Pulse weekly: Harvest pressure now hitting lentils

Green lentils. (Savany/iStock/Getty Images)

MarketsFarm — As the harvest begins to ramp up across Canada, lentil prices have begun to feel some of the downward pressure.

However, to Marcos Mosnaim of Globeways Canada Inc. at Mississauga, Ont. there’s more to the recent declines.

“We are feeling pressure from other origins. As United States green lentils are selling much cheaper than Canadian and some Russian lentils are also hitting the market at lower levels,” Mosnaim said via email.

Over the last month, prices for Laird large green lentils have been steady to slightly lower, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire. The No. 1 Lairds slipped by one cent to 28 to 32 cents per pound delivered, while No. 2s held at 26-32 cents/lb. No. 3s remained firm at 18-21 cents/lb.

The medium Richlea lentils saw little movement over the last month, with No. 1s dropping two cents at 20 to 25 cents/lb. No. 2s and 3s held steady at 20-24 and 16-19 cents/lb. respectively.

As for the small-sized Eston green lentils the No. 1s were down two cents on the month at 24-28 cents/lb. delivered. Eston No. 2s were firm at 23-26 cents, and No. 3s gained a penny to 16-19 cents/lb.

Meanwhile, French green lentils were steady at 20-22 cents/lb.

Red crimson lentils saw greater movement during the month with prices dropping five cents each for No. 1s and 2s at 23.5-26 cents/lb. No. 3s lost a penny to 17-18 cents/lb.

With the harvest, Mosnaim said he expects this year’s crop to be large than last year’s, but ending stocks should be smaller.

“Now we have to wait and see the quality and yields,” he said.

Statistics Canada estimated more than 4.23 million acres of lentils were planted in 2020. That’s an increase of almost 12 per cent compared to the acres in 2019; that year, about 2.17 million tonnes of lentils were produced.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has estimated 2.15 million tonnes of lentils to be produced in 2020.

— Glen Hallick reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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