Pea and bean prices have continued to improve over the past week, having risen by about £15/t since the New Year. Feed beans were worth about £229/t ex-farm for spot movement, as Farmers Weekly went to press on Wednesday (26 January), with peas fetching about £5/t less.
“The market has moved up, solely due to domestic demand and lack of availability,” said Peter Daubeney, head of pulses at Openfield. “Although beans have started to come off-farm, it’s not enough to pull prices back.” The UK produced about 480,000t of beans last year, compared with 620,000t in 2009. “Winter beans always used to be feed, but now there are some human consumption varieties, which are being exported, taking supplies away from the domestic feed market.”
Most buyers were now full for February and March, but still had to cover April through to June, he said.
“It’s touch and go whether there’s enough out there to meet demand, as we don’t know how much is going to be used on-farm.”
Imported beans were quoted at £275/t ex-port, leaving considerable leeway for further price hikes, should supplies be tight.
Peas were trading below bean values, due to a surplus of poor-quality produce and a carryover from last year.