There was a smaller pea crop on the prairies last year.
Peas are a popular crop in farmer rotations, as the nitrogen left behind from a pulse crop is beneficial to the next crop.
Market Analyst Chuck Penner with LeftField Commodity Research says the smaller green pea crop last year was a good rebound from 2021 and allowed the market to move a little above yellow peas.
He says that's keeping the market somewhat supported.
"In terms of domestic use, we have a little bit more use. Some of these facilities that are processing are coming more fully on stream, because they have peas available."
He notes we have a little bit more domestic use, but it's still just under 25 per cent of our production.
"Then in terms of exports, you had India, they were big, big buyers for years and years. Well for quite a few years, and then really spiked higher in 16/17, then two years of drought in a row. Then they just dropped off and have disappeared from the market. So I can talk about India, but it really isn't all that relevant for the pea market, frankly. But then China stepped in, thankfully, and they really helped out. When they first started buying it, they were actually buying it for the starch, not the protein. Then they realized the protein became more valuable. So they were also buying peas for protein. Then in the biggest years in 1920 and 2021, they were also buying in for feed, where about half of what they bought was for food and fractionation use, and the other half was for feed. This year with our bids at 11/12 bucks or, or whatever for yellow peas, their feed users are just saying it's not penciling out for them. That's why in 21-22 we had the drought, but also that's when prices shot up and the Chinese feed users disappeared and this year they still haven't come back."
Penner says he's not expecting any weakness in the market over the short term.
When it comes to acres he believes we'll see a drop of around 10 percent to about 3 million acres.
He notes it's a bit of a worrying trend as we've seen four years of lower acres, despite higher pea prices.
The challenge has been the stronger wheat and canola prices which is influencing the acreage competition.