Lentil Bids Pop Higher
Saskatchewan Agriculture's weekly crop price data shows small red lentil bids increasing 3 cents or 10% to 33 cents/lb. during the week ending March 1, based on delivery to Saskatchewan plants, the highest price seen in six weeks while close to the crop year high of 34.5 cents. Note that at least one broker is indicating red lentils as high as 34.5 cents this week.
Large green lentils are seen bid at 50 cents/lb., up 1.25 cents during the past week, the highest reported in 11 weeks and also close to the crop year high of 52.5 cents. Note that once again, a private broker is indicating the spot bid one cent higher than the government's report.
While small green lentils were reported to hold steady at 46 cents, medium green lentils are reported to increase by 1 cent to 48 cents, close to the crop year weekly high reported at 48.25 cents reached in early February.
Prices are higher despite competition from a record Australian crop and early estimates calling for record-sized Indian pulse crop.
India is reporting the hottest February in 122 years, or since 1901. At the same time, concerns are growing during a hot and dry pattern forecast for the upcoming weeks. While analysts are reported to be reducing their forecast for India's rabi wheat production, as reported by S&P Global Commodity Insights, BusinessInsider.com reports today that India's Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare claims that the wheat crop condition in the major states is viewed as normal for this week.
The brown line on the attached chart represents the new-crop bid for No. 1 lentils for the August/September/October delivery period, which is compared to the spot bid delivered to Saskatchewan plants (blue bars). With Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada estimating new-crop acres seeded to lentils to fall by 1.1% in 2023, new-crop bids are viewed by one broker as "some of the highest new-crop pricing ever offered."
The grey bar averages the highest weekly bid reported by the government during each of the past five years for the August-through-November period.
For example, during the past five years, the highest red lentil spot bid for the August-to-October period ranged from a low of 14.91 cents in 2018 to a high of 57.5 cents in 2021, while averaging at 30.5 cents, as shown on the chart.
Both old-crop and new-crop prices bear watching.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter @Cliff Jamieson
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