Chickpeas rise on global weather concerns

(Commodity News Service Canada) — Chickpea prices have been trending higher over the past month, with weather problems in some of top-producing nations a key reason for the strengthening of the market.

Omer Al-Katib, director of corporate affairs and investor relations with Alliance Grains in Regina, said in an e-mail that production concerns outside Canada have allowed prices to move in an upward direction, albeit limited.

“Recent weather concerns in India during the growing season of the kabuli variety and flooding in Australia during harvest of the desi variety have lifted chickpea values somewhat with Canada chickpea production down somewhat from 2009 levels,” Al-Katib said.

Chickpeas in Canada yielded 1,489 pounds per acre in 2010, according to Statistics Canada.

The U.S. was reporting strong production for the 2010 year, which was limiting advances in the market, he added.

Al-Katib said traders and producers were not having any trouble selling their product.

“Demand is always there,” he said. “Many (South Asian) and Middle East markets are showing stable demand for product. There is also good demand for smaller varieties like B-90 chickpeas, which are preferred by canners and hummus manufactures.”

With prices trending higher, Al-Katib expected to see more acres planted to chickpeas than the 205,000 in 2010, according to Statistics Canada.

Early indications are for a larger crop in the U.S., he said, but added “it’s still early for growers to make their planting decisions, but more will become clear in the weeks to come.”

Al-Katib said he expected to see prices continue in an upward trend over the next little while, mainly because of the solid demand.

Elevator deliveries for kabuli chickpeas were bringing as much as 37.5 cents per pound, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire, one cent higher than a week ago. Desi chickpeas are bringing 27.5 cents per pound, unchanged from a week ago.

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