Prairie pea values climb on nervousness

(Resource News International) — Edible pea prices in Western Canada have climbed significantly in recent weeks, with much of the strength associated with nervousness over the crop.

Some industry sources linked the strength in yellow peas to the fact India has stepped up to the plate and has been a good buyer.

“The way I understand it, the C+F (cost and freight) price in India does not support the $7-a-bushel yellow pea price that is available to producers in Western Canada at present,” said Cam Laxdal, general manager with Lakeside Global Grains in Winnipeg.

Laxdal linked some of the price strength to the absence of farmer deliveries, but also to the fact that there is a lot of nervousness over the pea crop by both buyers and sellers due to the lateness of its growth.

“Certainly the pea crop is anywhere from two to three weeks behind normal in development,” Laxdal said, explaining the concern.

Laxdal said if there is a frost in August, or a wet, cool harvest season, then there could be some additional upward price action in the cash market for both yellows and greens.

“However, there also could be a situation in which Western Canada sees a long enough fall that producers are still able to get the pea crop off in reasonable shape,” he said. “If that is the case, then there is the potential for prices to soften significantly.”

Laxdal also cautioned that based on feedback from producers, the pea crop at present is not looking all that bad, despite being behind.

“Some of the reports I have been getting from the field are that the pea crops are as good as they have ever been,” he said.

Old-crop yellow pea bids in Western Canada, based on Prairie Ag Hotwire data, currently range from $6 to $7.02 a bushel, with greens in the $7.40-$7.75 per bushel area. New-crop yellow pea bids currently range from $6 to $7.02 a bushel while greens were in the $7-$7.75 range.

Yellow pea bids in Western Canada at the end of June were $5.75 to $6 a bushel, while greens ranged from $7.75 to $8.75. New-crop bids for yellow peas at the end of June were $5.40 to $6 a bushel while greens were $6.50 to $7.75.

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