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Pulse weekly outlook: India market likely pushing up prices

Late monsoons pressure pigeon pea crops

MarketsFarm — Faced with weather concerns surrounding its pigeon pea crop, India has been very likely buying lentils from Canada, said MarketsFarm analyst Mike Jubinville.

Over the last month, prices for large green lentils have jumped 25 per cent because of issues with pigeon peas, said Jubinville. Green lentils can be substituted for the pigeon peas.

“That crop is grown during the summer and that got off to a dry start,” he said. “The monsoons came late and now into the harvest season, the monsoon rains aren’t stopping.”

Just in the last few weeks, prices for large green lentils rose from 19-20 cents/lb. to 24-25 cents. “Once India starts buying, other buyers take note,” Jubinville said.

However, he saw any further upside to large green lentils being limited at the moment as the crop from the Black Sea region, especially Russia, is about to enter the global market.

The current situation in the Middle East, particularly with Turkey having invaded northern Syria, is cause for concern. Geopolitical uncertainty in the region, which consumes large amounts of lentils, could limit any further gains, he said.

Also, the Canadian harvest has been a difficult one this year with cold, wet conditions causing delays. In turn, that’s created concerns over the quality of Canadian-grown lentils, Jubinville said, noting later in the year there could be more upward movement.

— Glen Hallick reports for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

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