1. Commodity News

Bird’s Eye View of Chickpea, Lentil, Field Pea Markets

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee

The week was quite for global lentils markets as seasonally light end user demand persisted throughout. In leading production belts of Saskatchewan, located in Canada nearly 78% of the crop was in the ground as of March 18, compared to 93% at the same time last year and the recent five year average of 86% sown. Crop condition reported was excellent for much of the coming week, suggesting seeded area could go beyond 90% completion. With farmers now seeding this year's crop, industry expected further clarity over actual planted area in Canada in the first seeded area estimate for 2020. Consensus suggests that the seeded area come may be higher than the seeding intentions report forecast for the country.

Field pea markets in Canada were mostly stable throughout the week with supplies from the growers remaining matching the immediate requirements from processors and exporters. Seeding progress of the Canadian crop has been excellent during the week ended recently.  Out of the intended area, nearly 80% is planted till now. The planted area covered was 93% same time May last year. Plantings in Saskatchewan were 82% complete as of May 18, compared to 94% at the same time last year and the recent five year average of 85%. Farmers in Alberta report just over 77% of the crop is in the ground, compared to 92.2% at the same time last year.  

There was not much excitement in world chickpeas markets with traders evaluating the export potential of Chickpeas suppliers to India, after the latest production data from India came out recently. As per reports this year's chickpea crop of India is expected near 10.9 million metric tons (MT), up from 9.94 million last year and also above the previous five year average of 9.018 million. Canadian markets were seen trading with sluggish note much like previous week. Prices for Kabuli chickpeas were almost unchanged, while export markets for Desi grades were down because of thin demand.  

It is almost clear that world production will be lower  for Kabuli chickpeas this year with any gains in production in some eastern European countries more than offset by declining production in other major producing nations. In Argentina, reports indicate significantly lower chickpea plantings from last year because of dry soil conditions. Indian markets finished the week lower mainly due to lack of strong demand from wholesalers approaching peak supply month. Harvesting of Chana crop has been delayed by few weeks. Arrivals normally peak by May but this time peak arrival month seems to be June. However prices are quite lower now and near 4000 levels, and since new season arrivals are not expected soon, prices may seen some pull back in forthcoming week.  

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