Mustard spot prices seen steady into 2014

Western Canadian spot prices for mustard are seen remaining quiet, but strong, and current prices aren’t expected to make any major moves higher or lower in the near-term.

As of Monday (Nov. 25), Prairie Ag Hotwire has yellow mustard valued at 37 to 38 cents per pound, brown at 36 to 37 cents and oriental at 27 to 29 cents.

“I think the market has been somewhat quiet as far as looking for new prices,” said Walter Dyck, mustard buyer with Wisconsin-based Olds Products. “There has been a lot of deliveries, at least in our company, on contracted mustard, but not so much interest in moving additional material.”

Much of the price strength seen in mustard is due to stable global export demand for the Canadian product and expectations of low carry-out stocks.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has exports for 2013-14 at 120,000 tonnes, unchanged from the previous year. Meanwhile, carry-out stocks for 2013-14 are expected to be 30,000 tonnes, even lower than last year’s 36,000.

“There’s really no change from previous years in terms of the demand for yellow and brown mustard from the U.S.,” Dyck said.

“I think Europe grew enough yellow mustard, so there doesn’t seem to be that much interest in Canadian yellow there, but the market for Canadian brown is largely in Western Europe, so I think that market will continue to be very strong for Canadian growers.”

Looking forward to the New Year, Dyck said contracting for the 2014-15 crop should start early in January and he expects demand to continue to be strong for the brown and yellow varieties.

“Likely for our company, we like to start contracting in the New Year, right around the Crop Production Show in Saskatoon,” he said. “I also see continued strong shipments from Canada, and that demand is definitely not going away.”

— Brandon Logan writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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