Mustard prices still high heading into harvest

Brown mustard. (Peggy Greb photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

CNS Canada –– The mustard market has been moving steadily higher in recent months, reacting to projections for reduced yield from Statistics Canada, which could spur selling straight out of harvest, one buyer says.

Mustard prices gained throughout July and August, said Walter Dyck, a buyer for Olds Products. That’s largely due to estimates from Statistics Canada, he added.

As of last Friday (Aug. 21), the most recent Canada-wide projection for 2015 is 109,400 tonnes, compared to 198,500 the year prior.

Prices on the spot market for delivered elevator mustard are between 43 and 45 cents per pound for yellow, 30.5 to 32 cents per pound for brown, and 34 to 36 cents per pound for oriental, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire.

“Now as we get closer to some new crop, with harvest going on at the moment, prices might come down a little bit,” Dyck said.

Future prices will depend on whether growers plan on storing mustard, or selling it straight out of harvest, he said.

“If they need some cash flow for their farm they’ll start to move the mustard, and there will be very good demand.”

Outside of Canadian markets, Europe has the potential to keep a bearish lid on prices, Dyck said.

There is demand from Europe for Canada’s 2015 crop, he said, but only for brown mustard.

Since eastern European yellow mustard production is good this year, prices will likely not move much higher.

As for crop potential, Dyck said, despite frost, drought, and high heat, rain in July managed to salvage most crops.

“I think it should turn out a pretty good yield given those early setbacks.”

He pegged the average yield for yellow mustard to be near 700 lbs. per acre, and said oriental could be as high as 750 to 800 lbs. an acre.

Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow her at @jade_markus on Twitter.


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