Pulse weekly outlook: Opportunities ahead for dry beans

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MarketsFarm — Ongoing trade wars between the United States, Europe, and China may open the door to new markets for Canadian edible beans.

According to reports, the European Union is bracing for tariffs from the U.S. on billions of euros worth of European goods, adding to the litany of other global trade wars. If trade relations between the U.S. and Europe sour, Canadian beans may become an attractive alternative.

However, this potential opportunity must be coupled with specific growing and harvesting conditions in order to produce marketable beans.

“Beans are a very delicate product,” said Marcos Mosnaim, a trade manager with CanPulse in Mississauga.

“If we get too much water, it’s not good. If we get too little, it’s not good. You need to have good, specific quality, depending on who the final buyer will be.”

Mosnaim emphasized that quality continues to be the driving factor for markets.

“The issue between the U.S. and Europe won’t matter if our beans aren’t good quality. Europe won’t take them.”

Packing-quality beans require certain aesthetic standards that are largely dictated by weather. “It’s less about how they cook, and more about how they look,” he said.

Canning-quality beans require a strong, solid hull for cooking. “The harvest time, the processing time, and the weather has to help.”

Canning-quality kidney beans will be around 45 to 50 cents in 2019, Mosnaim said.

Cranberry bean prices are also contingent on Europe’s large crop, and have stabilized around the 40- to 45-cent range. Mosnaim anticipated the price would remain steady unless Europe’s crop deteriorated.

Similarly, if navy beans are of good canning quality, demand will keep prices around 34 to 35 cents.

“There will be demand, so that’s a good bean to grow this year,” Mosnaim said.

The U.S. typically produces the lion’s share of navy beans imported by Europe. Previous crops were lower than expected, so there is currently very little carryover stock.

“Whatever is harvested this year will be easy to market, so long as the quality is good.”

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

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