Few concerns result in steady-to-weak flax bids

(Resource News International) — Lack of concern from end-users, and ideas that acreage to the crop may be higher than anticipated, have resulted in cash bids for flaxseed holding steady to being a bit easier than a few weeks ago.

“There have been few, if any indications, of end-users having trouble sourcing either old or new crop flaxseed,” said Richard Zacharias, general manager with Prairie Flax Products near MacGregor, Man.

There continues to be concern about crop development in general across Western Canada, he said, but there are also ideas circulating that the area to the crop may have been greater than what Statistics Canada indicated in its June 23 acreage survey update.

“A lot more flaxseed may have been put into the ground due to the lateness of the planting in Manitoba,” Zacharias said.

He acknowledged that a lot of producers like to seed flaxseed early in order to achieve better yield potential, but may have still seeded the crop late, given the lack of alternatives and the fact that flaxseed can handle the cold a bit better in the fall.

Statistics Canada in its June 23 report pegged Canada’s 2009 flaxseed acreage base at 1.72 million acres, which compares with the first seeding intentions report from the government agency in April of 1.725 million acres. In 2008, 1.56 million acres were seeded to flaxseed in Canada.

Zacharias didn’t venture a guess at how much higher the area to flaxseed was, but indicated it was definitely up, given that new-crop bids in the area of $11 a bushel and higher were a pretty good incentive.

“Certainly the bids for flaxseed are lower than the peak seen during the 2008-09 growing season, but they are way better than a couple of years ago when bids only hit a high of $6.75 a bushel,” he said.

According to Prairie Ag Hotwire data, flaxseed bids, depending on the province, peaked in the $19-$20 per bushel range during the 2008-09 crop year.

Cash bids for old-crop flaxseed delivered to the elevator in Saskatchewan, as reported by Prairie Ag Hotwire, currently range from $10.87 to $12 a bushel, in Manitoba from $11.05 to $11.81 and in Alberta around $10.57. New-crop bids for flaxseed in Saskatchewan presently range from $9.78 to $11.50 and in Manitoba from $11.25 to $11.50.

Cash bids for old-crop flaxseed delivered to the elevator in Saskatchewan on June 16, as reported by Prairie Ag Hotwire, ranged from $10.87 to $12 a bushel, in Manitoba from $11.05 to $12.03 and in Alberta from $10.57 to $11.33. New-crop bids for flaxseed in Saskatchewan at that time ranged from $9.78 to $11.50 a bushel.

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