Chickpeas see gains on global concerns

Poor crops being grown in Australia and Turkey have led to a significant increase in the value of chickpeas in Western Canada.

Omer Al-Katib, director of corporate affairs and investor relations with Alliance Grain Traders in Regina, said the two nations have had separate problems this year, which have led to a jump in the price of chickpeas.

“Overall acreage in Australia is down and production in Turkey is below normal, so a number of key origins for growing product are down a bit in terms of production,” Al-Katib said.

Not only are a number of key global players looking at production shortfall, Statistics Canada reported that only 105,000 acres were planted to chickpeas this year, down from 205,000 acres one year ago.

Fortunately, Al-Katib said, stocks wouldn’t be too low in Canada; the crop is thought to be in good shape in most parts of Saskatchewan.

“Acres are a way down from last year, so you do depend on some yield gains to offset some of those shortages,” he said.

“The southeast corner of the province, with all of the moisture in the spring, is not as good, but outside of that, things look pretty good.”

Al-Katib said most of the demand for the pulse crop was coming for Turkey and nations in the Middle East.

Elevator bids for chickpeas in Western Canada are bringing as much as 48.5 cents per pound, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire. That’s 6.5 cents higher than one week ago, and 12.5 cents higher than a month ago.

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