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Mustard prices weather the weather, remain flat

CNS Canada — Although mustard prices are flat, the ill-tempered weather experienced on the Prairies this fall had little effect on the crop’s quality.

Jamie Stelmachowich of Besco Grain Ltd. at Homewood, Man. said despite the cold, wet weather, most mustard has been graded higher at No. 1 or 2.

“The seed was turned already. If it was green and it got cold, you would have seen a lot threes and fours out of it,” he said.

Richard Marleau, a farmer near Ponteix, Sask. and board chair of Mustard 21 in Saskatoon, said mustard, being an oilseed, can better handle poor weather.

“Not that it wouldn’t have any impact (on mustard), it would weather quite a bit better than a cereal or a pulse,” he said.

Prices for mustard are currently around 35 cents/lb. for yellow, with brown mustard at 30 cents/lb. and oriental mustard going for 25 cents/lb., according to Marleau.

Stelmachowich said mustard prices were doing fairly well until February 2017, when yellow mustard was about 41 cents/lb. and dropped to 36 cents/lb.

“That’s got to do with the supply and demand and other crops being so low. Our competition is lentils and peas.”

Despite the prices, mustard production in Canada increased in 2018 according to Statistics Canada. This year more than 386,400 lbs. of mustard were produced, compared to about 267,800 last year and well short of the 519,400 lbs. produced two years ago.

Nearly all of mustard grown in Canada comes from Saskatchewan, with 74 per cent of this year’s crop and Alberta with almost 25 per cent. Other provinces do grow mustard, but their crop sizes are minimal.

— Glen Hallick writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Glacier FarmMedia company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow CNS Canada at @CNSCanada on Twitter.

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