Pea crops strong, but prices falter

File photo of a pea crop south of Ethelton, Sask. on Aug. 1, 2019. (Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm — Pea crops across the Prairies are expected to be in good condition ahead of the harvest.

“As we go along with the sunshine and heat, the pulses are coming in fairly quickly,” said Darwin Hamilton of Kalshea Commodities in Winnipeg.

“Without any excess moisture, the quality should be good this year.”

Pea prices have waned slightly as market participants anticipate a price drop when the new crop comes off the field.

“They expect prices to come down if we have a big harvest,” said Hamilton.

While demand from China for yellow peas has remained steady, China has started buying green peas from other countries, which has limited a rally for prices. However, China remains one of the biggest buyers for Canadian peas.

“That has kept old-crop prices strong until now,” Hamilton said.

According to price data from Agfinity Inc. in May, yellow pea prices were between $7.30 and $7.45 per bushel, and greens were around $11.50 per bushel. Now, prices have settled around $7 per bushel for yellows and between $8-$8.50 for greens.

Despite lower export interest from China, overall pea exports grew during the 2019-20 marketing year.

According to the Canadian Grain Commission, over 2.5 million tonnes of peas were exported. That’s about a 19 per cent increase from the previous marketing year, when pea exports totalled about 2.1 million tonnes.

— Marlo Glass reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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