The canary market has seen a few more trades go through as of late, but this increased action has not extended much into bettering the price. Spot bids remain around 21 cents picked up at the farm for sound quality. Trade has not been overwhelming, but some product has moved at these levels as canary growers seem to tire of inaccurate reports on supply and demand. Canary exports have been higher this year as compared to last, so maybe, just maybe, we will start to see a bit more interest in this market. We have had a few buyers with some interest to lock fall production up at 20 cents picked up and the contracts include an Act of God providing extra protection.
Reported by Statscan, as of Mar 31 barley stocks are down 25% from the same time as last year, due to feedlots using a lot more in their rations. Feed barley stocks are very tight at the moment and market prices are not seeing much fluctuation. Bids are attractive, but seem to be stuck at $4.50 to $4.75 FOB the farm depending on location. The further west and closer you are to Lethbridge, the stronger the feed barley price is. There have been some buyers doing new crop feed barley with an Act of God clause for $3.75 to $4.00/bu for further out movement. New crop at these levels, when compared to malt pricing, has definitely caught some attention. New crop malt has been very slow and we have not seen many contracts traded. All in all, feed barley is sitting at attractive levels and producers should consider at least locking their old crop up. Why you may ask? As you can see, the spread between old and new crop is $0.75/bu – these values will surely converge when the new crop starts coming off, possibly sooner.
As seeding is underway and almost to a completion in some of the southern parts of Saskatchewan/ Alberta, there is more concern surrounding weather. The canola crops are going to be relying on when the next rain comes, as quite a few areas are lacking in moisture. Weather concerns and the weakness of the Canadian dollar are providing support to the canola market. However, with the amount of old crop supply and weaker soy markets, canola pricing is depressed as we write. Looking at the futures, July canola is down this morning, trading about $5/MT lower at $528/MT. There is some rain in the forecast for parts of Saskatchewan this week, so we will just have to watch to see which areas receive precipitation and how it will affect these canola markets.
Mustard values remain stable this week on little to no news of changing markets. According to our colleague, Chuck Penner at Left Field Commodity Research, mustard exports are below average, totaling 75,000MT, year to date. This trails the 5-year average by 6,000MT and last year’s exports at this time by 4,000MT. Despite slowing exports, markets remain stable. This, paired with a definite increase in acres, could be a good indication for producers to get some of their binned and new crop production locked up. Yellow mustard sits at $0.34/lb on old crop and $0.35/lb on new. Old crop brown varieties continue to hover around $0.40/lb on old and $0.33/lb on new crop. Finally, oriental mustard values hover around $0.27-$0.28/lb for both old and new crop, with a small opportunity for better spot values if you have Vulcan variety. With most of the prairies scratching dirt, mustard seed and deliveries are coming to a close. If you are in need of some last-minute seed, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Following its trend of the last few months, the oats market has done very little over the past week. While trades are sparse, there are definitely still buyers out there for both a milling and feed spec. For #2 CW oats, we have seen bids as high as $2.50/bu picked up in your yard depending on location. In the past we have seen buyers be aggressive on targets above the market, so if you have a price in mind let us know and we can show our buyers. Feed oats continue in the $2.00-$2.25/bu range picked up in your yard. These prices are also dependent on location with better pricing typically seen the further south you are.
Yellow pea prices remain steady this week at $7.00/bu delivered. Consumption on yellow peas for 2017/18 has been below last year’s use, but reports suggest it’s not unusually low either. China has taken nearly 94% of the exports in March. CGC data is showing large exports in April and into the first week of May. There could be a lull in buying after these larger volumes have moved. Based on prices and reports, ending stocks for green peas will be higher than yellow peas. Green pea prices are also sideways this week at $9.00/bu delivered. Ukrainian pea acreage is almost as much as last year. Yields are still unpredictable, but they have had some recent rains that will reflect a more positive forecast. Indian pea prices remain firm, even with the latest import ban. This is mostly due to desi chickpea prices falling, due to heavy supplies. The desi prices could act as a ceiling price for yellow peas into India. The chickpea prices will not have any effect on green pea prices in India. New crop pea prices remain flat this week. There is still some uncertainty in the market about Indian restrictions. If purchases don’t catch up in the fall, then the off-combine selling could weigh even more on prices.
Old crop chickpea business has been very slow this week, continuing the trend, as on farm stocks were mostly used for seed. Seeding has been steady for the past 2 weeks and some reports of chickpea seeding completion are now coming in from the US, Alberta, and southern Saskatchewan. Concerns about seeded acres in India and Mexico have also capped new crop pricing. Also, Canada will be seeding considerably more this year. Contracts are still available in most areas for new crop Kabuli’s in the low $0.30/lb range. We might be able to find a penny or two higher, depending on location. This is based on across the board #2 pricing of Leader or Orion types. Discounts are available for the other grades, and this is picked up in your yard for Sept/Dec movement and includes a full AOG. Call your merchant for details.
Flax is having another stable week with unchanged pricing. Flax is the one commodity this year that has remained stable with minimal swings up or down and it looks the trend will continue into next crop year. Old crop prices range between $12.25 and $12.75 depending on location and quality. Most contracts are for May/June movement, which is a lot better than most commodities being quoted at Jun/Jul. New crop brown flax contracts have been trading at $12.25 with an Act of God for Sept-Dec movement, which has producers signing up acres on the east side of Saskatchewan. West side new crop contracts have been harder to find, as freight costs back to Manitoba are it making hard for buyers to pay that same price. Yellow flax remains quiet as buyers try to chew through the remaining product in the bins. Our buyers have asked us to let growers know that growing flax on lentil stubble is a problem for them as cleaning lentil chips out of flax is nearly impossible to do. The fragments are usually of similar size so they don’t fall through the screens, nor can they be colour sorted.
Soybeans have been on a little bit of roller coaster ride for the last five days; no, it is not a huge roller coaster, more like a kiddie roller coaster with small rises and slight declines. Soybeans markets have been mostly following the American dollar and therefore the price changes have been due to exchange rate and not much else. China and the U.S. are talking trade tariffs again this week, but no solution has come out yet, so traders will likely hold speculating on the outcomes as we all know trade talks can break down at any time. Old crop soybean prices have been trading between $10.75-11.00/bu depending on freight and day of booking. Faba beans have traded between $6.00-6.25 FOB farm going into the feed market. Lately there has not been much interest in the human consumption side.
Feed wheat remains unchanged from last week. With corn values still strong, wheat bids will likely stay firm until the new crop comes off and we see the quality. Much of the prairies are dry and in need of some moisture. Timely rain this year, may be the “Million Dollar Rain” that will relieve supply and fill demand. If we don’t see rain and crops don’t yield has high as usual, prices will most likely stay the same or climb. Today’s prices are around $5.60-5.75/bu FOB farm in certain areas. New crop values are $4.75/bu FOB farm with no Act of God.
Lentil prices are seeing another dip in the market. There is a lot of product, this week, making its way out of the bin and being shown to buyers. With that, many processors are starting to, or have filled their short-term needs. Values we started the week off with are now starting to fall. As we get closer to the summer months, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of holding your lentils for another year. The question for many is: building more bins, or moving it now? Buyers are already showing June/July movement on red lentils, so if you are wanting reds out by harvest, it might be a good idea to sign some up sooner than later. Red lentils today are 17c/lb delivered into plant on a #2 or better. Large green lentils are 25c/lb FOB farm on a #2 quality, and 24c/lb FOB farm on #1 small greens.
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