The wheat world has started showing signs of life on both old and new crop this week. Overall, trade seems to have pulled back though, with anticipation still focused on what will shake loose out of the Black Sea region. On top of this, and as previously reported, the U.S. winter wheat crop is still under stress, which is likely factoring into current future values. A new USDA report is slated to come out this Friday, which should offer further direction and we are interested to see how this market reacts. Spot bids for #1 CWRS are sitting around $11.00 – $11.50/bu today, which is still a great value to make sales. New crop bids are quoted roughly $1.00/bu less, but if you have a sales target in mind posting a firm offer may just be the push purchasers need. Durum trade also remains quiet with only the odd contract hitting our books around $12.60/bu delivered plant this past week. We suspect growers are hoping for a late season market run. Given some cooler than normal temperatures at this time of year, it looks like seeding may start later than expected, but at this point, we don’t expect to see rotation adjustments.

Locally, chickpeas may be in for a late start to seeding this year due to massive amounts of snow volume still lingering across many areas. This is not great news for chickpeas as high moisture conditions can equate to increased disease issues and quality concerns. That said, we’re a long way from realizing those issues, so at this point it is just something to keep in the back of our minds. Globally, the chickpea market has seen environmental stresses to production in Mexico and steady strong export trade in Turkey. Current Canadian markets are in, what feels like, another plateau. Bids have not moved and there have very few trades on both old and new crop. With values being as high as they are (yes, high, we said it) we struggle to understand the growers frame of thought. All signs point to an increase in acres yet the business being done is meagre. Still early days though so keep the conversation going with your broker as this market has proved to move in the drop of a hat!

This week we have seen a bit of a pull back in maple pea pricing with top bids sitting at $18/bu delivered into central Sask on limited tons and variety specific. Buyer preference on maples has been pretty dominate towards product grown from Acer and Mosaic variety, followed by Blazer. Liscard demand has popped up on occasion, but product grown from this type is generally more of a niche market, so finding a home other than your bin can be difficult. Green pea values are holding firm, with top bids around $14/bu picked up on farm. Now, trying to find a home for yellows is a bit more of a chore with top bids hovering around $11/bu picked up and demand on the slow side. New crop yellow peas, though, have a bit of life if you are located in Southern AB or SW Sask as there is interest around $13-$14/bu delivered in with an AOG. Call your merchant for details as this is a specialty program with some requirements outside of the norm. Markets are keeping an eye on USDA seeding intentions due out Mar 31 and hoping to gain insight on what will likely happen here at home.

Mustard prices are tough to track down these days. Many buyers are sitting at “no bid” on both old and new crop right now, as they have already bought lots and overseas markets are quiet. Currently, we still have a few spot bids at 76-77 cents on oriental and brown mustard, while #1 yellow can still catch 82 cents/lb for movement into the summer months. Acres are projected to be up a fair bit on mustard this year and buyers are showing signs of worry on oversupply down the road. Time will tell, but taking some of that risk off the plate is not a bad play. New crop prices on all types of mustard are indicated in the 60’s now, with contracts mostly up to 10 bushels per acre including an act of God. While not as lucrative as they were early in the year, we are still seeing strong historical values on mustard pricing and the act of God provides protections that DDC options on other commodities just don’t.

Canola markets have been rallying as funds continue to close short positions. A very nice technical bounce is occurring after May canola slipped below the $720/MT level just a few trading sessions ago. Today we are seeing May futures trade around $770/MT at the time of writing. Perhaps additional short covering could lead to more gains. We will have to wait and see if futures values above $780/MT are in the cards as we progress into spring/summer months. Numerous factors such as slow demand and grower sales have also played a role in the drop over the last month, so it’s nice to see a relief rally. Basis levels in the province are always changing, so it is best to shop around for the top opportunities and make sure you are getting the best price on the day. Be sure to talk to your merchant about FOB bids if interested.

Coming in hot for another week is old and new crop large green lentils. Buyer bids on old crop are trading as high as $0.56/lb picked up on farm ($0.58/lb delivered in) with new crop still hanging in there at $0.48/lb picked up with an AOG. Small green lentils are trading sideways as they maintain $0.50/lb delivered with new crop holding strong at $0.43/lb with an AOG. Red lentils are holding their own as well this week, with $0.35/lb tradable on old crop and the odd offer triggering a tad higher barring freight. New crop values show quite a range as we’ve seen anywhere from $0.31-$0.34c/lb picked up with an AOG quoted this week; the latter generally seen in Southern AB, but there may be opportunities in SK. We do still have some buyer interest in new crop French green lentils at $0.60-$0.65/lb picked up on the farm should you be lucky enough to find yourself some seed. Lots of great opportunities available to get yourself shored up on 5-10bpa under act of God at very strong prices for fall shipping, offering some cashflow and bin space to boot.

Canaryseed prices jumped a bit this week moving up to 40 cents/lb delivered plant in select locations. New crop remains stable at 34-35 cents/lb FOB farm for September to December movement including an act of God; a great starting point for taking some risk of the table. Comparing apples to apples, last year, new crop pricing started at 35 cents/lb as well, with markets moving to a high of 43 cents/lb for a single contract during the summer when yield concerns were at their highest. The average new crop price last year was 39 cents/lb, but I think we can agree that moisture conditions were much more dire than what we are seeing today, and this could mean increased supply next harvest. Last March was when canary started to come off the highs of fall 2021 and by July 2022, the market experienced a 5-cent drop; by September another 5-cent drop, leaving us in the current trading range of 37-40 cents/lb FOB farm. The market seems to be comfortable in this range, and if we see increased yields next harvest, it could translate into another market correction. Of course, weather and outside markets will be big factors influencing domestic values, but what we can say for sure is that we’ve got historically strong values on our plate currently. Of note, some buyers think that the project acres and supply should provide enough product for the upcoming year.

The oat market remains sluggish and unchanged week over week. The price range has been as low as $3.25/bu as high as $3.75/bu, in very light trade and the majority of that product headed to the feed market. Overall, milling bids have been hard to get a handle on as oversupply continues to provide a hurdle to this market. Likely nothing you haven’t heard before, but we’ll reiterate; first, most of the oat millers are full until next crop year, second, if you are lucky enough to find a buyer that isn’t covered feed values after freight deductions likely pencil out at or above milling values, and finally, shipping timeframes are pushed way out for those that are lucky enough to find milling bids, which don’t always align with operational needs. All in all, realistic grower targets seem the best way to get a trade done of late. Buyers see so much “potential” product daily that having that firm target gives them something solid to work with.

As planting season creeps up, barley acres are expected to be similar to 2022. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s March 2023 report pegged barley acres at 7.4 million, a slight increase of 5% from last season. Looking at barley through a cattle lens, cattle are lighter throughout February and March and feed demand is often reduced during these months. We can hope to see some increased barley demand as cattle weights pick up come the spring. Looking at current markets, barley continues to maintain similar pricing as last week. Spot feed barley is being purchased in the range of $8.75/bu delivered Lethbridge, and $7.50/bu FOB farm in most SK areas. New crop feed barley has also held steady at $7.80/bu delivered Lethbridge which equates to around $6.50/bu FOB farm for SK growers. Spot malt bids hover in the range of $8.00-8.50/bu delivered AB/SK. New crop malt bids are still slim, but we are hearing of AOG and DDC bids in the range of $7.30-7.80/bu delivered AB/SK.

Soybean prices edged higher on continued concerns over Argentina’s expectedly poor yielding crop. Local bids are still holding up quite well at $18.25-$18.75/bu FOB farm location dependent. Local dry bean bids in Mexico have shown promising increases due to lower production. New crop dry bean contracts are available with price points ranging from 46¢/lb on higher volume more common classes to 70¢/lb on specific specialty classes. Canadian faba exports have been light, largely due to competitive export pressures from countries such as Australia. Australia is reporting their 3rd largest faba crop in the last 10 yrs. Feed quality fabas continue to be supported by pet food values. Local bids with export quality #2 faba bids being in the range of $13.50-$14.00/bu FOB farm, and feed quality values are near $10.00-$10.50/bu FOB farm location dependent.

New crop Western Canadian flax acres are expected to be significantly reduced from previous years. This is largely attributed to falling flax prices and thus other competitive crops penciling in better for the farmer. Old crop flax bids have had little support beneath them for the past couple of months. Big production and more competitively priced crops from both Russia and Kazakhstan have been favoured over Canadian supplies by China and Europe. New crop flax bids have been scarce and old crop flax is hovering near $15/bu delivered.

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