British Edible Pulses Association (BEPA)uses of pulses

BEPA is the trade association representing the processors and users of British-produced pulse (mainly combining peas and field beans) crops. BEPA’s key objectives are to liaise with UK government and other national and international associations, & encourage the consumption of home-produced pulses by promoting their value as healthy, high-protein and high-fibre foods, and to liaise with crop scientists and plant breeders.

BEPA President, Chris CollingsOur website brings you the history of BEPA, contact information for all our members, BEPA in the press and media, the latest pulse market prices, and an introduction to the many end uses for UK-produced pulses.

We also give details of the main BEPA contacts - if you would like to know more about BEPA, and the important role pulses play in the UK's agricultural and food sectors, please ask us!

Chris Collings, President

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Forthcoming Events

PULSE ROADSHOWS SEE RECORD ATTENDANCES AND LAUNCH OF THE NEW BEAN AGRONOMY TOOL AND 2016 PULSE AGRONOMY GUIDE

Franek Smith, Vice-President of BEPA, speaking at Peterborough roadshow"With this season's spring drilling imminent, we have seen record attendances at this year's series of PGRO/Syngenta joint roadshows," comments Roger Vickers, PGRO Chief Executive. "The presentations at each event have covered all aspects of successful pulse growing - from establishment to agrochemical programmes - and presentations of 2016 crop marketing prospects from BEPA.

The events featured the launch of the new 'Bean Agronomy Tool' by PGRO's Steve Belcher: "One of the prime drivers of the PGRO is to help and support growers in their decision making for growing successful pulse crops and to optimise their economic output.

"It is a spreadsheet-based decision support agronomy tool using data from the recently ended four-year Optibean project that allows growers to either use standard data - or preferably data from their own farm - to make cost benefit calculations for the comparison of on-farm operations.

"The output includes calculations for plant populations of spring beans for either maximum or economic optimum yield, seed rate calculations, fertiliser recommendations, winter bean fungicide timing/yield loss/cost benefit recommendations, bruchid beetle distribution in the UK, and a weight-loss-in-drying calculator.

"The tool is now available from the PGRO website (www.pgro.org) and updates will be forthcoming. For example, winter bean sowing date /plant populations will be added in the future."

The roadshows also marked the launch of the 2016 edition of the PGRO Pulse Agronomy Guide which comprehensively covers field bean and combining pea production as well as full reference tables of the Pulse Recommended Lists. For this year's edition, the weed control pages have been extensively revised with a a set of pictures of the most common weeds affecting pulses.

"The PGRO/Syngenta roadshows are firmly established as ideal forums for us to inform growers and advisers about the latest developments in the pulse crop markets, agronomy and research - and for attendees to question the experts in person," added Mr Vickers.

THE MARKET FOR FEED BEANS CONTINUES TO ENTHUSIASTICALLY SUPPORT THE AVAILABLE CROP

"As in November, the market for feed beans continues to enthusiastically support the available UK crop," comments Roger Vickers, Chief Executive of PGRO. "This is great news for the UK grower in establishing likely continuity of demand for increasing future supplies. In turn, prices have seen an upturn from their recent lows. In short - better news all round."

Looking at Domestic Markets, Chris Collings, President of BEPA, comments that, since Christmas, feed beans have had plenty of takers in the domestic feed market which in turn has put upward pressure on the price as short sellers covered their positions. Prices have held at around £125/t ex. Beans are a solid source of good quality protein and offer excellent utilisation in the ration. The current supply situation in the UK is not known for certain, but ex crop 2015 it was estimated that circa 580,000t of beans would be available to trade.

For Human Consumption beans, the recent decrease in the value of Sterling has helped exporters significantly. Containerised exports are strong with increasing demand pushing up prices from recent low levels. The premium on human consumption quality samples is circa £25/t over feed values, placing the best quality grains at £150/t ex farm. Quality as always remains the key to securing goods into this market.

With increasing competition for these markets quality production will become ever more important and the cleanliness and visual appeal of the sample remains critical. The "would you eat it" test.

For Combining Peas, marrowfat peas IF 2015 is available valued at circa £250/t plus ex Farm for good samples. Prices are increasing against lack of open market availability. Values are set to hold up from crop 2016 with most merchants now effectively sold out of seed for contracts such has been the early grower interest in this crop. Nominal values for crop 2016 circa £250-275/t ex.

Large blue peas have seen some some trade interest since the turn of the year, and the feeling is that a significant carry over into the new season is now less likely. Supply remains plentiful but ex farm values have risen a little lately to circa £150/t.

New crop micronizing quality is circa £160/t offered but currently with little activity.

With renewed good supplies end users have taken a little time to come back after shortages but demand is rising. Poor samples as always are discounted to feed value circa £115/t ex, a discount of £10/t on feed beans.

In International Markets, effectively French bean production is not being exported to Egypt at the present time. Quality from 2015 cannot compete in the human consumption market. Exports within Europe continue into the feed and fish feed processing markets.

Elsewhere in the EU, production from Eastern Europe has proven to be of acceptable quality in the human consumption market and this source of production will become serious competition in the future, especially for the split bean market. It is thought that product is now effectively sold out and for now UK product is considered generally of better provenance. This will continue to drive the need for high quality samples from UK farms.

In Egypt, currency availability continues to be the main complication in bulk export trades, but UK currency weakness is assisting a drive in demand.

Demand in the Sudan has been good, but the window to this market is now closed.

Exports from Australia to the traditional Egyptian markets have been slowed by high prices. Currency values and demand from other markets mean they are currently circa US$100 higher than UK. Quality remains very good - though perhaps with slightly reduced availability.