Yellow pea bids in Western Canada have come off their highs over the past two weeks, as demand backs away at the stronger levels and major export customer India moves forward harvesting its own pulse crop.
“Yellow pea bids from the line elevators have dropped by 75 to 80 cents (per bushel) over the past 10 days,” said Les Aubin, manager of country operations with Tisdale, Sask. processor Walker Seeds. “They’re still good prices, but they’re definitely off their highs.”
The green pea market was also softer, he said, with no real activity to speak of. “Most guys aren’t buying any green peas,” said Aubin.
Part of the weakness in yellow peas was tied to the fact that India is harvesting its own pulse crop right now, and that new product is limiting the demand from the country.
The yellow pea market had become a little overdone on frost scares out of India, he said. In the end, the frost was not as damaging as initial thoughts suggested and fresh pulse supplies there will reduce the need for Canadian imports, at least for a little while.
Overall, Aubin said, sales were very difficult to make in the current slow market. Processors aren’t booked very far out, and are not very busy for this time of year, he added.
“If we’re not busy cleaning stuff, it means stuff isn’t being shipped out of the country, which means (pea) stocks are building here,” he said, adding that all that together should put more downward pressure on prices.
However, “in the end, time will tell.”