Indian sources report that the local government of the Indian state Madhya Pradesh – one of the largest pulse growing areas down there -decided to interrupt its price support scheme for key pulse crops such as masoor (red lentils) and channa (chickpeas). The reason for this is that market prices for these crops have plummeted below the minimum government support prices. Hence, it becomes too expensive for the local budget of this Indian state to keep the central Indian government buying program running.
There was is also word that India might be looking to ban pulse imports altogether! However, such measure cannot be put in place because would contravene this country’s trade commitments under WTO rules.
Clearly, India is scrambling to deal with the local pulse production glut. It appears that the total pulse crop in India this year will be hitting a record of 24 million tonnes. We said a while ago, that whenever governments intervene in open markets, the counterbalance of supply and demand are upset, which usually results in a lot of unintended consequences.
On the Indian pricing front, we reported that yellow peas prices in India are rallying. This week, they went through the roof as shown on the chart. Why is this happening? Indian peas supplies are not burdensome. But local demand is there. Thus, they rallied.
Here in North America, we know that peas acres are set to decline. Last week, we reported that American pea acres in 2018/19 will be down 20% year over year. We also said that we expected lower numbers in 2018/19 Canada peas acres, as well as 2018/19 acres of Australia peas.
Looking at the charts, we think that the Canadian pea prices are bottoming. They have been holding well, despite a whole myriad of bearish news coming from India. Green pea prices in Saskatchewan are grinding higher.
On the export front, CGC data for Week 35 of the crop year (ending April 1) indicated no weekly peas exports left from the Prairie licensed facilities, as shown on the chart. This is the same situation as the week before.
According to CGC monthly exports updated in February, Canada exported roughly 100,000 tonnes of peas. China bought almost the entire quantity. However, they were completely out of the market in March by the look of our weekly chart. It’s very clear that China is unable to replace India’s market share as many were hoping for. That’s not to say that China won’t be back though…they have a history of coming back to the market in the spring.
Pricewise, we find yellow and green pea prices variable. Spot yellow peas prices delivered to Saskatchewan elevator are pegged at $6.60 CAD per bushel, steady on the week and sharply down from $8.30 CAD per bushel reported at the same time last year. In Alberta, we saw $7 CAD per bushel trade this week on the FarmLead Marketplace for both old and new crop.
Green pea prices are pegged at $8.40 CAD per bushel, up 20¢ CAD on the week and 35¢ CAD higher than the $8.05 CAD per bushel reported at the same time last year. In Alberta, we saw $9 CAD per bushel trade this week on the FarmLead Marketplace for both old and new crop.
With a neutral outlook, we’re still looking for price direction but will be looking deeper into some of the trade activity in Alberta this week to determine if this is a trend or not. Thus, you might get a sale recommendation from us this week. This is more likely to happen in green peas than yellows.
For now, on old crop 2017/18 peas, we remain at 80% sold on yellow peas, and 60% sold on green peas.
For new crop 2018/19 peas, we remain 0% sold on both yellow and green peas.
P.S. We saw terrible tragedy in Saskatchewan this weekend, with the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus getting in a significant accident. 15 members of their team passed. This one hit home for us. Feel free to read a few thoughts on what “the bus” means from Brennan’s perspective.
– Brennan, Garrett, and Adrian
April 6 – Bigger Peas Acres in Manitoba in 2018/19?
April 5 – Will Bill C-49 Be Enough to Fix Canada’s Rail Problems?
April 1 – Peas Weekly GrainCents Digest
March 29 – Like Canada, USDA Expects Lower US Peas Acreage in 2018/19
March 26 – India Exporting Peas? Not At These Prices
March 25 – Peas Weekly GrainCents Digest