Pulse weekly outlook: Chickpea acreage expected lower

Chickpeas. (CalypsoArt/iStock/Getty Images)

MarketsFarm — High global prices in the 2017-18 marketing year caused a global spike in chickpea production in 2018.

It’s since taken a while for consumers to “chew through supplies,” which has put pressure on prices, according to Chuck Penner of LeftField Commodities.

In a kabuli chickpea global outlook webinar hosted by the Global Pulse Confederation, Penner explained that in the fall of 2017, bids for producers in the U.S. and Canada were around US$1,200 per tonne. A year later, bids sank to US$200 per tonne, in a response to large global production carryout.

In the upcoming growing season, key chickpea-growing countries are reducing planted acreage. In 2020, global production is estimated to be around 1.76 million tonnes — considerably lower than the 3.2 million produced in 2018 and the 2.37 million produced in 2019.

Due to the significant reduction in planted acres, Penner expected carryout stocks to “become more balanced” within the next six months.

In particular, Canada’s seeded area for chickpeas is expected to be about 40 per cent lower than in 2019, totalling around 250,000 acres. Statistics Canada is set to release its first crop area estimates on May 7.

Similarly, the U.S. is expected to plant about 300,000 acres, down from approximately 445,000 in 2019.

In Mexico, approximately 500,000 acres of chickpeas were planted in 2019. That’s projected to decrease by about half in the current growing year to total around 247,000 acres.

“We’re seeing a combination of production declines in major countries, back down to averages from earlier in the decade,” said Penner.

“That’s a much more manageable situation in terms of supply levels. That means some relief from heavy supply that has weighed on prices through the past few years.”

— Marlo Glass reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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