought that steel and aluminum would enter into soybean market commentary, but with the recently announced metal tariffs, there are concerns of retaliatory action from China regarding soybean imports. China accounts for somewhere between 2-4% of US steel imports and they also account for about 60% of US soybean exports. Rumor is that China’s government isn’t interested in disrupting current agricultural trade flows. Local soybean bids are in the $10.75 FOB farm range depending on location. Local faba bean bids are in the $6.25-$6.50/bu FOB farm range for feed quality depending on location.
Barley this week is once again very strong. We are seeing prices for summer time movement as high as $4.60/bu FOB farm in certain areas. Even if you need to move some barley within March- April you could get $4-4.25/bu FOB farm, but remember that is based on primary weights, and most roads will be turning to secondary weights very soon. These feed barley prices are also a great opportunity for the malt barley growers that have product in the bin to sell for a competitive price with no risk of rejections or discounts. New crop barley is also being offered at very strong values at around that $4/bu FOB farm depending on freight. Offers are a great way to catch a high in a strong market, so make sure you are talking to your merchant on that.
The mustard market remained fairly flat this past week, with no major changes. Spot, new crop and seed were booked province wide. The debate still continues as to how many acres we will end up seeding in the province this year, especially after the latest snowfall that gave considerable coverage over many mustard growing areas. Spot prices are as follows: yellow at 35 cents, brown in the 42 to 43 cent range, and oriental in the 28 to 29 cent range. New crop yellow is still fairly strong at 36 cents, brown mustard is sitting stable at 33 to 34 cents and oriental possibly as high as 32 depending on variety. Seed supplies are still available, but we are getting to crunch time as deliveries will be taking place end of March. We have numerous options for treatment and we deliver to your yard! Call your merchant for details.
Not much news again as the oat market is incredibly quiet. We are seeing very little selling as bids are not at the values producers are hoping to see. For #2 CW oats, indications are around $2.30/lb picked up in your yard for a summertime movement. The further south east towards Manitoba you go, your chances of a slightly higher price increases. New crop values aren’t gaining much traction as they are similar to spot prices. On the feed side, heavy and dry oats are tradeable at $2.00-$2.10/bu picked up on yard. As we approach road bans this movement will likely be pushed out to May/June. If you have a value above the market in mind be sure to give your merchant a call and try a target offer.
Lentils don’t seem to be what people want to talk about, but the prices are still in line with other crops. First of all, let’s look at new crop prices per bushel compared to other bushel priced crops. Red lentils sit at $10.20/bu, compared to wheat at $6.52/bu and peas at $6.50/bu. Now of course we all also have to compare yield factors so, 25 bus/acre reds would yield $255/acre. Wheat based on 45 bus/acre would produce $293.40/acre and peas based on a 40bus/acre crop works out to $260/acre. Reds don’t seem to be as shiny as they use to be, but with today’s market situation, things could be a lot worse. Based on the limited historical data that we have access to; most markets seem to be similar to the last time reds were this low. Now let us compare green lentils the same way. A new crop No.2 LGL has been trading at $14.40/bu; based on a 25 bus/acre crop, gross return would be $360/acre. Now I can hear the response, “but in the past, I have signed a new crop contract and the fall price ended up being better!”. True, but think about last year reds right off the combine, bids were slightly lower than the new crop and greens did increase, but only for a short time and since have not come back. Reports this year point to an overabundance of pulses in India, therefore, limiting any price increase. Indian papers are reporting that farm organizations are pressuring government to reduce pulse imports by 5 million tonnes. If this happens our ending stocks will become even larger. Taking some new crop risk off the table may look like a smart decision if world supply keeps growing.
Wheat values continue to trade in a narrow range, with values seeing little change this past week for hard red spring wheat. Bids are hovering around $7.00-7.15/bu delivered plant for #1 13.5 protein depending on movement timeline. Lower protein options are available is some areas down to 12.5%; call your merchant to discuss. Feed wheat values have been creeping up as of late with trades being made at $5.25-5.35/bu picked up on farm summer movement depending on location. This past week has brought some attention to new crop feed wheat with sales being done at $5.00/bu picked up on farm Sept/Dec movement. Durum values have been a bit stagnant as of late with bids hovering around 7.50-8.00/bu delivered plant for #1 durum. New crop business is getting picked away at with recent sales done at $8.00/bu picked up on farm in the Southeast areas of the province, with bids coming and going.
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