Drilling spring beans(c) Tim Scrivener

Pulse prices have continued their rising trend, with feed beans reaching a spot average of £215/t ex-farm on Wednesday. Supply and demand remained tight, with limited domestic availability and strong exports for the human consumption market, said a report by Bepa and PGRO.

“At these levels they are too expensive for mainstream feed compounders to get excited, especially while alternative protein sources such as rapeseed meal get even cheaper,” it added.

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Best-quality human consumption beans were fetching more than £250/t, but with decreasing availability, export cargoes were beginning to dry up. “Growers thinking of holding on could be caught out with nowhere to go. Once the old-crop interest wanes, prices are likely to fall back considerably ahead of the new crop,” said the report.

New-crop prices were tracking feed wheat markets, with premiums of up to £30/t for feed beans and up to £60 for human consumption grades. “Demand is good and the outlook remains strong for UK produce.”

Blue pea contracts were being offered at about £200/t ex-farm, with a £40-£50/t premium for good quality, said the report. “With sowing time approaching, area is expected to rise by 25% and possibly limited by seed availability for some varieties.”