Canada Markets

Pulses Prices Continue to Climb

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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The price of lentils continues to inch higher, although the upward trajectory has slowed. Price indications of large green lentils delivered to Saskatchewan plants is reported at 68.94 cents per pound and red lentils are averaging 52.28 cents/lb, both up 76% from year-ago levels. (DTN graphic by Nick Scalise)

Lentil prices remain at record prices, with large-green lentils and red lentil prices both priced at levels which are 76% higher than year-ago levels, according to a combination of Saskatchewan Agriculture and data.

Yellow peas, at $12.07/bu, are 51.3% above year-ago volumes, while green peas bids are reported to average at $9.18/bu, up 6% from last year.

This year will certainly be a test of supplies, with little-or-no incentive to hold stocks. Statistics Canada's official export data as of the end of November would suggest that nearly 50% of the estimated 2015/16 lentil supplies and 36% of the estimated dry pea supplies have been exported, which suggests that supplies could dwindle real fast in 2016.

New crop prices are also attractive, with No. 1 lentils (all varieties) ranging from 30 to 45 cents/lb, while No. 1 green and yellow peas are ranging from $8.80 to $9.50/bu. Acres will go up, although early indications suggests that seed availability will be a limiting factor.

2016 has been named by the United Nations as the International Year of Pulses, with stated objectives to:

-- Raise awareness about the important role of pulses in sustainable food production and healthy diets and their contribution to food security and nutrition;

-- Promote the value and utilization of pulses throughout the food system, their benefits for soil fertility and climate change and for combating malnutrition;

-- Encourage connections throughout the food chain to further global production of pulses, foster enhanced research, better utilize crop rotations and address the challenges in the trade of pulses.

Surprisingly, a local Calgary television news item on food inflation interviewed people in a mall food court on how they are dealing with the rising cost of food, given Canada's weakening currency, concluding that three out of five or 60% would not consider trying pulses as a means of addressing higher food costs.


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