Yellow pea prices have firmed to $9.18/bushel delivered Saskatchewan plants, according to Statpub.com. This is a recovery from harvest lows that dipped slightly below $7/bushel and the highest price seen since late July 2016. Some Saskatchewan buyers are promoting $9 FOB farm.
Ending stocks for 2016/17 could end significantly tighter than current government estimates would indicate. As of week 40, or the week ending May 7, 3.078 million metric tons has been exported through licensed facilities, up 43.4% from the same 40-week period in the previous crop year. This volume is already close to the 3.2 mmt export target released by AAFC in April for the crop year, which includes exports from all sources -- licensed and unlicensed. In 2015/16, approximately 89% of total exports originated through licensed facilities.
This could signal the return to extremely tight stocks in 2017/18. Given Statistics Canada estimate for a 5.9% drop in seeded acres to roughly 4 million acres along with AAFC's 2017/18 yield and harvested acre estimates, production could fall to roughly 4 mmt in 2017. This indicates that crop year supplies would be well below the 5 mmt of supplies available in the current crop year, assuming 2016/17 ending stocks or 2017/18 beginning stocks in the 400,000 metric ton range.
Once again, May's AAFC supply and demand estimates should show a more favorable supply and demand balance than shown in earlier estimates which may be supportive for prices.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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