Pulse Market Update (05.09.13)

International overview

Canada is reporting a downward revision of pea crop area by 25, 000 acres but yields are forecast to be significantly up on 2012. Approximately 330,000 tonnes more is expected from the 2013 crop, taking yields to 3.3 million tonnes - although with lower carryover not all will be reflected in increased availability. Green pea area, as previously reported, is up and yields are good. This will likely have some downward pressure on the base price for UK green peas, but UK will still retain a premium.

Indian government intervention has begun to stabilise the rupee. Recent devaluation has made imports more expensive, which may leave exporters looking for alternative destinations. A government hike in minimum pricing for growers may increase domestic production, but it is not yet clear if this will affect imports.

Australian crop reports are good with a similar situation to that in the UK. Australia will continue to represent strong competition in the bean export trade.

French bean crops have perhaps been of lower quality this year and with small seed size. The first new crop bulk vessel exports to Egypt will arrive in September, but buyers are looking to the UK crop eagerly as a result.

Egypt has been pushed off the newsstands for the last couple of weeks by developments in Syria, but still has difficulties. Arab aid has started to flow into the country’s finances and the government is attempting to stimulate economic growth rather than enforcing austerity. Shippers remain confident in the region and concerns about payment issues are at least temporarily easing. The political and economic situation remains uncertain but Imports will always feature highly. With a large and still rapidly growing population, and a total arable land area of less than 5% of the national territory, it can never achieve self-sufficiency. Bean prices in local markets rose after Ramadan with short supply and huge demand.

Sudanese markets remain quiet.

Field Beans - general

Only a few winter bean samples have been received, quality is generally good with some regional insect damage. Most spring beans crops are still perhaps 10 days off harvest.

Initial harvest indications are that bean seed size is likely to be small but yields are potentially very good.

Forward trading is generally well ahead of this time last year.

Seed availability for winter bean sowings will be lower for the second autumn running. There is uncertainty about the levels of winter and spring bean cropping for 2014. The kind weather currently being enjoyed may influence some grower decisions about leaving ground for the spring. On the other hand, blackgrass issues, rotation requirements, problems with late harvest and groundwork pressure could persuade many to stay with or turn to pulse crops. With prices for other commodity crops such as wheat and rape falling and beans prices remaining good, there is further encouragement.

Feed Beans
Although values have fallen from their peak, prices remain high, in part influenced by the high price of soya protein. Supply to the feed trade is likely to be good from crop 2013, with encouraging tentative interest from the feed sector at home and abroad. Premiums available of up to £60/t over feed wheat ex continue to be mentioned.

Human Consumption Beans

Export markets are now showing keen demand and the prospects look good for trade for the remainder of the calendar year. UK forward sales are strong. Prices remain high with a healthy premium over feed quality. With good yields anticipated, colour, size and freedom from insect damage will be the key to securing Human Consumption status with buyers to give a + £25-30 premium.

Combining Peas

A wide range of yields are reported with some spectacular performances. The heat of July sapped early anticipated yield potential from some crops. But, pleasingly, most peas will perform better than the five-year trend, a situation that most would have bitten off hands for when drilling. Quality and yield from earlier crops has been better - later crops wilted more and bleached to a greater extent.

With good current demand for UK quality peas in the export markets, there is also strong interest in contracts for 2014 sowings. Marrowfats maintain a premium over large blues and both are in demand. 2014 production contracts for both can be secured with base prices similar to today’s market. The best quality with peas will have been achieved by those retaining good colour and minimising insect damage.

Yellow pea trade is still limited. Bypassed peas from the vining crops have entered the market and are also finding a home. As more pea samples are seen the full picture will emerge by the end of September.