Lack of buyer interest leaves lentil market without pulse

Red lentils. (Photo courtesy U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council)

CNS Canada — Lentil buyers are keeping to the sidelines as mixed weather reports from India bring an element of turbulence into the market.

Crop conditions in India are generally favourable, keeping Canada’s old- and new-crop lentil markets quiet, said Bobby Leavins of Rayglen Commodities in Saskatoon.

New-crop buyers are showing little interest until India’s crop emerges, while bidders and askers are too far apart in old-crop.

“In a month we’re going to have a pretty decent idea what that India crop looks like, and buyers will be a little more comfortable putting positions on at that point,” Leavins said.

Part of that reluctance comes from the idea that crop conditions can change at any time.

“Two years ago (India) had a pretty good crop coming too, and they had a bunch of rain and hail, and storms wrecked it right at the end,” Leavins said.

Crop conditions are mixed, due to the sheer size of the country, “but the general consensus is that they’ve got at least an average crop coming,” he added.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supply and disposition estimates, released Jan. 30, peg upcoming lentil production at 3.5 million tonnes, compared with its estimate for 2016-17 production at 3.248 million tonnes.

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


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