New-crop mustard contracts extremely varied

CNS Canada — With January nearing an end, Canadian new-crop contracts are slowly starting to hit the market — and Walter Dyck, mustard buyer with Wisconsin-based Olds Products, said contracted mustard prices have varied greatly in value.

Prairie Ag Hotwire’s Friday report has delivered-to-elevator 2014-15 bids for yellow mustard pegged at 32 to 34 cents per pound, while brown is valued at 25.5 to 27 cents.

“I was up at the crop show (last week in Saskatoon) and I saw some pricing ideas, but not much from the dealers. I know the brokers had some prices (through the dealers), and I noticed they were down quite sharply from a week or two earlier,” Dyck said.

“We started contracting this week ourselves. In Canada, we’re at 38 cents (per pound) on yellow mustard and 33 cents on the brown mustard.”

While it’s still early, the initial response from growers regarding new-crop pricing has been generally positive, he added.

During the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission’s annual meeting at the Western Canadian Crop Production Show in Saskatoon, Kevin Dick of All Commodities Trading said Canadian mustard acreage is expected to increase by about 20-25 per cent, to 425,000 acres.

“I think it’s possible in light of high inventories of other grains that are currently in bins,” Dyck said. “I think it’s very possible that it will move up to that level for Canada, as historically, it’s not a huge increase by any stretch. The last two years we’ve been down in the mid-300,000s, so it does represent an increase.”

As for current crop prices, yellow and brown mustard have seen slight price declines since mid-December, Dyck said.

“Well, I think it just ties into what the other commodities are doing. They seem to be falling, so I think the bid levels for mustard may have dropped in light of that,” he said.

“There’s more supply out there than current demand and I think that’s also probably what it’s tied to. The whole industry seems to be in a little bit of a downtrend and the bids are reflecting that for mustard now.”

According to grain prices on Johnston’s Daily, yellow mustard is valued at 35 cents per pound; brown is pegged at 34 cents.

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

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