New-crop mustard prices need to be competitive for 2014 acres

With a strong year for Western Canada’s mustard market in the books, a mustard buyer says new-crop prices must be competitive for growers to increase their acres in 2014.

“The story is that we need to be competitive with the price to attract planting,” said Walter Dyck, mustard buyer with Wisconsin-based Olds Products, noting crop rotation is also another factor in how many acres will be planted in 2014.

“I do think we need to increase the acreage from the low 300,000s up to the high 300,000s or low 400,000s. This is probably the year to get it done.”

In FarmLink Marketing Solutions’ October estimates, the Winnipeg grain marketing company has mustard acreage declining to 330,000 acres in 2014-15, down from 340,000 acres in 2013-14.

As for new-crop pricing, Dyck said his company is not contracting until January, but from what he knows, there have been some limited contracts available already.

“I’d be guessing a little bit to what it would take (to increase acreage), especially given the volatility in pricing in the last three or four weeks,” he said. “Yellow mustard would have to probably be in the higher 30 (cents per pound) area and the brown in the lower-to-mid 30 (cents per pound) range (all figures C$).”

Looking back on 2013, Dyck said mustard continued to show it’s a strong crop, but added that spot prices need to be fair for further advancement in 2014.

“Well, 2013 was an incredible year in terms of the yield,” he said. “Again, I think the story is mustard is a great crop to grow, but we really have to respond with a price in order to attract the new-crop acres. That’s the bottom line.”

As of Dec. 19, Prairie Ag Hotwire FOB farm yellow mustard was valued between 37 and 38 cents per pound, brown mustard at 37 cents and oriental pegged between 28 and 29 cents.

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

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