Chickpea markets await news of Indian purchases

WINNIPEG (CNS Canada) — A key player in international chickpea markets remains silent as the Canadian harvest gets underway.

“We’re still kind of in that phase where there’s a lot of orders trying to get filled, positions trying to get squared,” said David Newman of Commodious Trading Inc.

Prices have been relatively steady, Newman said, but the main factor in the market right now is India’s absence.

“We’ve been able to sell a little bit of stuff to a few other markets, but I think without India being able to actively participate, everything is kind of left to the wind,” he said.

There are two main reasons why India has pulled back from the market: The country has already made some purchases and many analysts point to a potentially large Indian domestic crop looming.

“There’s a huge amount of purchases on the books—that’s for sure,” Newman said.

“Last year, India was looking at a drought situation, and they bought everything we had. It was gone.”

Kabuli chickpea spot prices across Western Canada range from 20 to 53 cents per pound, depending on size and quality, according to data from Prairie Ag Hotwire.

Newman added that Western Canada’s chickpea crop is in mostly good condition, after a couple weeks of uncertainty stemming from excess moisture.

Statistics Canada pegs this year’s chickpea production at 106,900 tonnes, which compares with last year’s 83,500 tonnes.

Saskatchewan Agriculture’s recent crop report (as of Aug. 31) says about one percent of chickpeas have been combined.

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