Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Pea, lentil buyers digest lower values, weather


CNS Canada — Buyers, sellers and processors in Canada’s pulse sector are holding steady as an act of safeguarding themselves during a precarious time in the growing season.

“People are just kind of buying what they need,” said David Newman of Commodious Trading, a Victoria-area company dealing with international trade and processing of lentils, peas, chickpeas, canary seed and flax.

A source of inactivity is the idea that prices will be vastly different once new crop starts to get onstream, he added.

For lentils, expensive product moved into the market, which caused the commodity to be jammed up overseas, another source of stasis.

“If there’s any kind of way to look at it, it’s that everyone has just put themselves in their little protective bubble,” Newman said.

Prices are well off their highs, dropping from values seen in the winter, he said.

Spot prices for green peas are between $8 and $8.75 per bushel, while yellows are between $7.85 and $9.75 per bushel, according to data from Prairie Ag Hotwire on Tuesday.

For lentils, spot prices largely depend on type and quality and are off their highs.

Farmers are concerned about crop conditions at this time of year, though that is a typical feature, Newman said.

Conditions are mostly good in the major growing regions, but he noted significant variability.

“Ask a dozen people, and they’ll give you a dozen different stories depending on what their position is,” Newman said.

“Some places are really good. Some places are really bad, we’ll probably be average.”

— Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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