Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Pea carryout seen smaller than expected

(Resource News International) — Steady demand this spring has lowered the amount of edible green and yellow pea supplies that will be carried over into the 2009-10 crop year.

As of May 29, old-crop edible green pea prices (delivered to elevator) in Western Canada ranged from $8.50 to $9 a bushel, while old-crop yellow edible pea prices ranged from $6 to $6.23 a bushel, according to prices collected by Prairie Ag Hotwire.

Bids for new-crop green peas (delivered to elevator) ranged from $6.50 to $7.25 a bushel and from $5.66 to $5.74 a bushel for new-crop yellow peas.

The lower new-crop pea price still reflects initial ideas that supplies in the 2009-10 crop year would be ample in part because of large ending stocks, said Les Aubin, manager of country operations for Walker Seeds at Tisdale, Sask.

The trade is already beginning to think though, that the carryout from this year’s pea crop could be considerably smaller than originally anticipated.

“I think everybody has accepted that the carryout will be smaller but the question now is what the amount will be come August,” said Aubin.

Export demand through March, April and May has been steadier than many expected and as a result Aubin believed carry-out could fall into the 500,000- to 600,000-tonne level, as opposed to initial estimates of one million tonnes.

“That is basically a third of a crop, which is huge. Now we’re thinking much lower and that makes a big difference,” he said.

However, the ability of new-crop pea prices to move higher is being curbed by sluggish demand, Aubin said. Pulse companies are not in a hurry to forward book a lot of 2009-10 pea supplies until they are more certain as to how the pea crop in Western Canada will develop.

Prairie-wide, the pea crop is 95 to 100 per cent seeded. Some fields may require re-seeding where germination failed, but that should be less than five per cent of the total crop, Aubin estimated.

For old-crop prices, yellow peas are unlikely to move much below current values but the same may not hold for green peas.

“There is currently a spread of roughly $1.50 a bushel between old- and new-crop prices and I see that narrowing to maybe 50 cents or so as summer nears. Prices eventually have to be the same, or who is going to buy old supplies if they wait a month for new-crop peas?” Aubin said.

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