Canary seed prices expected to remain steady into winter

Canadian canary seed prices are seen as having stabilized with the completion of harvest.

Kevin Hursh, executive director for the Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewan, said prices will likely continue to stay in their current range well into the winter.

“Prices have been very stable,” he said, noting prices will likely remain in the 23 to 24 cents per pound area. “Any analysis I’ve looked at hasn’t suggested much deviation from that.”

Looking ahead to the 2014-15 crop, Hursh said canary seed doesn’t have the room to see a large increased acreage number.

“We don’t have room for a huge acreage of canary seed,” he said. “If prices are too high, we’ll have too high of an acreage, and that would push prices back down into line.”

FarmLink Marketing Solutions, a grain marketing company in Winnipeg, released its 2014-15 acreage estimates last month and has pegged next year’s seeded area at 350,000 acres, up from 300,000 this year, but still below the five-year average of 384,000 acres.

As for demand, Hursh said Mexico remains one of Canada’s biggest importers of canary seed, but noted he’s worried about Europe’s slowing demand.

“Demand is slackening from Europe and that’s probably an issue we’ve ignored,” he said. “Over time, it seems like demand has continued to dwindle out of Europe, and it’s difficult to get a handle on what’s causing that.”

— Brandon Logan writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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