Dried lentils: smaller acreage in North America

July 19, 2023 at 11:30 AM , Der AUDITOR
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OTTAWA/ANKARA. Lentil acreage in the US and Canada is smaller this season, which is expected to tighten supplies. In Australia, farmers are hoping for rain, while the outlook for Turkey is promising.

Stable prices despite decline in cultivation

The market for red lentils is expected to remain strong in the coming months as market experts such as Chelmer Foods believe that demand from key buying countries such as India and Turkey should remain high. In addition, the Canadian crop is expected to be smaller than last year, with current estimates suggesting a 30% decline to 1.3 million mt of red lentils, while the crop of green varieties is expected to increase by 10% to 390,000 mt. Rayglen Commodities reports that red lentil prices in Canada have been stable for some time and are not expected to change much in the near future. Both old and new crop are currently around CAD 0.32-0.33/lb FOB farm. Market players had expected that the lower acreage would already lead to price increases, but it appears that the market will only react once the harvest is underway and the first production estimates are available.

Good prospects for Turkey

In Australia, growers are facing challenges as rainfall in recent months has been well below average. According to Chelmer Foods, this could reduce yields but support prices. Turkey, however, has a good crop this year with reasonably competitive prices. Good stocks, the promising crop outlook and a decline in re-export demand could lead to a fall in Turkish lentil imports in the second half of 2023, according to the market experts. In the USA, as in Canada, the area under cultivation will be significantly smaller this year: The USDA speaks of a decline of 127,000 ha, so that the acreage in 2023 is 533,000 ha. MarketsFarm adds that all US growing states are affected by the declines, but Montana is the most impacted, with acreage shrinking by 100,000 acres to 400,000 acres.

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