Lentil prices debated at Global Pulse Convention

The Western Producer’s Sean Pratt is reporting from the 2016 Global Pulse Convention in Cesme, Turkey.

CESME, Turkey — Market outlooks for green lentils, red lentils and beans were the highlights of day two of the 2016 Global Pulse Convention

Gerald Donkersgoed, vice-president of Ilta Grain, said Canada is pretty much sold out of green lentils and entirely dependent on the upcoming crop.

Red Lentils

The increase in Canadian green lentil acreage isn’t going to be that significant compared to red lentils.

Growing conditions are ideal in southwest Saskatchewan, where most of Canada’s green lentils are produced.

However, carryout from the 2015-16 crop is expected to be a paltry 38,000 tonnes. And there is going to be continued strong demand out of India due to a disappointing pigeon pea crop in that country.

“We’re going to be tight,” said Donkersgoed.

Most of the international buyers on the green lentil discussion panel felt that prices will fall immediately following harvest due to big crops forecast in Canada and the U.S.

Donkersgoed isn’t so sure. He believes buyers will be scrambling to refill the empty pipeline causing prices to stay firm until they begin to slowly erode in November or December.

Gaetan Bourassa, chief operating officer of AGT Food and Ingredients, is forecasting a similar tight supply situation for Canadian red lentils despite a record four million acres going in the ground.

That’s because India is forecast to import 1.2 million tonnes of red lentils in 2016-17, up from an estimated 800,000 tonnes this year due to disappointing domestic production of lentils and pigeon peas.

He is forecasting 2.5 million tonnes of Canadian red lentil production, two million tonnes of exports and a manageable 342,000 tonnes of carryout.

Randy Duckworth, director of worldwide activities with the U.S. Dry Bean Council, said it is shaping up to be an interesting year for a couple of classes of beans.

He is particularly excited about the potential for pinto bean prices to rise due to dramatically lower North American plantings and strong demand out of Brazil, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

A drought in Brazil reduced production of carioca, black and brown eye beans. No other region of the world produces carioca beans but pintos are a workable substitute.

There is also potential for black bean prices to increase due to Brazil’s problems and the likelihood of decreased Chinese production.

sean.pratt@producer.com

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