As we enter the 2017/18 crop year, No. 1 large green lentils are bid at $40.43/cwt delivered Saskatchewan processing plants, the lowest seen in almost two years. This is down from the same week in 2016 that is shown at $46.17/cwt, although still well-above the previous five-year average of $31.43/cwt for this week. The current bid is well within the current O/N/D bid range reported by statpub.com ranging from $35 to $43/cwt, suggesting that prices may find support at or near current levels. Over the past five years, prices have firmed over the month of August in two of the five years, despite harvest pressure, while dropping in two of the five years and remaining steady in one year. On average over the past five years, large greens slipped only $.29/cwt over the month of August.
Red lentils are bid at $23.09/cwt, a recovery from lows reached earlier in the month that saw the lowest price reached in over three years, reported at $21.41/cwt. This remains below the five-year average for this week calculated at $26.73/cwt, while remains within the range indicated for O/N/D delivery of $20 to $24/cwt, as quoted by statpub.com. Over the past five years, the producer bid for red lentils fell over the month of August in three of the five years, averaging $.54/cwt.
Market watchers will be closely watching the Indian pulse production in 2017/18 for factors that will affect demand. As of July 28, Indian producers had seeded 28.4 million acres of all summer or kharif pulses, an area which the Hindu Business Line reports is 42.5% higher than normal for this week, while good rains may lead to increased confidence when it comes to planting the larger winter or Rabi crop.
The crop condition index for Saskatchewan lentils is calculated at 110 for the week ending July 24, which compares to 151 last year and the five-year average of 162.2. The closest condition index found for this week is 2015, when the index was calculated at 121 for the same week. Yield that particular year is estimated at 1,392 lbs/ac, or 5% below the previous five-year average.
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