Old crop interest is now waning and difficult, as it might seem to many UK growers yet to plant their spring acreage, that attention is starting to focus on the new crop harvest. Trade is generally slow.
In France, the winter peas are in good shape. A cold start and flooding resulted in little damage, though the area (22,700 Ha) is just half that of last year. French pea exports are down too, less than 50% of the same seven month period last year. With little trade in peas, prices have fallen - but the forward premium over feed wheat has been retained and even risen. Bean trade year on year is little changed at 150,400 t - with the notable exception of a 650% increase in trade with Norway up 15,000 t. New crop beans are trade news with high premiums for human consumption quality (< 3% weevil damage). Premiums over feed wheat are three times that of just two years ago.
Australian beans continued to arrive in Egypt via bulk vessels. ABARES reported old crop of 268,000 tonnes and forecast new crop at 322,000 t from 179,000 Ha, 2012/13 yield is predicted at 1.8 t/Ha, slightly higher than the 1.5 t/Ha five year average. For the last two years the yields and areas have significantly exceeded the five year average.
Old crop has fallen a further £15 from its high, although a premium of around £100/t (ex) over feed wheat may still be possible.
Still some potential sellers are seeking to complete their spring sowing programmes before selling. Optimism remains high for new crop and, although the values have fallen lately tracking wheat, premiums for beans remain high at around £50 over feed wheat. Good quality product is in demand!
Human Consumption Beans
Sudan – a growing market - seems an unlikely to re-open for imports until the new crop is realised.
Crop into Egypt has slowed, although French and Australian Beans continue to arrive in bulk vessels. The Egyptian £ has hit a new low of almost 8 $US per Egyptian Pound, further dropping confidence in the local market with the obvious inflationary impact on imported commodities. The IMF is in discussion about the provision of a projected $US 4.8 billion loan as the foreign currency reserves fall to just two months import cover.
Approximately 75-100,000 t of UK beans have been shipped into Egyptian ports so far, and around 120,000 t from Australia. Australian beans are trading on local markets with a £10-£20 premium over UK beans and £35-£45 premium over French crop.
Local crop will become available from April/May (generally the best Balady beans) and kept in cool dark warehousing for Ramadan. Excepting a limited number of small vessels, minimal imports are now expected until late August - the start of the French harvest - when demand is likely to be strong.
Feed peas are trading slowly with buyers buying to order. Imports are influencing the prices and the market appears to be falling.
Merchant contracts for new crop peas remain available. There is active merchant and grower interest and, importantly, there are supplies of seed for both large blues and marrowfats for production! As sowing conditions and timings for alternative spring crops diminish, peas present an increasingly attractive option.
The premium likely for the first of the new crop, and strong demand for good quality, further add to the attraction. Peas will be in demand!
Most blue peas and marrowfats have been traded a quiet easing market. Any sellers are unlikely to get the £500/t they may have been holding out for. With blue peas practically unavailable marrowfats are being utilised by micronisers to order, and this may continue in 2013/14 if the blue pea crop availability does not rise. Sellers (if any) of top quality may benefit from limited but continued interest from China.