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Flax bids hold firm as demand improves

(Resource News International) — Cash bids for flaxseed in Western Canada have been holding steady and in some cases improving slightly, as the demand component has also remained consistent.

The reluctance of producers to deliver flaxseed into the cash pipeline has helped to keep values firm, but there has also been a bit of an improvement in the demand equation, which has raised bids in hopes of attracting additional supplies, said Richard Zacharias, general manager of Prairie Flax Products at Portage la Prairie, Man.

“There are good levels of flaxseed being moved into the U.S. at present, which in turn has helped,” he said.

There are also rumblings that Canadian flaxseed may soon be heading back to Europe now that inspection protocols are close to being in place, Zacharias said.

The speculation in the flax market is that a couple of companies are willing to test the new protocols that have been implemented that would allow the flaxseed to enter destinations in the European Union, he said.

However, these companies are also aware that while the testing in Canada may not show any genetically modified contamination, retesting of the commodity once it gets to its destination may prove otherwise and in turn the flax would be rejected.

“It’s a bit of a gamble, but some are willing to take that chance,” he said.

Canadian flaxseed movement to Asian destinations is also continuing at a steady pace, helping to put some demand on the table, Zacharias said.

Cash bids for flaxseed delivered to the elevator in Saskatchewan, based on data from Prairie Ag Hotwire, currently range from $8.39 to $8.81 a bushel, in Manitoba from $8.56 to $8.76 and in Alberta from $7.67 to $8.33.

On Nov. 20, cash bids for flaxseed, delivered to the elevator in Saskatchewan, ranged from $8.25 to $8.51 a bushel, in Manitoba from $8.56 to $9.04 and in Alberta from $7.67 to $8.53.

At the end of October, cash bids for flaxseed, delivered to the elevator in Saskatchewan, ranged from $7 to $7.50 a bushel, in Manitoba from $8.35 to $8.55 and in Alberta from $7.92 to $8.13.

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