Pulse School: How High Will Pea Acres Go in ’16?

Pea prices in Western Canada are at record levels and showing no signs of weakness, largely due to the pulse crop shortage in India.

Old crop yellow peas are fetching spot bids over $11/bu while contracts for 2016 are in the $9.50 to $10/bu range (most with Act of God clauses).

peaacres_wcda_statscan_dec2015“At this stage of the year I don’t think farmers have ever had an opportunity to sell next year’s crop at $9.50 to 10,” notes Chuck Penner of LeftField Commodity Research in this Pulse School episode concentrating on the never-before-seen situation in the pea market.

As with lentils, poor crops in India have driven prices sky-high, leading to strong interest in planting pulses on the prairies in 2016. While there’s some discussion about growers favouring lentils over peas, Penner says we could see record yellow pea acres.

“I think in the eastern and northern acres of the prairies, where lentils are less well-suited, that’s where we’ll see the pea acres really boom,” he explains.

And it’s unlikely prices will suddenly drop off, says Penner.

“Anytime prices dip at all Indian buyers will be in there sucking up those peas. We’re not worried about prices cratering,” he says. “At some point new crop prices will start to tip over — once buyers are comfortable and say they have enough for at least the start of next year.”

Penner also discussed the lentil market situation in this Pulse School episode.


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