Mustard prices seen having room to move up

A smaller-than-expected mustard crop in Western Canada this year should keep values well supported going forward, especially as end-users are already looking to secure supplies through the spot market, according to an industry official.

Yellow mustard and brown mustard bids have some room to the upside, as a number of end-users are starting to be short of product, said Baine Fritzler, vice-president of the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission. “Their contracted production didn’t come in where they thought it would be, and they lost some to weather this summer,” he said adding that “there is no downside in the market, and we might see a two- or three-cent upside.”

At this time of year, the end-users should be bringing in contracted product and not be in the spot market, said Fritzler. However, some buyers were already in the spot market.

According to the latest Statistics Canada production survey, released Oct. 4, Canadian farmers grew 125,500 tonnes of mustard in 2012-13, a slight improvement on the 124,800 tonnes grown the previous year. However, that was well off the 138,200-tonne crop forecast in July.

Fritzler said dryness in parts of Saskatchewan and hailstorms in the mustard-growing region of Alberta cut into the size of the crop.

Yellow mustard is currently priced at 35 to 37 cents per pound, delivered to the elevator, while brown mustard bids top out at 32 cents and oriental at 25 cents, according to the latest Prairie Ag Hotwire data.

About the author

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Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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