Booming pea sales expected to slow

Bangladesh a ‘binge buyer’ | Sales to country could be further evidence of poor Indian crop

Bangladesh has emerged as a top buyer of Canadian peas in 2014-15, but don’t expect that to last, says an analyst.

The country, which is sandwiched between India and Myanmar, bought 302,841 tonnes of Canadian peas over the first two months of the marketing campaign.

It ranks second behind India, which bought 389,539 tonnes during the same period.

Stat Publishing editor Brian Clancey said the country tends to be a binge buyer of Canadian peas.

“It’s not really that unusual. It has happened before,” he said.

Sales to Bangladesh during the first two months of 2014-15 have eclipsed the 186,281 tonnes sold during all of 2013-14.

The country bought $152 million worth of Canadian peas during the June to September period, which includes the last two months of the 2013-14 crop year and the first two months of 2014-15. It again ranks second behind India’s $262 million.

Clancey said the sudden interest in Canadian peas may be confirmation of what has been widely reported, that neighbouring India had a poor kharif (summer) harvest of pulses.

However, he doesn’t expect the torrid sales pace to continue through the remainder of the marketing year.

There are already signs demand is waning. Canada shipped 44,200 tonnes of bulk peas to all destinations in Week 15 of the current marketing year, down from the average of 78,950 tonnes during the previous 14 weeks.

Clancey believes exports are slowing because Bangladesh is pretty much done buying for the remainder of the year.

“I think you’ll see a big decline in Bangladesh sales. That’s what I would expect,” he said.

“It’s just a bubble and from everything I know about how they’ve done things in the past, they’ll be gone.”

The strong early-season sales to Bangladesh helped offset slumping pea sales to China.

“The decline in Chinese demand was entirely predictable because there was an accumulation of stocks in the ports earlier in the year,” said Clancey.

He believes Chinese importers have worked their way through those dock supplies and should be in the market for Canadian peas in the second half of the 2014-15 marketing campaign.

China should overtake Bangladesh and regain its title as the second biggest importer of Canadian peas by the end of the marketing year.

“Bangladesh has never ever been a consistent buyer, and there is no reason to think that would change,” said Clancey.

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