Western Canadian farmers will plant more peas, lentils and chickpeas in 2010, said an analyst with Informa Economics Canada in a presentation at the Canadian Wheat Board’s annual Grain World conference in Winnipeg, Feb. 22.
While new-crop lentil bids are well below the levels seen over the past year, the crop still offers some of the best returns per acre which will lead to an increase in acres, said Chuck Penner, senior consultant with Informa Economics Canada.
He said Informa was forecasting 2010-11 Canadian lentil area at 2.95 million acres, which was actually on the low end of other industry expectations, but still well above the 2.4 million acres planted the previous year. Given average yield projections, Penner forecast Canadian lentil ending stocks to expand to 403,000 tonnes by the close of the 2010-11 crop year, from an expected 57,000 tonnes for the current crop year.
Canadian pea supplies are expected to be much more comfortable heading into the 2010-11 crop year at 644,000 tonnes, according to Penner. He forecast a slight increase in Canadian pea acres in the spring of 2010, to 3.85 million acres, from 3.76 million.
From a pricing standpoint, Penner said demand from Asia and the Indian subcontinent will be a major factor in determining the market direction, although overall market conditions were looking reasonably steady if Canadian acres come in as expected.
Canada is a much smaller player in the global chickpea market and prices in the country have held steady over the past year, said Penner. He forecast an increase in Canadian chickpea area to 150,000 acres, from 105,000 in 2009-10.