Canadian producers have good reason to watch the pace of pulse exports, reported weekly in the case of bulk exports and on Dec. 6, when Statistics Canada releases its monthly Canadian international merchandise report which will include total exports to the end of October. Statistics Canada will also release its Production of principal field crops report Dec. 6, which will also be watched.
A survey of analysts and traders and analysts conducted by Reuters and reported by producer.com shows the average estimate for Canada's dry pea production at 4.8 million metric tons, up 50% from the estimated volume in 2015 and would exceed previous Statistics Canada estimates for the Canadian crop. The range of estimates is from 4.5 mmt to 5.3 mmt. The average of pre-report estimates for lentils is 3.3 mmt, up 30% from the volume produced in 2015 and slightly higher than the highest estimate seen this crop year which was released by Statistics Canada in August. The range of estimates is 3.2 mmt to 3.5 mmt.
The point is there will be far more pulses available to market this year and movement will be key. Bulk movement through licensed facilities is just one piece of the puzzle. In 2015/16, an estimated 29.4% of exports went through the bulk licensed handling system, while bulk shipments of peas play a much larger role, with close to 89% of exports reported by the Canadian Grain Commission as having moved through licensed facilities last crop year.
To date, licensed exports of lentils are reported at 431,900 mt, which is 1% lower than the same period in 2015/16. This is noted on the chart by the orange and blue lines which are tracking closely. Bulk exports of dry peas are pegged at a cumulative 1.657 million metric tons (yellow line), which is 32% higher than the same period in 2015/16, shown by the grey line.
Additional data released on Friday by India's Department of Agriculture shows the winter or Rabi crop planting at 27.9 million acres as of Dec. 2, up 13.1% from the same period last year. This is ahead of the overall year over year increase of 8.5% reported for all crops. This crop will be key for the future of global prices.
Large green lentils nudged higher in the past week to $63.61/cwt delivered to Saskatchewan plants according to Statpub.com, the highest level seen since June and an 8.9% increase from year-ago levels. Red lentils have remained steady at $31.58/cwt, down slightly since mid-November and 31% lower than year-ago levels. Green peas remained steady averaging $8.96/bu. delivered to Saskatchewan plants, the highest level seen this crop year and slightly higher than year-ago levels. Yellow peas are averaging $8.53/bu., also the highest level reported this crop year and 18.6% below year-ago levels.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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