Canada Markets

Lentil Prices Ease as Harvest Begins

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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As should be expected, lentil bids are slipping on the Prairies as new-crop supplies slowly become available. Large green lentils have slipped 15% from the weekly high reported in May while red lentils have slipped 10% from the June/July high. All prices are starting the crop year at historically attractive levels. (DTN graphic by Antony Greder)

India's Agriculture Ministry reported on Friday that overall planting for all summer kharif crops are 4.8% ahead of last year's pace, with pulse planting leading the way with a 14% jump on last year's acres planted as of Aug. 7.

India's Meteorological Department indicates the country's weighted average rainfall is 7% below normal between June 1 and Aug. 7, although the annual monsoon is expected to weaken over August and September. Recent estimates suggest the August/September rainfall will be 84% of the long-term average, while the entire June through September rainfall is expected to be 88% of the long-term average. DTN forecasts suggest the monsoon activity to-date has been good despite the current El-Nino Activity.

As can be expected moving into harvest, lentil bids are easing. Saskatchewan Agriculture's crop report as of Aug. 3 indicates 2% of the lentils are harvested in the province while crops across many areas of the province are being desiccated.

As we move into harvest, lentil bids have recently dipped, with large greens indicated at 38.19 cents/lb on average delivered to Saskatchewan plants, down 15% from the 45.06 cents/lb reported for the week of May 20. Red lentils, bid at 34.72 cents, have eased 10% from the high of 38.61 cents/lb, the average bid reported for the weeks of June 12 through July 12.

Looking at Saskatchewan Agriculture data, the current large green lentil price is by far the highest reported for this week in data going back to 1992. As well, the current red lentil indication is the highest since the early August bid of 44.5 cents was reported in 2008 and the second highest level seen in data reported since 1999.

Current bids, when compared to forward price indications, may still indicate a bullish situation. Today's Oct/Nov/Dec bids as reported by Statpub.com for large green lentils are indicated to range from 32 cents to 40 cents/lb. Today's bid compared to the lower-end of the range would indicate a bullish, inverted market, with the market sending signals that product is wanted sooner than later. Even the upper end of the range, which suggests a weak carry of 2 cents (current 38-cent bid versus a 40-cent forward bid), may also be viewed as a mildly bullish signal.


DTN 360 Poll

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently showed the agriculture component of their Business Barometer Index fell sharply in July to an index of 50, the lowest level since January 2014. Do you believe this index accurately captures the sentiment in your province? You can share your thoughts on this week's poll found at the lower right of your DTN Home Page.

Cliff Jamieson can be reached at cliff.jamieson@dtn.com

(ES)

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