U.S. beans will be on the rise for 2019: analyst

Brian Clancey of marketing agency Stat Publishing predicts the acreage shift that played out between chickpeas and dry edible beans this year will shift again next year.

He said several factors lead him to that conclusion.

Canadian growers ship large numbers of beans and chickpeas to the U.S., and the production and seeded acreage numbers south of the border can greatly affect Canadian farmer prices and next year’s seeding intentions.

Clancey said chickpea production has historically been low in the U.S. However, this year chickpea production became the most important category included in the dry bean production estimates issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month.

That means the USDA forecast for a 1.71-million-tonne harvest of dry, edible beans and chickpeas is actually about 1.2 million tonnes, down from 1.36 million last year, once chickpeas are removed from the calculations, Clancey said.

Meanwhile edible bean inventories are also on the rise, and currently sit at about 366,000 tonnes, he said.

“So if you think about that, if inventory is rising, that in and of itself would be a disincentive to grow beans. But the fact that when they (farmers) were making seeding decisions, chickpeas were at record high levels for price, grower prices, it attracted a lot of farmers.”

However, since then, chickpeas have taken farmers on a roller-coaster ride posting record high and historic low prices, which Clancey thinks will discourage chickpea production for the growing season ahead.

“That will discourage chickpea production next year, so I expect quite a drop in chickpea area in 2019,” he said.

“It creates lots of potential that dry, edible bean area will go up next year.”

He said Canada exports almost of its edible crop, with little carry-over to worry about.

Clancey the USDA will break out chickpeas in a separate category in its December harvest break down.

In Statistics Canada’s September estimates, it reported dry bean production at 345,300 tonnes, an increase of 7.1 percent over 2017, which follows a 32 percent increase from 2017 to 2016 (322,400 tonnes to 244,300 tonnes).

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