Better canaryseed bids unlikely, more acres possible

(Resource News International) –– Canaryseed prices are unlikely to show any improvement, especially if acres increase as expected and the demand remains lacklustre.

Canaryseed bids in Western Canada can currently be found around the 17 cents per pound area, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data.

Kevin Hursh, executive director of the Canaryseed Development Commission and a Saskatchewan canaryseed producer, said he had been holding out for better prices but lost faith that prices would increase.

As a result, he said, he recently sold the last of his canaryseed stocks for 18 cents per pound.

While the current bids are not all that attractive from a historical standpoint, canaryseed still looks very good compared to most competing crops, especially durum.

Canadian farmers seeded 315,000 acres of canaryseed in 2009-10 and early government and industry estimates have placed seedings in 2010-11 at 350,000 to 365,000 acres.

However, weather conditions closer to seeding time could lead to adjustments in how much area is actually seeded to canaryseed.

“Even at current (price) levels the acres may be overdone,” said Hursh. “We don’t need a very big shift into canaryseed acres before we badly oversupply that market.”

From a demand standpoint, Hursh said canaryseed movement has been slower than normal this year, with most end-users content to buy on a hand-to-mouth basis.

While canaryseed is a crop that can see prices spike when the supplies are tight, Hursh didn’t expect that would be the case this year.

He expected enough acres would be seeded to keep the end-users waiting on the sidelines for further reductions in prices.

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