PULSE MARKET UPDATE: APRIL 2015, ISSUED ON 11 MAY

Commentary
Trading of old crop is now very slow across the board. Domestic feed buyers are taking the opportunity to buy on demand, while falling commodity prices for other grains means that the prices of pulses offered spot is starting to come down accordingly. New crop selling opportunities exist based against wheat futures but there is little seller interest.

International markets
France Few issues for the French crops of either beans or peas have been reported to date. Later arriving rain fell at a critical time for some crops and has pushed them along. Sitona weevils and pigeons are the main issue to date. 94% of the French pea crop is in white peas, but exports to their two main EU markets - Norway and Belgium- are down significantly. Bean exports to Egypt are static year on year at around 70-80,000t, reflecting the previously-reported continuing quality issues. Alternative grain legume production has attracted interest recently. Cultivation of chick peas rose rapidly from 680ha in 2005 but increased just 1% in 2014 to 8,630ha. Egypt Domestic bean production reports are poor. The crop is currently being harvested and yields are about 25- 35% down on normal which is good news for potential exporters.

UK Markets
Feed beans - The market is very quiet, and having started the month trading at just over £204/t ex, has followed feed wheat down under commodity pressure. November futures for wheat are currently at around £118/t ex and a small amount of forward feed bean selling has been seen with a £40/t premium. That said, most growers show little interest at this point even where fixed base prices are available for growers wishing to sell. These are still healthy premiums over feed wheat even with an average crop of 4.5t/ha and with OSR at around £240/t.

New crop is still a few months away and the winter beans are starting to flower, while spring sown crops are still establishing. There are no real issues currently affecting the crop to attract special attention in the market.

Human consumption beans
The Egyptian government continues to restrict payment for goods in hard currencies and this has restricted imports, despite interest from buyers. A significant quantity of beans destined for that market may in the end come back into the UK and French feed market if this situation does not change short term.

Forward premiums for human consumption beans remain at £25-£30/t, and with larger crop areas in the ground and potentially more crop to harvest, the emphasis on quality is a must for growers.

Combining Peas
Large blue peas The market is currently oversupplied with samples with almost no buyer interest. Good quality samples of old crop are now struggling to reach £200 ex with no movement other than spot requirements. Early sellers of 2014 crop saw the best of this market.

2015 crop could remain under pressure throughout. Attention needs to be paid to achieving good quality.

Marrowfat peas - The story remains unchanged. 2015 area was restricted by seed availability and for 2015 crop high returns are anticipated for good quality produce. Retaining a good visual sample is essential and cropping priorities need to be orientated towards achieving this.

White peas - Production represents a tiny market in the UK (circa 5000t) and it is believed that it has all gone.