EARLY JUNE UPDATE ...
With the old crop pulses largely sold, there is little activity in the pulse market at the moment. Prices have fallen from their high point of the spring reflecting a full supply chain. There is currently little interest from sellers or buyers for forward positions. A calm period before trading resumes closer to the anticipated UK new crop harvest.
Canadian producers are, for the second year, expected to have quantities of field beans suitable for human consumption available for export. The crop area is increasing in Canada and could potentially provide additional competition for European and Australian in the future.
Australian bean crop is now satisfying the main export markets with a full supply chain until the new European crop comes in.
French pulse crop in 2014 is widely believed to be at the same level as 2013 (peas 122,00ha / beans 67,000ha). With a significantly poorer harvest than average last year, the French bean market may well be better supplied in 2014. As in the UK, Pulse crops are currently suffering from weevil damage, but growing conditions are generally good.
Egypt has around 80,000 tonnes arriving in April, hence the market is fully supplied for some time. Government initiatives to try and increase production locally do not appear to be working for beans, with growers preferring to focus on wheat and other crops.
Sudan shows no market interest. Buyers may emerge in May / June.
Field Beans - general
New crop drilling has been in full swing. The trade is now trying to gather as much intelligence as possible about the potential size of the 2014 bean crop. It is uncertain how much area has been drilled this spring. Estimates range from a 0% to 15% decline over 2013 crop. Given that winter bean sowings were significantly higher but from a low level in 2013, UK field bean supply post harvest may be similar to 2013, given a good growing season ahead.
Trading of the old crop is all but over with prices nominally at around £255/t ex farm. There are very few sellers and almost no domestic or export demand.
New crop prices are also almost nominal as, quite understandably, there are no sellers so far ahead of harvest and little if any interest from buyers. Prices for feed beans ex crop 2014 are suggested at around £220/t ex farm. This suggests that for any parcels of stock left on farm the best prices have been missed.
New crop prices remain at a premium of around £60/t over feed wheat, and with oilseed rape prices netting under £300/t, beans continue to look a very attractive proposition for growers.
Human Consumption Beans
Demand for beans for export for human consumption has completely dried up. The market is now fully supplied from recently arrived bulk shipments from Australia. Now new demand is expected ahead of new crop.
Nominal premiums over feed bean prices for new crop are suggested at £20-£30/t.
There has been little market movement or interest in the last month. Farm stocks are most probably exhausted. Good green samples of marrowfats still retain a premium over paler samples, but premiums have fallen to around £30/t.
Good samples of blue peas are still valued and retain a £40/t premium over poor quality paler samples. Feed peas typically currently trade at around £240/t.