Rye prices seen high, but stable

A rye cover crop. (Stephen Ausmus photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

CNS Canada –– Rye crops have been reacting to Saskatchewan’s heat and dryness by developing faster than they would normally be — but healthy crops elsewhere appear to be helping to keep global prices stable, at least for the time being.

U.S. crops may stop rye prices from moving too turbulently, at least until Canada’s yield becomes more clear, said Roger Kissick, grain merchant at Linear Grain.

“The U.S. also has a good crop of their own. This early in the season, those types of concerns won’t show up until later on,” he said.

According to Kissick, considering the current values of other crops, rye prices are high — and the market will likely not be very active over coming months, until about Christmas.

Right now, he said, average rye prices are between $5.50 and $6.50 a bushel.

Canada’s harvested area had been forecast to increase by eight per cent to 240,000 tonnes, up from 195,000 the year prior, but that amount is still at a near-record low, according to an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada report on principal field crops released June 18.

However, there are still indications that Saskatchewan’s rye production could be even tighter than last year.

“Last fall we would have had reduced acres of fall rye going in, and we had such a late harvest,” said Shannon Friesen, a regional crop specialist at Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Moose Jaw.

The most recent Saskatchewan crop report pegged 26 per cent of rye crops in good to excellent condition, 50 per cent in fair condition, and 24 per cent in poor condition.

Statistics Canada has said rye’s seeded area in Saskatchewan is about 100,077 acres for 2015 — nearly 9,900 fewer acres than in 2014.

Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec all have increased seeded acres from last year, StatsCan said.

Friesen said the plants have progressed ahead of where they should normally be, but added she thinks quality shouldn’t be impacted too much.

Some shrunken kernels have been noted, for example, “but for the most part there’s adequate straw and stems and that kind of thing, for the feed side of things.”

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

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