Mustard Market Getting Nervous

PANAMA - Sep 27/19 - SNS -- Mustard seed markets finished the week with a firmer undertone against worries about the potential impact recent frost events in western Canada could have on the quality of this year's crop.

When the week got underway, 36% of the crop was in the bin, compared to 76% at this time last year and the recent average of almost 82% complete by the third week of September.

What troubles markets is that while another 10% of the crop was ready to straight combine and 9% was in swath, 45% was still standing in fields. Depending on the level of maturity, recent frost events could lock chlorophyll in the seeds, resulting in a greenish tint to products.

Chlorophyll is naturally broken down in the seeds by three enzymes when seeds contain more than 20% moisture and temperatures are above five degrees Celsius. This can even take place in storage as long as the enzymes are active.

But, a frost prior to harvest or severe heat after the crop has been swathed kills the enzymes. If they are not active, chlorophyll is not converted and the green color remains.