Pulse weekly outlook: Lentil prices off pandemic peak

Green lentils. (Savany/iStock/Getty Images)

MarketsFarm — Lentil prices received a bit of a bump earlier in the year from peak pandemic panic-buying, but have subsided in recent weeks.

“At the beginning, a lot of people were buying, which led to a spike in prices,” explained Marcos Mosnaim of Globeways Canada in Mississauga.

“That scarcity has come down a lot.”

As directives to stay home have eased across most of Canada, consumers are no longer stocking up on pantry staples.

“Now they have those pulses in storage, and won’t buy again,” Mosnaim said, remarking that demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

In March, farmer prices for large green lentils were around 33 to 34 cents/lb. Those prices have come down slightly to around 30 cents/lb., with new-crop prices below the 30-cent mark.

While domestic demand has softened slightly, market participants aren’t yet sure how export demand will affect prices.

“If India is strong, it will be OK,” Mosnaim said, commenting that many countries support low-income citizens with food boxes that include pulses.

“If India is not strong, I don’t know what will happen.”

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