Flax crops look good, prices pressured

(Resource News International) — Flaxseed crops in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are in good shape for the time being, and prospects for a large crop should keep prices under pressure, according to market sources.

“Right now, if the weather stays positive, the flax crops look fantastic,” said Richard Zacharias, general manager of Prairie Flax Products at Portage la Prairie, Man.

“We’re just crossing our fingers and hoping the weather will stay with us.”

While problem areas remain across the Prairies, Zacharias said flaxseed crops were particularly good in western Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan, where the bulk of the flaxseed is grown.

From a marketing perspective, Zacharias said there was not much activity going on as far as new-crop pricing was concerned.

End users and farmers were both holding off on making any commitments while the crops were still growing, he said.

“If the crop does come in the way it’s looking now, prices will come down,” said Zacharias.

Old-crop bids were generally in the $10 to C$12 range depending on the day, he said.

There’s no shortage of old-crop flaxseed supplies either, he said, which should also serve to keep the overall market under pressure.

Western Canadian farmers seeded 1.72 million acres to flaxseed this spring, which compares with 1.56 million the previous year, according to the latest Statistics Canada data.

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