Just days after Statistics Canada released its first production estimates showing sharp year-over-year gains in production following the drought-reduced crops of 2021, Saskatchewan Agriculture released its weekly prices that show a week-over-week price increase for several of the special crops and pulse crops. This is seen while combines are running over much of the Prairies and may point to concerns about the production estimates, which will be updated by Statistics Canada on Sept. 14 to incorporate model data generated during August.
Here's a breakdown on the government's price findings during the past week, focusing on select crops.
During the past week ending Aug. 31, brown mustard increased by $1.25/cwt to $89.50/cwt, the first increase in 11 weeks and down from a high of $198/cwt reached in late-April/early May. Price remains significantly higher than the $50 reported one year ago and the five-year average for this week at $36.02/cwt.
Yellow mustard increased by $4.75/cwt during the week to $98.75/cwt, down from a high of $178.67/cwt reached in May. This compares to $60 one year ago and the five-year average of $41.13/cwt. Oriental mustard increased by $4.50/cwt during the past week to $97.75/cwt, down from a high of $110.67/cwt reached in May. This compares to $39/cwt this time last year and the five-year average for this week at $30.11/cwt. This move follows Statistics Canada estimates that show total mustard production increasing by 223% from 2021 to 195,686 mt, up 65.7% from the five-year average. In addition, Statistics Canada added 11,777 mt to production estimates for 2020 and 2021.
The Saskatchewan canary seed bid rose by $0.25/cwt during the past week to $40/cwt, the first week-over-week rise on 10 weeks, down from a high of $60 last reached in December. This is down from the $57 reported this time last year while well-above the five-year average of $30.20/cwt for this week. This week, Statistics Canada's first look at production pegged production at 140,276 mt, up 8.9% from last year while down 15.6% from the five-year average. In addition, Statistics Canada made prior-year adjustments that added 56,033 mt to production estimates for 2020 and 2021.
The large green lentil bid rose $2/cwt to $42/cwt, the first week-over-week increase seen in 14 weeks. This is down from the $63.33/cwt reached in December/January, while it is down from $59.80 reported for this week last year and above the five-year average reported for this week at $34.29/cwt. The red lentil bid slipped $0.50/cwt during the past week to $31.50/cwt, down from the 2021-22 high of $57.50/cwt reached in September 2021. This compares to $49 reported this time last year and the five-year average of $25.28/cwt. This week, Statistics Canada estimated lentil production at 2.9 mmt, up 81% from last year and 25.2% above the five-year average for this week.
The average green pea bid rose by $0.25/bu during the past week to $11.75/bu, down from a high of $16.38/bu reached in September 2021. This bid is down from $16.10/bu reported this week last year and remains above the five-year average for this week at $9.48/bu. The average yellow pea bid slipped $0.04/bu during the past week to $11.65/bu. This is down from an $18.50/bu high reached in December and the $16.50/mt reported this week one year ago. The five-year average for this week is $6.75/bu. Earlier in the week, Statistics Canada estimated dry pea production at 3.610 mmt, up 59.9% from last year while 3.9% below the five-year average.
Dry weather forecast for the Prairies to last into the middle to late days of next week will allow the prairie harvest to advance. On Sept. 7, Statistics Canada will release July 31 grain stocks and on Sept. 14, production estimates will be revised.
The direction of cash bids for the smaller crops may signal views of the initial production estimates released, which may act as a warning signal for the larger crops and bears watching.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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