Peas seen gaining strength in second half of export year

Green peas. (PulseCanada.com)

CNS Canada — Prices for Canadian green and yellow peas stand to increase as the 2014-15 export year rolls along, in part due to weather damage from excess moisture as well as continued demand from Asia, according to an industry-watcher.

“I’m more optimistic for yellow peas just because we can really see strong demand later on in the year that will lift those prices,” said Chuck Penner, chief analyst for LeftField Commodity Research in Winnipeg.

According to Prairie Ag Hotwire, spot prices for peas vary significantly.

Feed peas can generally be found between $4.50 and $5 a bushel while yellows are between $6.25 and $6.75/bu. Greens are the top seller, recording top bids of $8.50/bu.

“This is the time of year you see prices gradually climb higher, after harvest,” said Penner, noting greens have consistently shown the most strength.

Water damage from the wet spring and summer have impacted the crop, he said, pointing out bleaching damage to green peas is a problem because they rely on a good appearance for sales.

“Yellow peas will get hulled and split because the visual (element) isn’t as important,” Penner pointed out.

Exports should also be up due to growing demand for peas in China, India and Bangladesh, according to Penner. He noted Indian pea prices had dropped off as of late, but only because the country has been sitting on large volumes of Canadian peas that had already been bought.

“So later in the year, when those supplies are lower we’ll see more strength, especially for yellows,” said Penner.

In the first quarter of the fiscal year Canada has already exported half of what it expected to move all year, said Penner.

“We’ve been blowing away previous export volumes; (there’s) no shortage of demand,” he said, adding demand will outstrip supplies in the second half of the export year.

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

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