Limited farmer selling keeping pea prices steady

CNS Canada –– Prairie pea prices are steady, but farmers are holding out, according to one trader, as emerging new-crop bids grow in strength.

“I think what’s moving prices is simply the expectation that (they) can’t go that much lower,” said David Newman of Victoria-area pulse trading and processing firm Commodious Trading.

A lack of farmer selling, in anticipation of stronger prices, is also keeping pea prices firm.

Delivered elevator pea prices are about $8.80 to $9.25 per bushel for green, and about $10.50 to $11.95 per bushel for yellow, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire.

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That compares with early November when delivered elevator green pea prices sat at $8-$8.50 per bushel, and yellow peas were at $8.50-$10 per bushel.

“Growers are in such a strong position that they’re willing to hold it,” Newman said.

Yellow peas are seeing only limited trade, he added, but buyers are typically offering around $8.50 per bushel for green peas, and farmers want about $10.

“Someone’s going to need it eventually. We have a lot of year left and not a lot of product.”

New-crop bids in Western Canada are about $8.75 per bushel for green peas, and $9.28 for yellow peas, up from the prices seen at the end of December, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire.

Strong emerging new-crop bids indicate the industry expectation of increased demand in 2016.

Pea exports have been steady and prices have increased over the past several weeks to reflect that. Pea demand has increased by 31 per cent in eight years, the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers said in their January pulse market report.

Early industry guesses place pea seeding at about four million acres.

Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow her at @jade_markus on Twitter.

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