Analysts are concerned with the recent political turmoil regarding China and it is feared actions taken on canola could spread to other commodities. Barley has not fallen victim to import restrictions, but we never know what games they may play in the future. Feed barley markets remain a bright spot this is quiet ag market and are historically strong with spot bids ranging between $4.50 – $5.00/bu FOB farm, pending freight cost and destination. Most product is moving west into feedlot alley, which warrants high values the closer you are to Lethbridge. Another bright spot in the barley market is the availability of new crop opportunities, in some cases, with an act of God. Bids range between $3.75 – $4.25 depending on movement period and location. Malt barley spot purchases remain slow on our end, but we have booked a fair bit of new crop 2-row with bids hovering the high 4’s to mid 5’s.
Pea markets are mixed this week with yellow peas weakening and green pea values holding steadfast. Yellow pea’s bearish speculation is expected considering that Viterra is now on the chopping block for Canola into China. You might ask, how does Canola affect YP’s? The fact remains that export uncertainty affects all commodities going into China. Buyers and sellers are still coming to terms with India being off the table and China is another blow to an already strangled outlook. The global supply and demand statistics are shifting everyday as we work towards finding new outlets for Canadian production and sentiment is being reflected in the bids. Both yellow pea old crop and new crop values range from no bid to $6.50/bu on the farm W/AOG. Green peas are still under the radar when it comes to softening with old crop bids still ranging from $12.50-$13/bu on the farm. New crop green pea values have not been mirroring todays value with the bids at $8.00-$8.50/bu range depending on location. Typically, this would not be such a wide spread, but again, we go back to all the grey area out there today in the market. Maple peas are unchanged from last week at $15/bu FOB for old crop and new crop levels are at $10 – 10.50/bu FOB depending on variety.
The canola market has seen more bearish news this past week with China announcing an export ban on a yet another Canadian buyer. The reason being noted from China is “prohibited pest” which both Canadian companies along with the CFIA have denied, making many believe the reason behind the bans is due to the extradition and arrest of the Huawei executive. Currently canola futures are hovering around $450/MT under the May, which is a key support level over the last few years for canola. Currently bids are hovering around $10.10/bu delivered plant for April/May movement. Some companies have stopped canola deliveries all together until they can get a better handle on how this situation will be addressed. Basis levels are still something growers should keep an eye as they could see some changes in the near future, affecting local prices in different areas of the province.
Chickpea markets are still trading sideways, and most producers are waiting for an uptick in price before selling. Referencing the latest planting reports, we see Mexico is dropping acres in the 2019 crop year. They are estimated to plant 50% of last year’s crop. Right now, Mexico’s growing conditions are favorable, but production will be heavily down as well, as per Stat reports. India’s progressing harvest suggests their production will be down from last year too. However, their prices haven’t fluctuated as on farm selling is still taking place at values lower than the MSP. For Canadians, it is much of the same news, our chickpea crop will also be seeing a sharp decline in acres (maybe not so sharp after reading this report?). Producers may see the uptick they’ve been waiting for due to declines in overall production between Mexico, India & Canada, but heavy on farm carryover could limit this potential upside. Current prices are at 25 cents FOB for a #2 and new crop values are trading at 27 cents delivered on a #2 with an act of God on larger varieties.
Mustard remains one of the lonely bright spots looking forward to the 2019 planting season. When we pencil out expenses and potential returns, brown and oriental mustard stand out as the top options for seeding for this year (not to say with the sorry state of affairs, that this is a great accomplishment) so attention should be paid to them. This is not to say you should plant wall to wall mustard as it is a finicky crop for grading, can be slow to move and is not a big yielder, but it does look appetizing as they are on the short list of crops that actually project to provide a return. More than can be said for most options. Spot prices are at 35 cents on yellow, 30 cents on brown and 25 cents on oriental, variety specific. New crop opportunities are available up to 37 cents on yellow, 31 cents on brown and 28 cents on new crop Forge or Vulcan type oriental.
The flax trade seems to be a bit bogged down, but the door is still open. We are seeing up to $13.50/bu delivered flax for #1 quality, while milling is still holding around $13.35/bu picked up in the yard. New crop is hit and miss at $12.50/bu picked up. Yellow flax is still hard to move, but indications roll in at $13.00/bu on both old and new crop. There is some pushback form China to import Canadian crops and while most of the reports in the last few weeks have been centered around canola, there are concerns about flax. China’s flax imports have been steady over the last couple of months, but Canada’s share has been smaller as Russia becomes a bigger player in the market. Imports from Russia in January were more than Canada’s total. Flax continues to move south into the US, but that market has also been flat with no signals of a price increase. The market is likely to remain sideways with reluctance to sell at lower values.
What to say on canaryseed… its been virtually unchanged for about 3 weeks with a few buyers in the market looking for product, but not big lots. Currently, we have a buyer looking for a few loads of good sound quality in west central Saskatchewan for 23.5c/lb FOB farm for prompt movement. Once that is full, bids are around 23c/lb FOB farm for March-April movement. Be aware of your weight restrictions at this time, these prices are based on 40MT minimum loads in most cases and hauling 36MT could see price discounts. With spring finally here (we hope), we may see a bit of a price bump due to the usual spring shipment out of Thunder Bay. New crop bids are also out, but not catching much attention at 21c/lb FOB farm with an act of God. Also, if you need seed, let your merchant know ASAP, as supply and time is running out.
The feed wheat market has held steady over the past week as trades are still happening around the $5.75/bu picked up on farm mark with a May/June movement. Some opportunities still exist on the west side of Saskatchewan for slightly higher prices, so be sure to give us a call for a price in your area. We are still seeing strong pricing opportunities on milling quality HRS wheat into the Saskatoon area. Indications are at $7.25/bu for min 13.5% Pro and $7.35/bu for min 14% Pro delivered into plant for an April/May movement. Milling durum prices continue to disappoint with most bids around $6.50/bu delivered into plants around the province.
Oat prices remain the same as last week and we a couple of buyers bidding near the $3.00 FOB farm mark depending on location for April movement. Oats are one of the more stable markets at the moment, considering all the other turmoil in the major markets, it is nice to have a commodity that is not being affected by the political game. A report by CMFE Marketing Research released this week suggests that the oat market is expected to grow at higher rate over the next 3-4 years due to its diverse uses across a variety of markets. The major driving factor behind the growth is the demand of health foods. To find out more about on this report check out the this link https://cmfemarket.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/oats-market-brief-analysis-and-application-set-to-attain-growth-by-2023/. At this point there is a handful of key players and we are not sure if an expanded market would bring new players to the table or add more processors to fill the needs of the six or seven key players. Either way it is an interesting article on how oats can be used in different markets due to the versatility.
Soybean futures are taking it on the chin today and carving out new recent lows. Markets are expressing nervousness in the face of Fridays USDA report with no one wanting to be too exposed. Expectations are that US seeded acres will tend toward 86 million with concern that end result post-planting could exceed the 86 million mark. Any bounce in the market is quickly capped by farmer selling as sales are still profitable at those levels due to the US Market Facilitation Program. Soybean local bids are trading slightly sub $10/bu picked up on farm. Old crop faba bean market remains the same with buyers on the lookout for scarcely remaining #2 quality with bids in that $11/bu delivered range and feed fabas are in the range of $6/bu picked up. New crop dry bean contracts are largely complete, as seed will be shipping to farm soon.
This week remained very quiet again on lentils. We still have a great bid on lower quality destined for the pet food market. Up to 14c/lb FOB is possible in some areas. Any producers holding 2016 crop, this is a perfect opportunity to get rid of them. It certainly looks like there is no change on the India front concerning lentils. Traders overseas have been quiet and not speculating on anything. For the higher quality lentils, it is going to be tough finding a decent bid. Currently we have a bid for 19c/lb delivered on limited tonnage in the southwest only……and that’s what the market will be like in the near future possibly, looking to sell into any pop that occurs. For green lentils to improve we need to reduce supply, but that is hard to do when no one is interested in purchasing; this market remains very cold right now. Be sure to call your merchant and keep them on top of targets for you in this market.
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