Peas back at historical spreads in Western Canada

CNS Canada — After two years of an abnormally large price spread between green and yellow peas in Western Canada, the relationship between the two crops is nearer normal levels.

The yellow pea market has moved up a little in recent weeks, but the green market “is not that interesting,” said David Newman of Commodius Trading in Vancouver.

For green peas, he described the general theme as one of “delay,” with many overseas buyers who have already bought not that interested in taking delivery currently.

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For yellows, there has been “a little splash of demand,” from people needing to fill vessels.

“Yellow peas have been so boring for so long that a 50-cent move is news,” said Newman.

The “news” wasn’t really that surprising, he said, as yellow pea supplies are not that large and every once in a while prices will need to go up to fill vessels and encourage farmer sales.

With yellow peas facing steady demand and green peas finally at a place after two years where supplies outpace demand, Newman said prices were converging back to more historically normal spreads.

“In eight out of 10 years, green peas will be $1.50 to $2 above yellows, because it’s harder to get the quality and the yields are a bit less,” said Newman.

The spread has been as wide as $6 over the past two years, he said, but has now narrowed back in to more normal levels.

Green pea bids are now topping out at about $9.25 per bushel — well off the $13 highs of the past year, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data. Top-end yellow pea bids, meanwhile, are at their yearly highs of $8 per bushel.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

 

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Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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