PULSE MARKET UPDATE MARCH 2015

At this time of year we appear to have entered ‘limbo land’. The trading of old crops is almost if not completely finished and with much of the new crop not yet emerging (or possibly even in the ground) the interest in trading the forwards is yet to really excite. Growers with an eye to the markets and trends may however already be thinking about strategic selling forwards. Updates regarding European new crop are similarly unchanged.

Alberta Canada reports growing interest in faba bean production. With production at just 30, 000 acres 2 years ago it grew to 80, 000 acres last year. Reports indicate a further jump to 120, 000 acres in 2015 is possible, with knowledge about producing the crop growing rapidly.

Egypt domestic bean production reports are poor. The crop remains small and the crop quality is doubtful. Good news for potential exporters.

Feed beans The market is very quiet. With difficult circumstances in the human consumption market for the last 6 weeks or so, remaining old crop beans may be destined for the feed market. The price for feed at circa £160/t ex farm however remains too high for major compounders to become interested, with continuity of supply remaining a significant issue. New crop discussions centre around prices of £160/t ex farm but with little grower interest. As with all commodities prices have fallen and anticipated anecdotal increases in spring crop area of 20-25% are doing nothing to dissuade this at this early stage of the season.

There are suggestions that when the new crop arrives there will be strong interest in good quality crops which may command a significant premium over feed and that feed beans prices may come under pressure as the premium expands.

New feed markets will be actively targeted by the trade and optimism remains high for the crop movement.

Human consumption beans

The Egyptian government has restricted payment for goods in Dollars. Demand is still present in the export market but issues around currency for payment in the Egyptian economy are prevalent and traders understandably reluctant to exposure. Premiums for human consumption remain at £20- 30 over feed but the general feeling is that this market may well be over for the season (see above –any remaining stock could be looking for a feed market home).

As a larger new crop is predicted it will be a message of the importance of delivering quality produce that growers will need to take home.

Australian sellers are already active in the market for new crop. Unusually early activity from the southern hemisphere.

Combining Peas

The market is saturated with samples of large blue peas and the higher prices of late are gradually falling in line with the new crop contracts. With just 4 months before the first of the new crop peas are harvested the message here must be to focus remain on harvesting a top quality product.

Contracts remain available albeit at open priced agreements.

For marrowfat peas the story remains unchanged. Long since sold out apparently any good quality stocks unsold could easily command £400 / t ex farm. Even with an increased crop area there seems no immediate let up in demand, so prices seem set to stay high for at least the next 18 months.