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Pulse weekly outlook: Yellow, green pea prices vary ahead of seeding

MarketsFarm — India’s tariffs on Canadian pulses hit green and yellow peas particularly hard over the past year — and the market is still hurting as producers plan acres for 2019.

Since yellow pea exports dropped significantly in the middle of the year, “there’s going to be a lot of carryover in yellow peas for 2019,” Darwin Hamilton, president of Kalshae Investments in Winnipeg, predicted. “That will cause prices to drop.”

“Twelve months ago, we saw peas in the $10 per bushel range. Now they’re around $7, and some are contracting in the $6.50 range.”

Even with attractive prices for buyers, yellow peas aren’t moving very quickly. New-crop acreage for yellow peas in 2019 will likely decrease accordingly.

“They don’t want new-crop peas planted if last year’s crops are still in the bin,” Hamilton said.

A portion of acreage originally slated for yellow peas will likely transfer to their green counterpart, which are stronger price-wise.

“Green pea prices for new crops are around $12.50 per bushel to the grower, for farm gate pricing.”

If significant yellow pea acreage is switched to green, prices may correct back down to under $10 per bushel.

Green peas are in high demand in South American and European markets, though in the past, quality has been an issue. Unpredictable rainfall and drought impacted green pea quality in 2018.

“Green peas are a little more finicky to grow to get a high grade,” Hamilton said. “If you get rain during harvest, you’ll get bleaching.”

Canadian farmers seeded over 3.6 million acres to yellow and green peas in 2018.

— Marlo Glass writes for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

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