THE MARKET FOR FEED BEANS CONTINUES TO ENTHUSIASTICALLY SUPPORT THE AVAILABLE CROP (11.12.15)

“The market for feed beans continues to enthusiastically support the available crop, ” comments Roger Vickers, Chief Executive of PGRO. “Quality has been a major problem for many who took a late harvest. Even the colour of the very best quality beans will slowly deteriorate in storage, whilst wet beans and beans that had to be extensively dried are likely to oxidise much quicker making their suitability for the Human market more doubtful as the winter progresses. For feed these issues are of little relevance and the market presents are a valuable and welcome home.”

Chris Collings, President of BEPA, comments that feed bean prices have slipped a little further in the last month and now sit at around £120-£125/t ex farm. The premium over feed wheat sitting at circa £18/t. Prices have been depressed on the back of a continued adjustment towards other commodity prices, general increased supply and especially increased abundance of feed quality produce following wet and late harvests. The good news is that buyers for the feed sector remain enthusiastic and committed to the crop meaning that the UK crop has a ready local outlet for the stocks.

Growers considering their crops for 2016 may wish to look at their marketing strategies with possibilities to sell forward. With premiums of circa £20 over November wheat futures being available, beans value at circa £148/t.

For Human Consumption Beans, with currency availability slowing exports, crop is being held in storage for a longer period. Only the best produce is going to hold visual quality through the winter. A marketing decision to consider is presented with premiums slipping to around £15-£18/t, those holding on to some crops in the hope of reaching the export market may be foiled by deteriorating skin quality and neither gain the benefit of a rising market nor early movement. On the other hand, top quality beans kept well in store may just make an improved premium if held back.

The overall message is that pricing, market and political issues emphasise the need for growers to focus on maximising yield and quality and retaining the quality in storage.

Turning to combining peas, marrowfat pea values of £275 delivered continue to command interest in exports from the Far East. Supplies appear to be sufficient to present a small carryover as we progress towards crop 2016. Prices will continue to drift towards the new crop values as the season progresses with new crop contracts set at up to £290/t ex. New crop contracts for crop 2016 marrow fats are available.

Large blue peas values continue to weaken for anything other than top quality and the market appears to be in oversupply with significant carry over likely at this early stage. This is reflected in the fact that unusually in the UK, yellow/white peas are currently trading with a £10-£15 premium over feed blues.

Feed quality blue peas are currently discounted by circa £20 to good quality produce at circa £133-£138/t ex-farm.

In International Markets, poor quality beans are a plenty in France and they are is apparently out of the human consumption whole bean market. The question is whether or not in looking for a market, French beans will be dumped at cheap prices into the UK feed sector, which could have a further negative impact on local values. In other parts of the EU, production ex Lithuania is believed to be of good quality and to have been well received. As this and limited Eastern European production leaves the market, its negative influence upon prices will decline too. UK produce is still preferred.

Canadian faba bean production has been increasing in recent years. Although still at a relatively low level it has this year exceeded local demand meaning that there is surplus. Depending upon quality (although it is thought to be good) this may at some point arrive in the Export markets of Egypt and others. Canadian pea production is circa 0.6 million tonnes lower than last year but consumption and exports remain at similar levels. Dry pea production in the USA is forecast to increase again, to exceed 400,000 ha and, potentially, over 800,000t.

In Egypt, currency availability continues as the main complication in bulk export trades. While, in Sudan, demand has been good but the window to this market is closing rapidly as the annual seasonal import restrictions come in to play.

The faba bean harvest in Australia still has some uncertainty in some regions. There have been well reported searing temperatures of late and the impact upon quality and quantity is unclear. Watch this space.