Feed barley prices are starting to show signs of weakness as we see bids back off a bit this week. So far, we haven’t seen any drastic drops in value, rather a small 5-15 cent/bu decline pending area. Bids are still very attractive throughout the prairies and many areas are still able to hit the $5.00 + FOB farm mark. Strongest bids are still seen in SW Sask and Eastern AB as the majority of product is destined for feedlot alley. Does this mean we’ve hit our highs for the year? Tough to say, but this may be a sign that growers need to take advantage of these historically high values while they’re still available and get some product hedged; feed or malt quality. On that note, malt remains to be quoted around that $5.00/bu delivered range with movement pushed out well into the new year. Thus, many producers have opted to sell into the feed market because of quicker movement and price similarity; something we would suggest doing as well, based on the very slow demand.
The pea market has held on to their favorable values as we progress into this week. Yellow peas are trading at $8.75/bu delivered which translates back to $8.00 – 8.25/bu FOB farm values. Reading through reports and looking back at previous yellow pea highs, we are trading at values that aren’t regularly seen. Yellows peas have hit $9.00/bu less than 10% of the time over the past 10 years. Therefore, it might be a good opportunity to consider some yellow pea sales. Maple peas are still seeing $10.00/bu FOB, with the acer variety holding a slight premium of $11.00/bu delivered into Northwest/ Central Sask. Green peas have also moved up slightly to $9.50/bu FOB or $10.00/bu delivered into plant. With bids holding strong in yellow peas it is a confirmation that China is still steady buying product. The strength in green peas may have more to do with farmers not moving as much at previous values.
Lentils had another steady week in the markets with little change in pricing. Reds have been the quietest as the markets wait to see what India’s next tariff move will be. The green lentil market remains strong with #2 large green lentils trading at the 37-38 cents delivered mark in many cases. Small greens are still being bid at the 30 cent FOB farm range, in light trade. The biggest lentil price this week is for feed or sample lentils at 25 cent FOB farm and growers with this quality may want to consider sales. Touching on last week’s report, we mentioned we might see some tariff changes come from Turkey as well, but so far, there are no signs of this and thus no major market moves to report.
Canary seed tonnage looks to be up from last year’s production levels, ranging in that 190,000 – 200,000mt, up roughly 15,000 – 25,000mt, with the “needle” always seeming to move week to week. Right now, pricing seems to be holding steady with only a slight pull back to be trading at $0.31/lb picked up on the farm, still a historically strong price. Price support for this commodity continues to hold as other bird seed ingredients, right now, are strongly priced. If we’re looking outside of Canada, we’ve started to hear some chatter about Argentina’s canary crop; acres look to be up over last year, but still statistically on the lower side of past years. The expectation is that canary exports will continue to stay low for Argentina until harvest numbers come in which should be late 2020. It’s worth keeping an eye on this market moving forward.
Stronger bids on flax have encouraged farmer selling this week – and they should. Currently, we are seeing bids hit $17.25/bu up to the highs of $18.00/bu picked up on farm for brown varieties. Movement varies and seems to be the main determinate of value, but in any case, growers should strongly consider making sales. Historically, bids are approaching rare levels and reaching 10-year highs. We suspect there will be a tipping point where end-users say, “That’s too much!” and if there is a volatile correction, these markets can quickly turn. Another risk is that at these values more demand could be pushed back into the Black Sea Region, even if the crops there were reported as smaller. Moving to yellow flax, bids are also strong, and we’ve seen some areas reach a high of $20.00/bu FOB on firm target. New crop values on brown flax are starting to emerge at $14.00/bu FOB, but so far yellow remains quiet. If you don’t have any flax on the books yet, now is the time.
Commercial chickpea markets maintain tone this week, but call volume has been up on potential sales more so than previous weeks. This feels like patience is wearing thin on the potential “run” of the market but thus far has not generated any sales. Strong values in other markets are where growers will likely sell for cash and continue to hold back on product that moves in cents per lb vs cents per bushel. Feed and sample quality chickpea have seen increased strength with bids at $0.20-$0.22/lb FOB farm for Nov.-Jan. movement and plenty of room for buying. The issue is finding that product, as it seems to be in short demand. If you have anything under a #2 of any size and quality in the bin, call to chat about potential marketing ideas.
Mustard stayed flat this week as far as price goes, so let’s talk a little about the quality that Sask Ag has reported. The tremendous harvest conditions this year certainly translated to remarkable quality. They say that 89% of production was a number 1 Canada, compared to the 10-year average of 76%. They also state 10% is grading number 2 Canada, leaving very little for a #3 or worse. These are surprising numbers and we shall see how accurate they are in the near future. Bids today are sitting at $0.40/lb FOB farm for yellow for different shipping periods, possibly as early as November. Brown sits at 31 cents/lb for Jan./Feb. pickup. Oriental Forge sits at 28 cents for Jan./Feb. movement, while Cutlass remains at 26 cents for the same new year shipping, both FOB farm. New crop mustard and seed has traded already, please call your merchant for the latest in prices.
Wheat pricing has pulled back a bit as the US, Argentina and the Black Sea Region have seen some precipitation on what was an ever-increasing lack of moisture. As such feed prices have slipped a bit to around that $6.25/bu FOB farm range, give or take depending on how close you are to the feed lot alley. On the milling side, a #1 CWRS is priced at $6.52/bu delivered into Saskatoon for January movement on a 13.5% protein. If you are sitting with 12.5% protein pull the price back to around $0.27/bu for the same movement. Keep an eye out moving forward for price pops to get some incremental selling in.
Chinese demand has largely fueled the recent run-up in prices, but dry planting conditions in Brazil and economic turmoil in Argentina have also contributed to higher soybean prices. That said, rains earlier this week helped to recover scarce soil moisture levels in Brazil. Demand concerns from China also led soybean futures lower this morning. Local soybean bids now hover around $11.50-$12.00/bu picked up depending on location. Fabas bids are aligned with long term trading values at $7.50 -$8.00/bu for #2 export quality. The higher end of the faba price range seems to be reserved for high tannin varieties. Increased global competition and the reestablishment of typical global trade patterns will regulate our local faba bids. Escalating global pulse markets have latched onto fabas and have offered some recent support and buyer interest. North American dry bean harvest is approaching completion. Common classes of beans are expecting large production increases this year, whereas specialty beans will see tighter production volumes. Dry bean demand still exists, and buyers will be interested in purchasing any new crop contract overages. New crop dry programs will be released soon. Please contact Rayglen if interested.
After a big jump up at the end of last week, canola futures have taken a step back throughout the start of this week. At time of writing, the November futures sit at $533/MT, which compares to $542/MT at the same time one week ago. Prices were as low as $510/MT today but recovered through the late morning and afternoon. Much of this drop is associated to worries of Covid cases increasing and the threat of the economy slowing down again. Spec funds took profits to limit their risks of losses in the near term.
Oats prices have been a little more active with a few buyers opening a bit of space. Most bids on a #2 milling oat are still sub $3/bu as a FOB farm price. If your farm is on the East side of Sask. we should be able to find some buyer interest at $3/bu in the yard for movement in the next couple months at this point. Feed prices remain around $2.50/bu on farm in most areas of the province, as long as the bushel weight is not too light. As a reminder that you have all have likely heard, most milling oats buyers will not touch any product that has been sprayed with glyphosate. The list of buyers with this restriction grows stronger so, if you have not already heard this, make sure you take this into account with your farming practices.