Strong, Chaotic Finish?

VANCOUVER - Jul 30/09 - SNS -- For the second year in a row, Canadian specialty crop markets are finishing the marketing year on an unusually strong note, with available supplies of several products unusually tight because of physical shortages or strong holding by growers.

The good news for markets is that the latest weekly crop report from Saskatchewan Agriculture says the majority of crops grown in that province are in good to fair condition. It says 85% of the provinces field pea crop is good to fair, along with 82% of the lentils, 79% of the canaryseed, 86% of chickpeas, 89% of mustard seed, 86% of the canola and 88% of the wheat. Soil moisture conditions are rated adequate on 59% of the land being cropped, but short on 36%.

Improving crop condition reports has cleanly split the trade, with some still maintaining that initial delays with crop development resulted in irrevocable damage to the crop. Other contend that there has been enough improvement that yields are more likely to be at or slightly above their recent five-year averages than 90% of the recent average.

Higher than initially expected yields would go a long way to relieving the kind of supply stress seen in some crop as the 2009-10 marketing year begins.