Green/yellow pea price spread to widen

Winnipeg (MarketsFarm) – Quality issues with Canada’s green pea crop are starting to show up in the cash market, with a widening spread between green and yellow peas expected going forward.

Top end green pea bids have risen by more than a dollar per bushel over the past month, while yellow peas have only increased by 15 cents, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data. Green peas are trading at up to C$9.80 per bushel, while yellows top out at C$6.58. Green peas had traded as high C$14 per bushel over the past year – roughly double the top end yellow pea price.

Quality is always a larger issue with green peas compared to yellow peas, and “people don’t yet know the quality of everything out there,” said Dale McManus, of Johnston’s Grain in Welwyn, Sask. He noted that quite a few of the green peas were bleached this year, but the extent of the damage was still unknown.

“There are many ways they can get bleached, whether it be sun or moisture,” noted McManus.

Tightening supplies of good quality green peas will support prices for the top grades, with a return to the C$14 per bushel level not out of the question, according to McManus.

However, he didn’t see anything supportive on the horizon for yellow peas. “There are a lot of yellow peas out there, but it seems to be a dead market.”

Preliminary Statistics Canada estimates peg total 2019/20 pea production in the country at 4.673 million tonnes, which compares with the 3.581 million tonnes grown the previous year. Updated production estimates will be released on Dec. 6.

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