Canada’s small chickpea supplies can expect to receive solid prices this year, as supply tightness in other countries should lead to an increased demand for what little is available in North America.
The Canadian chickpea crop was down sharply on the year, according to the latest Statistics Canada production report which pegged production in Saskatchewan at only 53,900 tonnes. That compares with 128,300 in 2010.
Part of the reason behind the smaller crop was the adverse conditions at planting time, and the fact that chickpeas are a long-season crop and need to go in the ground earlier than was possible this year.
While Canada’s crop usually doesn’t hold much sway in directing the global chickpea trade, tighter supplies elsewhere had end users looking for a decent-sized crop out of North America this year to “tide them over until the Australian and Indian crops come off,” said Chuck Penner of LeftField Commodity Research in Winnipeg.
“Traders are looking for chickpeas almost anywhere they can find them, so this will add a little more fuel to that fire,” he said on the smaller Canadian production and rising global prices.
If chickpea prices stay where they are, and conditions co-operate next spring, Penner expected to see an increase in chickpea plantings next spring.
Currently, 10-mm kabuli chickpeas are priced as high as 48.5 cents per pound, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data, while desis are bringing as much as 28 cents per pound.
Both varieties are trading at their highest levels of year, having posted sharp increases over the past month.