Disparity in pea prices not permanent

Disparity in pea prices not permanent
Mar 03, 2020

Challenging harvest conditions in the fall led to higher green pea prices

by Geoff Geddes

October 2019 saw an increase of over a dollar per bushel for top end green peas, while the boost to yellow pea prices was just $0.15/bushel in the same period. Some experts, however, cite a reasonable explanation.

“The difference between green and yellow peas is mainly a function of available supply and demand,” said Carl Potts, the executive director of the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers in Saskatoon. “On average, green pea prices are $1 to $2 per bushel higher than yellow peas. (The higher price for green peas) is required to entice growers to plant this crop due to its higher grade risk.”

Thanks to more challenging harvest conditions that reduced the amount of green peas suitable for end-use food markets, the spread in prices has risen accordingly. Still, Potts saw it more as a passing phase than a pattern.

“If you look at price indications for new pea crops, you will see we are heading back to that dollar per bushel gap between green and yellow varieties,” said Potts. “For 2019, growers with good-quality green peas benefitted from strong prices, so that is a positive. But the market is clearly anticipating a return to normal quality production patterns with the 2020 crop.”

Lightguard/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo

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