Today, we got the USDA’s announcement of what 2018/19 dry edible peas acres are going to be in America. Here’s our breakdown of the numbers.
The USDA’s Prospective Plantings report showed the market that American farmers will plant 908,000 acres of peas in 2018. This is 20% lower than last year’s 1.13 million acres of peas that were seeded for the 2017/18 crop year.
Compared to the five-year average of 1.09 million acres, 2018/19 American peas acres are 17% lower.
Going into the report, there was no average US guesstimate for the US peas crop, but the reduction was widely expected, given the pullback in prices thanks to India’s 50% import tax. Pulses, including peas, are the major losers in the battle for acres worldwide.
In breaking the US acreage down state by state, here’s what’s notable. In brackets, the first number is the change year-over-year, while the second number is the change compared to the five-year average.
- Montana: 390,000 acres (down 26% YoY; down 28% from 5-year average)
- North Dakota: 360,000 acres (down 15% YoY; down 7% from 5-year average)
- Washington: 56,000 acres (down 8% YoY; down 34% from 5-year average)
Overall, this is the first pass at acres. But if you look at the chart, you can tell that, over the past five years, the USDA has often raised acres by the end of the growing season.
One could easily argue that we’re finding a new supply-demand equilibrium which will help level prices out. The next thing we’ll be watching for is the likes of China coming back to the market in the spring (it’s a bit of a seasonal thing).