India's agriculture ministry reported as of Jan. 15 that rabi (winter crop) planting of all crops has reached 161.1 million acres. This is up 1.6% from the same date last year, with the planted area of several crops, including wheat and chickpeas, already reaching record levels.
Total planting of all pulses estimated at 40.1 million acres is up 2% from last year, led by a 3.5% increase in chickpea acres, at 27 million acres, and a 2.5% increase in lentil acres at 4 million acres.
While it is early in the season, the India Meteorological Department reports rainfall over the Jan. 1-13 period to be 171% of the long-term average for the entire country, although there remains varying conditions across the country with rainfall in the South Peninsula at 706% of normal while East and North-East India has seen precipitation at 74% of the long-term average. Of the 36 regions of the country reported, one has received normal moisture, 20 have received excess to large-excess amounts while 15 have received amounts ranging from a deficient amount to no precipitation at all, which bears watching.
Two major lentil producing regions, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh fall in an area rated large deficient amounts of precipitation, receiving 60 to 99% below normal.
Bulk exports of dry peas from Canada were reported at just 13,100 metric tons (mt) in week 23, down sharply from the previous week, while cumulative exports are reported at 1.5393 million metric tons (mmt), up 16% from the same week last crop year. Bulk lentil exports were reported at 200 mt for the week, while cumulative bulk exports are reported at 500,300 mt, up 52% from the previous crop year.
According to a combination of Saskatchewan Agriculture data and Statpub.com data, yellow pea bids delivered to Saskatchewan plants have strengthened to $9.75/bushel (bu), the strongest bid reported since July 2016. It is interesting to note that weekly data from Saskatchewan Agriculture shows yellow pea bids above $9/bu only 12.5% of the time during the past 10 years. Green pea bids have fallen slightly to $9/bu, down from the December high of $9.83/bu.
Large green lentil bids are reported at $33.72/cwt delivered to Saskatchewan plants, showing modest strength in recent weeks and down from a $36.50/cwt high reached in early November which was the highest price seen in three years. Small red lentils have seen strength over the past week, reported at $26/cwt, but down from the $29.13 high reached in November which was the highest reported in over four years.
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