Saturday November 22, 2014

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Prairie new-crop, old-crop pea prices at record highs

Both old- and new-crop cash bids for green peas in Western Canada have reached new record highs due to extremely tight supplies.

According to Francis Gaudet of Belle Pulses, there are almost no old-crop green pea supplies left in Canada, and the country will run out before the next growing season, leaving zero carryover stocks.

Supplies are extremely tight, he said, because the acreage of green peas in Canada has been on a decline and the quality of peas this year was better, with less bleach.

Pea supplies are also tight as demand was a bit stronger because Argentina's pea crop suffered problems, so buyers turned to Canada.

According to Prairie Ag Hotwire, cash bids for green peas delivered to the elevator across the Prairies ranged from $15.30 to $17 per bushel on Wednesday.

The price is high, but there are still some buyers willing to pay the price, so if farmers have any supplies left now is the time to sell, said Gaudet, who's based at at St. Isidore-de-Bellevue, Sask., about 60 km south of Prince Albert.

Prices are at record highs and could move higher into the $18-$19.00/bu. range -- but then some buyers may back off and it'll be difficult to move green pea supplies, he said.

New-crop prices are at record highs because more acres are needed in the spring to help replenish stocks. New-crop prices started at $10 and have now moved up to $11/bu.

There could be up to 100,000 additional green pea acres planted in Canada this spring, he said, but it may be difficult since there isn't a lot of seed around.

-- Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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