Weak pound helps pea and bean trade

The weak value of sterling against the euro has given a welcome boost to pea and bean markets over recent weeks, according to the latest Processors and Growers Research Organisation/ British Edible Pulse Association market update.

Latest ex-farm feed bean prices have climbed to over £120/t, with particular interest from Italy and Spain, it said. The market for export beans to North Africa (Egypt) was also reported to be strong, with prices up to £150+/t ex-farm. Spring varieties were at a £20-25/t premium over feed beans and Wizard varieties £10-15/t more.

Drought in Australia was said to have affected the Faba bean crop there, which, combined with higher prices, had reduced competition for Middle Eastern markets.

There was also good news for pea growers after the PGRO/BEPA report said that demand for marrowfat varieties was “far outstripping” supply and trade was at high levels. Seed was more or less sold out and prices for next season were expected to remain firm.

Blue pea prices were at around £280-300/t ex-farm, with contracts available for £220/t. Canadian peas were at over £320 ex-farm, the report said.

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