As harvest slowly progresses, feed wheat/durum volumes keep rising. Feed pricing is being affected every day as more tonnage keeps getting moved into the market. Today, prices are trading at $4.25-4.80/bu FOB with the stronger pricing in the South West of Saskatchewan. If you are harvesting wheat and durum right now, marketing a few bushels/acres as a hedge seems to be a good a strategy. Locking in some product will secure a movement window and we may see prices that start with a three near term. We suspect some upside in the good quality milling durum markets and producers that were able to harvest #1 grade before the rain, or have some in the bin, may consider holding. Currently, we are seeing product trade in South Central Saskatchewan trading at $8.00/bu delivered.
Flax markets have been stagnant for a while now, which can be attributed to very little export demand. Thin carry in supply and slow harvest progress, preventing new crop product from hitting the market, seems to be holing bids steady. China has recently approved imports of flax by rail from Kazakhstan, adding more competition in the Chinese market. Subsequently, this will provide less flax to the European market, potentially opening up new opportunities for high quality milling flax. Flax bids have been quoted in the range of $12.25 to $12.75/bu FOB farm this week, based on milling quality. Yellow flax bids remain unchanged, and trades continue to hit the books around $13.00/bu picked up.
As of September 9th, Sask Ag showed 63% of Canadian lentils harvested. With rains occurring around most of the province last week, we could be seeing some quality issues on what is left in the field. The latest estimate form the Australian lentil crop came in 20,000 tonnes more from last year, but is not seen as burdensome, as Australian exports have been strong to move out old-crop supplies as per analysts. The Indian market could have some serious trade issues as the Indian ministry is recommending import tariffs raise to 70% from 30% on all lentil imports. This is in response from Canada and Australia “dumping” lentils. If this action follows through, there will be further disruptions in the trade. As far as pricing goes, we have bids for all lentils of all grades. There have been some rising bids on large green lentils, but not so much for other lentils even with some harvest challenges.
News of sprouting chickpeas over the last few days has perked up the conversation when it comes to market value. General thoughts are that this will largely affect the pet food and feed side of the market but how it impacts commercial quality remains to be seen. It Is hard to believe that it won’t have some effect on the value, but it is doubtful that we will see values of the last 2 years come back to the table. Recommend the best approach is to understand the quality of chickpea you have. Get the size breakdown, know your moisture levels and understand the downgrading factors if any and market it with all information in hand. There will be a mishmash of quality out there this year with what was in the bins and what is still in the field so look for opportunity knowing what you are selling.
Harvest proceeds slowly across the province this week and the mustard market brings us little change or news. The last progress report stated 20% of Saskatchewan’s mustard had been harvested. At the same time in 2018, we were sitting at 70% harvested across the province. As more yield numbers and samples roll in over the next few weeks, buyers should get a better understanding of what’s out there and the market will react accordingly. Spot mustard prices today are 36 cents/lb FOB farm for yellow, 30 cents/lb FOB farm for brown, and 23 cents/lb FOB farm for oriental. As always, we will have a good supply of certified seed this year so be sure to check in with your merchant on a price delivered to your yard.
Poor weather conditions continue to delay pea harvest province wide. Concern over quality is the main topic of conversation and as the days tick past one would expect that this should help put legs on a stale market. From the buyers interest we have seen continued support on green peas at $7.75-$8/bu FOB farm range with relatively quick shipment. Yellow peas are steady in the mid to high $5/bu FOB value and maples peas steady in the $7.50-$8/bu range. On an international level it is not going unnoticed that the value of a Canadian Yellow pea is down, and it is suspected that India has been importing through Bangladesh to capture these values. General feel is that China will again be a buyer but not from a “need” standpoint, rather, the price is right. Without India being back at the table it is expected that yellow pea prices will continue to be a long game.
The feed barley market has faltered a little on price this week as the supply demand scale took a dramatic shift with the poor weather we have received. Feed bids on barley are down into the low to mid $3’s range now depending on location of farm. West is still best on pricing at this time, but feedlot alley is filling up fast so price parity from east to west may be on the horizon. If you’re a feed seller, then time is of the essence as more and more downgraded product hits this market and hurts our values. We have maltsters looking for samples to be submitted on values in the mid- $4’s to $5/bu mark delivered to facility, which is a solid premium to the feed values on today’s snapshot.
The Saskatchewan Crop Report from last week stated that 11% of the oat harvest is complete. This is well behind last year’s progress when we were 43% done at the same time. Statistics Canada released their model-based yield projection, which is predicting this year’s yield to be 4.016 MMT, 800K MT more than the five-year average. At this point the market seems to unsure whether the increased tonnage is enough to offset any possible quality issues. With little oat harvest completed the quality of this year’s crop is still very uncertain. Until we see more samples or field more calls on oats, don’t except much in the markets to change. Markets for milling quality oats are trading in the 3.30-$3.45/bus range delivered plant for a milling quality and feed oats this week have been trading at $2.50/bus.
The canola market again remains quiet. On the trade front, there has been rumors out there about an imminent deal between China and the US, but nothing firm as of yet. Rains again have delayed the canola harvest and potential for frost becomes more likely every day. So, we will be dealing with quality issues perhaps as time moves on and mid-September has already passed us. Local bids continue to range between $9.75-$10/bu delivered in for movement this year with deferred options available above $10/bu delivered in.
Strong trading continues from last week to this in the canary market. 30c/lb FOB farm seems to be the magic number to pulling some of that underreported farm stock into the market with prices maintaining a steady hold. This is only the 4th time in the last 25 years that canary has made it to that 30c/lb level. How long does this last? Do we see a price drop/maintain or increase once the canary harvest starts? If you’re in limbo, it’s a safe bet to move some into the market to hedge your bets at this historically high price. All in all, canary, the cream of this year’s crop, maintains its place on top.
Soybeans searching for market support amidst the “kick the can down the road” trade deal news and debates over yield prospects. USDA continues to announce soybean sales to China, which at this point amount to token purchases relative to what was once sought by China. Soybean production will be sharply lower for 2019 but even the bullish report Sept. 12 may have limited impact until demand improves or yields fall in South America. Local soybean bids are trading in the range of $10/bu picked up on farm. New crop faba harvest is yet to get rolling. #2 faba bean bids continue to hover near $7.25-$7.50/bu delivered. Dry bean harvest is underway in Alberta and dry bean bids have held reasonably firm with selling opportunities across a few local buyers.
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