Edible beans see price weakness against Mexican exports

CNS Canada –– Black beans, coloured cranberry and kidney beans are leading the way as Manitoba’s edible bean crop heads to market.

According to one industry expert, prices for black beans are in the high 20s (cents per pound) while coloured cranberry and kidney beans are a bit higher. Pintos are bringing up the rear in the low-20s range.

“Those prices are weaker than last year at this time, but last year was strong. So they’re more into an average,” said Ben Friesen, a commodity purchasing manager with Legumex Walker.

Prices for pinto beans were actually in the 30 cents/lb. range last year, he noted.

Wet weather in 2014 pushed yields down on average in both Canada and the U.S., said Friesen. Producers planted 145,000 acres in the spring, according to numbers from Statistics Canada.

While acres were up from last year, he said, he estimates actual net production for the year will be down slightly, due to the weather.

Mexico’s last few crops have also been quite large — and instead of importing the beans, they’ve been exporting.

“That’s a huge difference in the bean market,” said Friesen.

A weaker Canadian dollar could help “a bit” with exports, he noted, but there are other larger factors at play.

“Mexico still (has) a lot of pinto beans to ship out so they are keeping the market in check,” he said.

Already, growers are looking ahead to next year as they formulate their growing plans. Until then, exporters will be looking to move supplies.

“We’re trying to get enough market going to get ourselves set up for next year,” said Friesen.

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

 

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