Only poor-quality chickpeas available to be bought

Kabuli chickpeas have seen an increase in price over the past week, as values have found strength from a lack of good-quality supplies.

“There isn’t a lot of good product left in Canada for this year,” said Les Aubin of Walker Seeds at Tisdale, Sask. “If regular buyers are going to take anything, they need better quality than what is available.”

Despite the general poor quality of product, Aubin said there was still some interest, which was helping push prices in an upward direction.

“If you can get some good No. 1 (quality) product, there are certainly some opportunities into Europe,” he said. “The Europeans are probably the biggest buyer right now.”

There hasn’t been much in the way of demand from the Middle East of late, with new-crop supplies from India in the marketplace as well, Aubin added.

Poor quality isn’t only affecting demand. It is also affecting western Canadian producers’ planting operations, as there is not much in the way of good quality seed available to go into the ground this spring.

“There isn’t a lot of good quality seed right now, and with the prices of more conventional crops, producers have been shying away from chickpea acres,” Aubin said.

Current elevator deliveries for Kabuli chickpeas in Western Canada are bringing anywhere from C27.5 to 36 cents per pound, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire. That’s between one and five cents per pound higher than one week ago.

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