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Pea Ending Stocks Lowered Amid Higher 2023-24 Export Forecast

Agriculture Canada has sharply lowered its estimate of 2023-24 dry pea ending stocks from last month. 

The government’s latest monthly supply-demand update on Tuesday pegged pea ending stocks for the current marketing year at just 210,000 tonnes, down 100,000 from the February estimate and less than half of the previous year’s 498,000. If accurate, it would be the tightest dry pea ending stocks since 2015-16 at 174,000. 

This month’s reduction in the ending stocks estimate is due to a larger export forecast, which was raised 100,000 tonnes from last month to 2.4 million. That is still below 2022-23 exports of 2.563 million, albeit with a much smaller crop in 2023 compared to a year earlier.  

With no other supply-demand changes, the higher export forecast carried through to drop ending stocks by an identical amount.  

In its accompanying commentary, Ag Canada noted dry pea exports for the August through January period totaled 1.6 million tonnes, 200,000 higher than the same period in 2022-23. 

Canadian pea business to India has boomed after that country suspended import tariffs in December, with Canadian shipments in December and January alone amounting to more than 330,000 tonnes, according to reports. At this point, the Indian tariffs are expected to remain suspended into April at least. 

Meanwhile, pea stocks are forecast to remain tight for the 2024-25 marketing year as well. Ag Canada is now projecting new-crop pea ending stocks at 240,000 tonnes, down 200,000 from last month. 

Part of the reduction is due to the smaller carryin from the 2023-24 marketing year, while Ag Canada also revised its 2024 pea production estimate 100,000 tonnes lower from last month to 3 million. The fall in the production estimate reflects Statistics Canada’s acreage report earlier this month which put new-crop pea planting intentions at 3.12 million acres, little changed from the previous year but below Ag Canada’s original projection of 3.21 million. 

Pea exports for 2024-25 are estimated by Ag Canada at 2.4 million tonnes this month, down 100,000 from February, to help offset some of the smaller carryin and lower production. 

With stocks tightening, Ag Canada raised its 2023-24 dry pea average price forecast by $10/tonne from last month to $460, up $20 from the previous year. At $375, the average expected new-crop price is up $25 from last month. 

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