Bean prices jumped by about £10/t this week to put spot prices at around £160/t ex-farm by Friday, mainly on the back of recent wheat price gains.
Few growers have sold beans, waiting to see what yield and quality outcomes are like first. Early samples from the south east have had relatively high bruchid beetle damage.
Competition for export business will be tough as French growers are getting an extra €150/ha protein payment, giving them a £25-30/t advantage, said Chris Collings of Harlow Agricultural Merchants.
High carryover stocks are weighing down on the pea market so there is no demand for new crop yet but, with a smaller crop this year, things should improve once old stocks have been used up, said trader Peter Daubney at Openfield. “We’re telling farmers not to rush out to sell peas.”
Most pea growers will be looking for a human consumption premium but are resisting the £170-180/t on offer for yellow and blue varieties, generally hoping for £30-£40/t more than this. Marrowfat varieties have mainly been moving on contract but spot values are in the £220/t region, well down on last years’ £300-350/t.