Green Pea Premium Likely to Erode with Acreage Increase



Green peas are continuing to command a sizable price premium over their yellow counterparts in Western Canada, likely leading to an acreage shift this spring and an eventual re-balancing of the price spread.

Green peas typically trade a premium to yellow peas due to higher quality specs and concerns over bleaching, but the current price spread is wide by historic comparisons.

“There are very few green peas around, and a market that’s looking for them,” said broker Dale McManus, of Johnston’s Grain in Saskatchewan.

He said Yellow peas are currently priced at C$6.50 to $7.25/bu delivered, which compares with Green peas prices nearly double that at $11 to $12.50/bu.

Top end Green pea prices have risen by about $4/bu over the past year, while Yellow peas held relatively steady.

In addition to tight supplies of Green peas, there is also a relative abundance of Yellow peas as they were harder hit by trade restrictions with India.

The latest estimates from Agriculture Canada forecast farmers will seed a similar amount of peas in 2019 as they did a year earlier, at around 3.6 million acres.

McManus agreed that total pea area will likely hold steady, but expected the large old-crop premium for Green peas would result in Greens taking up a larger percentage of the acreage base.

While Yellow peas will still account for the majority of the pea acres, an increase in Green pea area “will have an effect on the price come fall,” McManus said.

New-crop Green pea bids of about $7.50 to $8.50/bu are only slightly above Yellow peas at around $6.60 to $7.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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