Lentil markets remain largely unchanged this week. Red lentils are currently trading at 38 cents FOB farm and continue to be affected by the ongoing tension between Canada and India. However, there are some factors in the red lentil market that provide a sense of optimism. Firstly, Australian production is expected to be lower than last year, and secondly, the Indian market is importing more than previously anticipated. The green lentil market remains robust as it strives to meet demand. Large green lentils have traded as high as 66 cents/lb delivered this week with shipping pushed out until the end of March. Small green lentils are trading at 60-61 cents FOB farm, while medium greens are priced at 58-60 cents FOB farm in Canadian dollars or 42-44 cents in USD. Due to supply concerns, this market is expected to maintain its firmness. Those with specialty lentils such as beluga and/or french green varieties are encouraged to call the office for pricing as we continue to see strong demand and indicated values.
The pea market closely resembles the lentil market, in that specialty varieties lead the way for pricing. Maples peas are commanding the strongest bid at $25.00-$26.00 FOB farm, depending on the variety. Green peas follow, trading between $16.50-$17.00 FOB farm, although $17.00 has been a bit more elusive recently. Yellow peas are the least active trading at $10-10.50 FOB farm, struggling to obtain a price increase due to limited market share. This is partly due to China reducing the amount of Canadian peas used in its feed rations and finding cheaper sources from Russia, who have steadily increased their market share since February of 2023. In August, China purchased similar tonnage from Russia as it did from Canada; of note, China seems to be the only importing country interested in Canadian yellow peas. Pending Russian supply and China’s interest, yellow peas may remain discounted compared to other varieties.
Analysts estimate flax supplies for 2023/24 to be around 500,000 tonnes, factoring in this year’s harvest numbers and carry-over from the previous year. If these numbers hold true, there will be 12% less stock than in 2022/23, allowing for a larger export program than the previous 2 years. Flax bids have remained relatively steady at $17.00 per bushel, picked up, over the past week, but buyers are generally seeking limited tonnage. Competitive pricing in overseas markets could drive more exports, but for now, supplies are sufficient to meet demand.
The oat market has been quiet recently, with buyers unaggressive and sellers showing a balanced sentiment. Pricing has not seen significant movement, with milling bids ranging from the high $4’s to low $5’s per bushel FOB farm, depending on timing and location. Those further east and who are willing to defer shipping seem to capture premium bids, although there might be opportunities to secure stronger prices if the right offer is shown. Feed bids for lower-quality oats generally hover around the $4 per bushel range in most areas, although some feeders are sensitive to bushel weight, so knowing quality beforehand is advantageous.
Last week, the USDA released a bearish report, increasing its total wheat production estimates by 80 million bushels, bringing total production estimates to 1.811 billion bushels. This increase, combined with record wheat shipments from Russia, has kept the wheat market subdued and in the red at time of writing. Milling bids are around $9.40 per bushel for soft white wheat (SWW), $9.40 per bushel for red winter wheat (RWW), and $9.00 per bushel for hard red spring wheat (CWRS), all delivered in Saskatchewan. The feed wheat market remains similar to the previous week, with red feed wheat being bid between $8.00 and $8.50 per bushel FOB farm. Canadian durum wheat continues to face pressure from overseas markets due to the large Turkish crop moving into Italy, Morocco, Algeria, and Spain, among others. Despite the substantial volume of exports, there is speculation that Turkish supply may be cut off in the coming months, potentially allowing Canadian product to fill the gap. Prices for Canadian durum have remained relatively stable at $14.50 per bushel, delivered plant in Saskatchewan, with options for 2023 and 2024 delivery.
Statistics Canada’s data for Canadian kabuli chickpeas in the 2023/24 crop season indicates a decrease in production, resulting in tight ending stocks for the upcoming year. This situation may drive up their market value. While the quality is not a concern, actual seed size is trending smaller. Several export markets have a preference for larger sizes, especially 8mm and 9mm chickpeas, with a particular emphasis on the latter. In contrast, the 6mm and 7mm categories have fewer takers, mainly in North America, where they are used predominantly in pet food production. Currently, the values for these smaller sizes hover around $0.36 per pound FOB, with no quality issues. For #2 large kabuli chickpeas, bids range from $0.55 to $0.56 per pound for mixed sizes, with a maximum of 10% 7mm. Growers who can separate and produce 9mm chickpeas exclusively stand to benefit from a premium price. It is crucial to have your chickpeas graded and sized accurately before selling to maximize returns.
The canaryseed market remains relatively inactive, with growers seeking better prices. Active bids are in the range of $0.44 to $0.45 per pound with movement beginning to be pushed into the new year. StatsCan data indicates a projected 16% decrease in supply, pushing expectations that the market should stay on par with the previous year. As a result, exports to Canada’s primary markets, such as Mexico and the EU, may be limited due to the supply situation. This could potentially lead to improved pricing for producers, but the market may remain subdued if buyers have sufficient coverage.
The barley market, in simple terms, continues to maintain its value, much like the previous couple of weeks. There have been no significant price spikes or drops. Feed barley prices remain in the range of $5.50 to $6.00 per bushel FOB farm, with favourable delivery timeframes. Malt barley still faces demand, but establishing a firm price remains challenging. Sources suggest a price range of $7.25 to $7.50 per bushel, depending on the variety and delivery schedule. It is advisable to have your barley graded, determine if it meets malt specifications, and work on values accordingly. Corn remains in demand for feedlots, and feed buyers aren’t expecting a shortage of supply this year, which may limit the need to up-bid barley. However, firm offers, and price targets continue to attract buyer attention, providing an opportunity for a potential premium over quoted values.
Soybean prices have faced seasonal price pressure for the past month or so, and as is often the case, there are two distinct viewpoints regarding the market’s future direction. Those holding long positions emphasize historically tight stocks, while those in short positions highlight the production potential in both the US and Brazil. Currently, bids range from $15.50 to $16.00 per bushel FOB, depending on the farm location. Dry bean bids are expected to gain late-season support from Mexican demand and reduced production. However, they are currently overburdened by old crop carryover supplies. Canadian faba bean volumes are projected to decrease year-over-year, but feed-quality faba beans continue to benefit from pet food values. Local bids for export-quality #2 faba beans are in the range of $13.50 to $14.00 per bushel, while feed quality values hover around $10.00 to $10.50 per bushel, depending on the farm location.
With soybeans facing downward pressure and sluggish canola export sales, a revival in Chinese demand is crucial to drive wind into the sails of the canola market. Anticipated production levels are expected to be lower than last year, and there is reduced overseas demand from the EU and China. Ukrainian rapeseed and sunflower seed production is projected to increase by 17% compared to last year. Despite the drop in production, the canola stocks-to-use balance sheet is expected to loosen up due to decreased anticipated exports. Local bids for canola range from $15.65 to $15.85 per bushel, depending on the farm location.
The mustard market has been experiencing a prolonged period of stability, with no significant changes in spot pricing as production contract tonnage continues to flow into processing plants. Harvesting appears to have concluded across mustard-growing regions. Current bids for yellow mustard are in the mid to high 80s, brown mustard remains at around 78 to 80 cents per pound, and oriental mustard continues to be priced in the mid-70s. It is advisable to discuss your plans for next year’s mustard crop with your merchant, as seed is now available. Unfortunately, we have yet to receive 2024/25 production contract bids, but anticipate they may start to surface in a month or so. Reach out to your merchant to secure your seed supply and ease concerns about next year’s needs.
Rayglen Market Comments are for informational purposes only. Rayglen Commodities and its agents or employees shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of reliance on any of the contents contained within these products, whether such loss or damage arises from negligence or misrepresentation or any act or omission of its agents or employees.