Yellow peas decline along with India frost fears

After reaching levels as high as $8 per bushel earlier this year, yellow pea prices have taken a tumble of late, as speculation of frost damage to India’s crop was not as severe as originally thought.

“The frost thoughts in India were absolutely overdone. There was some damage done, but it certainly wasn’t a complete washout,” said Les Aubin of Walker Seeds at Tisdale, Sask. “It was pretty scary for them, because they hardly ever experience temperatures that low (+3 C).

“India hasn’t been buying peas for pretty close to the last month now.”

Once prices reached their the higher values, many farmers were seen moving product, Aubin said. This has added bearish sentiment to the market.

“Once the price gets high producers often wait for them to go higher, but there was a fair amount of peas moved when values were at their peak,” he said.

While producers were seen selling peas earlier in the year, Aubin said there could be a drop-off in sales for the next little while.

“A lot of people are thinking that yards are going to be very, very wet this spring, so guys aren’t in a big panic to move anything right now,” he said.

“I think we have seen the highest point for peas this year. In fact, I was surprised prices got as high as they did.”

The decline in prices is also likely to cause a decline in acreage during the coming crop year, Aubin said.

“I think we will see a fair reduction in pea acres, not only because of good prices for other crops, but peas don’t traditionally do all that well in wet conditions,” he said.

Current elevator deliveries for yellow peas are bringing as much as $7 per bushel, while green peas are bringing as much as $7.16 per bushel, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire. These prices are anywhere from 82 cents to $1 per bushel lower than one month ago.

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