Feed bean quality has suffered this year, with staining, bruchid damage, small seed size and splitting common issues in the winter bean crop.
However, yields were generally good at about 5t/ha, according to a report by PGRO and BEPA.
“Spring bean samples have so far been far more promising, but there remain very significant areas be harvested,” it said.
“Indications are that demand will remain strong – but everyone is sitting on the fence and there is little trading. Markets remain quite static and buyers have been unable to cover enquiries as sellers remain reluctant ahead of safe harvest.”
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Export markets for human consumption beans were also quiet, although since Ramadan there had been significant enquiries, added the report.
“Good samples are now commanding a premium of circa £25/t over feed beans, but the market really needs the completion of harvest to see what is available and to judge quality.”
Blue peas had generally yielded well and quality had been good, said the report. “However, significant numbers of early samples are showing signs of soaking and cooking problems, which if they persist, will have a detrimental effect on value.”
Marrowfat pea prices remained strong, and quality appeared to be average to good, albeit somewhat variable, it added. “There has been significant damage from Pea Moth in parts, emphasising the need for monitoring this pest.”
On the whole, yields were disappointing, at around 2.6t/ha, perhaps restricted by moisture availability during the early summer period.
In France, bean size was good but bruchid levels were high, so once export markets began trading sellers would discover whether the UK crop was preferred for the second consecutive year.