Prairie yellow pea cash bids could climb on U.S. drought

Yellow pea cash bids in Western Canada are steady right now, but could climb because of drought-like weather in the U.S. Midwest, an industry official said.

"If the prices in U.S. soybeans and other commodities get too high, we’ll see an increase in export demand for peas and we might not have enough supply to cover it," said Gary Keller, a grain buyer with Fill-More Seeds at Fillmore, Sask.

Yellow pea cash bids range from $7.75 per bushel to $8.50/bu. right now, Keller said. This compares to month ago numbers of $7.50 to $8.39 per bushel, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire.

Keller said cash bids for yellow peas in Western Canada managed to remain steady despite a significant increase in seeded acreage, as reflected in a June 27 Statistics Canada report.

"Old-crop inventory levels are at zero pretty much and this year there’s no carryover stocks," he said. "Even though the acres are higher, it’s still not an excessive amount."

Though Keller expects yellow pea cash bids to remain steady to higher in the long term, he said there is a possibility they could see a short-term downward price trend because of ideal growing conditions across Western Canada, he said.

"We have excellent-looking crops today. It looks like there’s going to be huge amounts of bushels coming out of these acres," he said.

But, Keller said prices will only be affected if the amount of bushels harvested this season is "way" above average. If that does happen, the price weakness will be short-lived, he said.

–Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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