Sask Pulse Growers Marketing Newsletter.
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Harvest is now well underway for pulse crops around Australia. While most of Australia’s pulse crops didn’t receive any rain in October, which would certainly have improved yields and production, the drier than normal finish has been a mixed blessing. Most crops are free from disease and the quality is good. However, the seed size of products like beans and lentils is a bit smaller than normal and we are also experiencing lower yields in these crops.
Chickpeas – Desi type
The area planted in 2012 saw a 100% increase over the previous year, resulting in initial production estimates of approximately 750,000 tonnes. However, over the last three months the forecast production has declined to around 630,000 tonnes.
The first negative event was a serious frost in early September followed by a dry October. Quality has been remained good, and the slightly later start to the harvest has meant some frantic activity in cleaning and packing plants as exporters struggle to meet shipping deadlines for November. In addition to the substantial sales of desi chickpeas (estimated by industry sources at between 130,000 -160,000 tonnes), a significant program of around 230,000 tonnes of bulk shipments has come to light out of Queensland ports for completion by late December. Combined, this means that around 60% of the final estimated crop will have been shipped by the end of 2012, more than double the tonnage shipped out in the same period last year.The impact on values in destination markets remains to be seen. Prices have softened significantly over the last month and at the time of writing offers were around US$630 CFR for January 2013 shipment.
Chickpeas – Kabuli type
With the ongoing demise of lentil prices, the area planted to kabuli chickpeas has increased by 39% over 2011. Planting seed of two new larger seeded varieties, Genesis 114 and Kalkee, was available and taken advantage of by farmers looking for a high value alternative to lentils. While harvest is still two weeks away, the crops are looking good considering the lack of rain in October. Both these varieties have the ability to yield up to 20% of 9 MM size, which is very timely with the major problems being reported in the Argentine kabuli crops.
Beans – Faba type
The faba crop seems to have coped very well with the drier finish to the season. While yields are certainly down, the planted area was up 15% over 2011, and we expect the final production to be slightly over the Pulse Australia estimate. Markets for beans have been firm due to constant demand from major markets like Egypt. Australian exporters have benefited from the uncertainty of both quantity and quality of the UK crop, and we expect the prices to remain firm for a while, both for container shipments and bulk ship accumulation programs. At the time of writing the Fiesta type was trading at around US$570 in containers. Harvesting of the crop in both the South East and in Victoria has barely started, leaving this area vulnerable to unfavourable weather events which would further support the firm market. As predicted, fabas have been keenly sought by lot feeders, which has put a solid floor in the market especially in NSW.
Lentils – Red & green types
While prices of Australian lentils have languished over the year in line with Canadian trends, the quantity shipped in the 2011/12 crop year has been massive at 385,000 tonnes. A major contributor to this total has been the increased domination of the Sri Lankan market by Australian red lentils.While yields are expected to be down again this season, quality has remained good, although seed size will be a little smaller than last year. Many farmers seem resigned to put their lentils into storage and wait until prices hopefully improve. Most of the major markets for Australian lentils seem to be overstocked with higher priced inventory than the current local market values. Also liquidity in many of these markets are quite restricted due to the demise of several major traders, therefore it will take some time for any strength to return to lentil markets.
Field Peas – Dun type
The area planted to peas increased approximately 16% over the previous year, in response to the move away from lentils. Australian farmers are more constrained than their Canadian counterparts. We expect final production to be in line with the last Pulse Australia forecast. New crop prices are remaining firm in closely following Canadian values. So far the quality of peas harvested has been good.
Source : saskpulse