Chickpea market quiet amid large global supplies

Post-harvest movement of Prairie chickpeas are reported to be slow, as ample supplies of the product around the world have led to weak prices.

“It’s a very quiet market as demand is slow,” said Bobby Leavins, operations manager for Rayglen Commodities in Saskatoon. “We just haven’t moved very many chickpeas at all out of Canada. There’s just too many in other parts of the world.”

India is one of the biggest importers of Canadian chickpeas, but that could change as that country expects a record-large pulse crop and sees weakness in the value of its rupee.

According to the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), 2013-14 pulse production in India is expected to be over 20 million tonnes, which is above last year’s 18.5 million tonnes.

As of Wednesday (Nov. 20), Prairie Ag Hotwire has No. 1 Desi chickpeas priced at 22 to 23 cents per pound and 8 mm Kabulis worth 19.5 to 24 cents/lb.

“I don’t know if we could get much lower than we are now for prices,” Leavins said. “We’re just going to get to a point where the prices get too low and guys don’t put bids forward.”

Looking ahead, he said prices are likely going to stay flat throughout the winter months.

“There’s just nothing going on,” he said. “There are not a lot of buyers looking for chickpeas right now, whether it’s Desi or Kabulis. The world is pretty flush with this product right now.

“Any demand is going to be good demand right now.”

— Brandon Logan writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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