Pulse weekly outlook: Attractive lentil prices may boost acres

MarketsFarm — As prices for both red and green lentils stay firm, experts have predicted lentil acreage across Canada to increase for the 2019 growing season.

Carryover from past crops has been negligible in previous years, and what had been produced was quickly sold throughout the year.

“This helps farmers’ confidence,” said Tanvir Zaidi, CEO of Globalways Canada Inc.

In terms of crop prices, “there aren’t too many better options out there,” he said.

Current farmgate prices for red lentils are around 18 to 19 cents/lb. This is a boost from last year, when prices were around 15 cents.

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While small green lentils have hovered around the 15- to 17-cent range, large green lentils have seen a boost from their 2018 price of 17 cents/lb. The current price is around 19 cents/lb., and Zaidi expects it to go higher.

In years past, when prices were lower than average, acreage for lentils remained relatively steady. As prices climb, Zaidi predicts the crop will become more attractive.

“Now that prices have risen, they certainly won’t decrease acreage,” he said.

Zaidi noted India, one of the world’s largest importers, hasn’t bought lentils in some time.

“India should be ready to come to market for lentils in the later part of the year, in August or September,” he predicted.

— Marlo Glass writes for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

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