Canadian peas holding range ahead of coming production

Winnipeg, April 7 – A policy extension from major pulse buyer, India, brought short-term support to Canada’s dry pea market, but values are hanging in a range.

In late March, India extended its fumigation policy requirement for three months, allowing the market some breathing room, though officials are still hoping to come to a long term solution.

“I think there’s been a little uptick, I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but there’s pretty good demand,” said Tony Gaudet, president of Belle Pulses Ltd.

Pea exports reported by the Canadian Grain Commission are well-above year-ago levels, with the most recent report, released April 7, showing exports to date at 2.6 million tonnes, compared with the same time frame a year prior, when 1.9 million tonnes had moved.

That strong demand is due in part to the “shelf” that dry pea prices sit on, said Bobby Leavins, operations manager at Rayglen Commodities.

“They never went on the run that lentils did; they obviously didn’t come crashing down as much as lentils did,” Leavins said.

“The values it’s being traded at seem to work for both sides,” he said as the market is at a level where growers are willing to sell and buyers are willing to purchase.

Western Canadian spot prices for green pea prices are sitting around C$7.65 to $8.50 a bushel, while yellows are trading around $6.70 to $8.75, data from Prairie Ag Hotwire says.

“We don’t expect to see that [prices] changing until we’ve got a better idea on what this year’s crop looks like,” Leavins said.

Projections from Agriculture Canada’s supply and disposition report peg this year’s seeded area at close to 4.2 million acres, which is about on par with last year’s level.

“And I think that if they broke them down by class it’d be mostly yellows,” Leavins said.

Prices for yellow peas are at slightly higher levels in some areas, as supplies are tighter, which will likely lend itself to a higher production.

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