Canadian farmers are in the early stages of planting the 2023 chickpea crop, with the market mostly holding steady ahead of new-crop harvests in other countries.
“The market is firm, it’s not going up or down,” said Jake Hansen, of Mid-West Grain in Moose Jaw, who noted a lack of both buying and selling. The rangebound trend is likely to continue until the there is a better sense of production in Russia and Turkey, he said.
Both countries are major chickpea growers, with harvests that come off before Canada’s. Turkey typically produces a good quality chickpea crop, while Russia’s quality can be more hit or miss. India is also a major world player in the world chickpea market, and anecdotal reports point to the recently harvested crop there having good yields, but not the best quality, Hansen said.
For now, buyers are waiting to see how many acres went in the ground in Turkey, and what the potential quality is, Hansen said. The country produced an estimated 580,000 tonnes of chickpeas in 2022, according to government data.
Meanwhile, US farmers intend to plant 340,500 acres of chickpeas this year, down slightly from the 353,100 acres seeded the previous year, when the country produced 186,000 tonnes of chickpeas. Early signs point to a good Canadian crop, but actual yields and quality will depend on weather through the growing season and at harvest.
Planted chickpea area in Canada is forecast at 260,200 acres by Statistics Canada, up 11% on the year, but still well below the five-year average (2018-2022) of 318,000 acres. Average yields would see production of around 162,000 tonnes. Most of Canada’s chickpeas are grown in Saskatchewan, where 25% of intended acres were seeded as of May 15, according to the latest provincial crop report.
Ag Canada is projecting a 2023-24 average chickpea price of about 44.5 cents/lb, down from 47 cents a year earlier but still near the 2021-22 average of 44 cents. Current old-crop chickpea prices (Kabuli, large calibre) range from about 51 to 55 cents/lbs. Source : Syngenta