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Mexican restrictions keep canaryseed prices stagnant

Western Canadian canaryseed cash bids continue to be stagnant, as efforts to remove the restrictions placed by Mexico on those shipments continue coming up short, an industry participant said.

"I think people have lost track whether canaryseed has an upside or downside potential," said Kevin Hursh, executive director of the Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

On the one hand, canaryseed prices should be firmer with the current tight stocks-to-use ratio, Hursh said. However, he also felt canaryseed stocks may not be as tight as everyone believes, with farmers holding ample supply of the commodity in on-farm bins.

The movement of canaryseed to Mexico continues to be difficult with the weed seed tolerance restrictions placed in August, he said.

Exporters were hoping that when Mexican stocks tightened up it would have forced Mexican consumers to put pressure on their government to loosen the restrictions. However, Canadian producers have been resigned to the strict conditions as Mexican officials are not interested in changing the current import rules at this time, Hursh said.

Canaryseed prices currently range between 24.5 and 26.8 cents per pound, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data. That is down about half a cent from last month.

While spot canaryseed bids remain stagnant at soft levels, new-crop bids have been hard to come by, Hursh said.

New-crop bids would be helpful in determining how many acres would be seeded this spring, as there are no exact seeding estimates so far, he said.

Many farmers are in the midst of weighing their options as to whether they will grow canaryseed or cereal crops which can receive higher value in the market, he said.

The recent uptrend in the grain markets might be enough to encourage some strength in canaryseed, but there is no guarantee farmers will be encouraged to grow the crop, Hursh said.

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