PULSE MARKET UPDATE – JULY 2023
With the start of the new crop pea harvest only three weeks or so away for the earliest southern growers, interest in old crop trading has started to wane.
Crops in general are said to look good, with the general impression that baring any dramatic turn in weather conditions pulse harvest 2023 could be above average.
In general crops that were sown early appear to have developed well and there is confidence in the winter sown beans. The later winter brought soils into good condition in mid-February, and those that took the opportunity to get their peas and beans sown at that time appear to have developed much better than those who waited on the calendar. Heavy rain through March means that a proportion of the crops went in relatively late in April, as it took time for good soil conditions to return. The prolonged dry period that followed did not encourage these later sown crops and spring beans may have been more negatively affected than peas. Rain from early June was welcome and many crops developed rapidly thereafter. It remains to be seen what the rest of the summer will deliver and there is still a lot that can change before harvest is done.
Domestic demand has been strong this year and despite the relative lack of opportunity for bean exports to Egypt exports in general have been good, with near European market demand in the animal feed industry continuing to develop.
Looking forward developments between Russia and China for peas are putting question marks over the international market for peas, particularly on the destination of the large Canadian crop. The impact is not known but with the Chinese buyers hooking up to Russian suppliers, former Canadian exports to China could be looking for a new home and may have a downward pressure on pulse crop values in Europe.
Since April the market has been relatively static. Prices rose a little with demand but until recently had a long-settled period at roughly £238/t ex farm. With certain buyers committed to rations and some longer-term supply agreements needing to be met more recently, prices have jumped with the confirmed demand and suppliers covering short sales in a market that may have overestimated supply.
With little or no apparent availability from UK sources, some importation has been necessary with limited beans being available form Baltic sellers. All of which has driven values in the short term to around £275/t ex farm. It is certain that these values will fall back immediately the new crop becomes available and that they are much more likely to trade at £225- £235/t ex farm thereafter depending upon location.
There has been little trading of new crop 2023, but interest has started to emerge as growers get more confidence in their crops nearer to harvest. As usual offers are likely to be tendered linked to November wheat futures, which are currently around £194 / t .
Human consumption bean exports.
The markets have been more or less closed to UK traders in recent months due to a combination of the lack of quality, competitive alternative suppliers and risk in trading.
Some interest has returned for early delivery of new crop post-harvest, but this will again depend upon good quality samples being available. Only a small number of consignment commitments have been booked at this stage.
Selling the new crop of UK beans to the importing market is challenging due to the limited availability of USD allocations from Egyptian banks.
In the Sudan market, Egypt serves as the sole exporter due to the civil war situation, with the result that the market is essentially closed to the UK trade.
UK Combining Peas
Old crop pea trading is all but complete, with very few loads having been traded in recent weeks.
New crop contracts for crop 2024 have been released especially for Marrowfat peas but there is some uncertainty about contracting for green peas and yellow peas and few offers for crop 2024 have been made to date.
Quality judged by colour retention is the main driving factor and excellent quality, open market samples could still attract prices in the range £310 – £340/t ex farm. Poorer quality samples will trade in a range below this, down to a level for feed peas at around £230/t.
Contracts for crop 2024 have generally been slower to emerge, in part due to market uncertainty and the Russia/ China deal referred to above. More on this development can be found here: https://www.sasktoday.ca/north/agriculture/russian-peas-to-china-is-a-game-changer-6709888
Any top quality , off contract, old crop marrowfat peas might still achieve £600/t ex farm, but it is felt that there are none left on farm.
Marrowfat peas have a relatively limited market, but production has been lower than the market demand for a year or two. Early contracting for crop 2024 has been brisk to date with offers with various deduction clauses for movement, and quality criteria. Early contract offers up to £525/t ex farm are expected to be withdrawn shortly as specific requirements are fulfilled, with lower offers of up to £450/t ex farm for those making later decisions.
Again, little recent trading. The values have held up well throughout the year, but these too may be impacted by international trading developments and forward values remain uncertain and with little commitment. Attracted in part by recent higher values a larger UK crop area has been sown in 2023.