Mustard prices feeling squeeze from acreage data

Yellow mustard. (Photo courtesy Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission)

CNS Canada — Mustard prices are moving lower in anticipation of higher acres in Canada this year, a market participant says.

“I think the increase in acres off of last year will definitely have an influence on prices. I think it already has,” said Walter Dyck of Olds Products.

Last year, Canadian farmers planted 345,000 acres of mustard, and this year they are expected to seed 430,000 acres, Statistics Canada data said.

But Dyck noted the market will be closely watching how well the growing season progresses, which will be reflected in prices going forward.

“A lot of the seeding has to be done, so we’re a long way away from having the mustard in bins,” he said.

“I think if we see an outlook in the growing season where things don’t look favourable, then you’ll see spot prices very likely spike upwards.”

Demand has remained strong for Canadian mustard, Dyck added, except from Europe, which has been using more of its own production.

Exports are slightly behind last year’s pace, at 13,900 tonnes as of April 24, compared with 15,600 last year, according to data from the Canadian Grain Commission.

Spot prices have moved lower as-of-late, but many producers have already sold their supplies, Dyck said, taking advantage of stronger prices in December and January.

“I think a lot of it has moved into the hands of dealers or processors,” he said.

Prairie mustard spot prices are between 37 and 46 cents per pound for yellow, 33 to 35 for brown, and 48.5 and 51 for oriental, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data.

Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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