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Pulse weekly outlook: Lentil exports ahead of last year’s pace

MarketsFarm — Canada’s lentil exports have been good this year, according to Marlene Boersch of Mercantile Consulting Venture in Winnipeg.

“At the end of April we were 26 per cent ahead of last year’s pace. Most of that is due to buying from India. Everybody’s surprised,” she said,

Total lentil exports were 1.16 million tonnes by April 2018 and have reached 1.47 million tonnes as of this past April, according to data from Statistics Canada.

Boersch noted India accounted for almost 65 per cent of 310,000 tonnes in increased exports.

High pigeon pea prices have made lentils from Canada quite attractive, she said, despite India’s 33 per cent tariff.

There have been good exports to Egypt, Bangladesh and Nepal as well, but sales to Turkey are half of what they were last year, Boersch said.

“Clearly not our biggest year, but certainly better than last year,” she summed up.

And that has helped to chip away at large ending stocks from three years ago, she said.

Even with 2019 being a dry year, Boersch stated there is a lot of “upward potential” that could further reduce the ending stocks.

She pointed out lentils and peas have been hampered by lacklustre growth the same as canola, due to sparse rainfall across much of the Prairies.

“They certainly need a shot of water to progress from here, or we’ll see longer-term damage and plants dying,” she said.

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

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